VVAM Newsletter 52 – 1993

Utrechtseweg 232 6862 AZ Oosterbeek The Netherlands
Representative in Great Britain
Mr. E.E. Shaw 298 Totnes Road
Paignton – Devon TQ4 7HD

NEWSLETTER No. 52, November 1993

Obituary; H. Bruggeman
Colonel H. Bruggeman (retd.) passed away recently following a short illness. He was a member of the committee of the Airborne Museum Foundation from 13 December 1977 up to 1 June 1986 (from 1 April 1980 as treasurer), and from 17 July 1990 up until his final days, also as treasurer. He was indefatigable, particularly during the period when sponsors were being sought for the extension and renovation of the museum, and even though he often met with disappointment when definite promises of contributions were suddenly withdrawn without reason. He controlled the finances with an iron hand, and rightly so. It must also be said that he was a little aloof in his dealings with his fellow committee members and colleagues, reticent and purely businesslike. Happily, a year or so ago this began to change and he gradually became a warm, attentive and humorous colleague who gave us much pleasure during meetings and during his many working visits to the museum each week. His standard, quipped greeting ran something like “Good morning gentlemen, you lucky so and sos”. His cup of coffee was always ready and waiting for him because we always saw his car approaching. He would also run through any bills which needed paying and ask pointed questions where possible lack of clarity existed. He and his pipe, which was always going out, were inseparable and his lighter was always missing. He would then ask “Where is your flamethrower?” and after much grumbling and laughter he would leave, satisfied, for the town hall where he would make what arrangements were necessary with Ad van Veggel, the administrator. Berry de Reus, Wybo Boersma and I have the fondest memories of these meetings with the completely thawed Henk. Our chairman’s farewell eulogy to him was very emotional. It was very sensitive and did credit to Henk. Fortunately we were able to inform him, as he lay in hospital, that the target sum for the museum renovation would be reached. It is a great pity that he will not see the results, at least not in body.

Memorial service at the Airborne Cemetery, Sunday 19 September 1993.
(photo: B. de Reus)

“Theme afternoon” on Sunday 12 December next
In accordance with tradition our society is once again organising a “theme afternoon”. This year it will not be held on a Saturday but on SUNDAY afternoon, 12 December. In doing this we are accommodating the wishes of members who have repeatedly asked if a theme afternoon could be occasionally organised on a Sunday since, because of their work or for other reasons, they are never able to attend such meetings on a Saturday. This year the afternoon will again be held in the Concert Hall, Benedendorpsweg, opposite the Old Church in Oosterbeek (tel. 085-332046). This time the programme differs slightly from that of previous years. The society has succeeded in hiring the documentary “Krieg am Niederrhein” (Battle at the Lower Rhine) from The Museum of Liberation in Groesbeek. This German film (without subtitles) paints a penetrating picture of the battle during operation Market Garden and in the following film consists of three parts, each lasting more than an hour. We have decided to show just two of the three parts this time with a break between each part.
The new edition of the “Roll of Honour” will also be presented to the members during this theme afternoon. The afternoon starts at 2 pm and will end around 5 pm.

The new “Roll of Honour”
During our theme afternoon in December the latest edition of the Roll of Honour of the Battle of Arnhem will be presented. This edition has been completely revised and updated and was a mammoth task for those who were involved with its technical implementation. It took a tremendous amount of time before the manuscript was ready to hand over to the printer. Alas, it was not possible to have the new edition ready for the commemoration in September, but we chose quality before speed. The new, completely revised 3rd edition is published in the format employed by the society since last year (see also “Who was who”), and is on purpose printed in a distinct typeface which the elderly will find easier to read.
The book will be on sale from the 12th of December at the theme afternoon, price 25 guilders, which is extremely cheap for a book of this quality containing about 250 pages with lots of photographs and several maps. The society sees this as an idealistic- publication and intends to stick to a price that will suit everyone’s pocket.

New translator for the Newsletter
Since May 1984 the English translation of the Newsletter has been taken care of by Mrs. A.G. (Toos) Meeuwsen from Den Haag. Toos put a tremendous amount of care and time into this work which she did for the society completely free of charge. In most cases it was only a few days after the Dutch text had been sent to her that the editorship received the English translation in the letter box. The editor then had to do the necessary cutting and pasting to prepare the text and photos for the printer. In the meantime we have gone over to the computer for processing the Newsletter and Ministory text. Because of this, Toos Meeuwsen has handed the translation work over to other society members, Cathrien and Peter Clark. Together they run the translation service “Double Write” in Deurne. Peter and Cathrien also carry out the translation work free of charge and the speed with which the floppy containing the translated text is returned to the editorship leaves little to be desired. Although a little late (they have already translated two numbers of the Newsletter), the editorship extends a cordial welcome to them both. In the near future a small group will bid Toos Meeuwsen farewell in an appropriate manner. Happily, it should be noted that Toos will remain available for incidental translation work.

Our member Mrs. G.J.H. (Trims) Oosterhaar receives the insignia of the MBE (Member of the British Empire) from the hands of the British Ambassador Sir David Miers on the 19th of September 1993 (see also Newsletter No. 50). On the left is the British Military Attache Lt-Col. John Young.
(photo: B. de Reus)

Facelift lottery
Since the appearance of the previous Newsletter three further Facelift Lottery draws have taken place; our Dutch members will find the lists of winning numbers enclosed with this edition.
Of the 10,000 tickets, 7001 have already been returned and paid for and the workgroup still has 100 tickets at its disposal. A simple calculation reveals that there are 2899 unsold tickets still in the hands of the membership, meaning that about 290 of you have not yet responded. This is OK provided that some use is made of these tickets. It would be a pity, however, if they were to lay unused and forgotten in a drawer somewhere. In that case it would be far better if they were sent back to us in the freepost envelope which was sent out along with the tickets. Up to now our facelift lottery has yielded a total of 35,005 guilders, a princely sum of which we can be very proud. Nevertheless, it would be a shame if lottery tickets were lost through negligence or forgetfulness. Because of the short time at our disposal between now and the main draw on 15 December next, we make one final appeal to you: do your best to ensure that all tickets are sold before 31 November 1993 so that we achieve maximum return from the action!
Unsold lottery tickets can be returned to: “Facelift Lottery” Workgroup, Utrechtseweg 232, 6862 AZ Oosterbeek. New books of tickets can be ordered from C. van Roekel: 085-333261. Many thanks on behalf of the “Facelift Lottery” workgroup.
(C. van Roekel)

The Airborne Museum renovation
Building work began in the museum cellar on the 1st of September last. The former boiler room will be prepared for the new diorama while at the same time new cellar space will be excavated underneath the conservatory. This space is to be used for various purposes but is primarily intended for exchange expositions. Midway through November the Arnhem artist Huub Milder will make a start on painting the diorama wall. Some years ago Mr. Milder did the wall painting in the diorama with the jeep and the 6 pounder gun.
The painting will be finished by the end of January after which further fitting out of the diorama can commence. The painting and refurbishment of the exposition rooms will start at the beginning of November and three months have been allotted for this task. Other jobs will be carried out as soon as possible at the start of the new year, 1994. The renovation is under the supervision of W. Boersma (Airborne Museum Foundation committee member) who has also detailed out the planning. The museum will remain open during the renovation. It is unavoidable that visitors to the museum will be inconvenienced by the renovation work, but every effort will be made to keep this inconvenience to a minimum. Part of the work will be carried out by volunteers and an appeal for these appears later in this Newsletter. Should anyone have any questions or suggestions he can always contact Mr. Boersma during the day at the museum, where he can usually be reached (085-337710).

The Airborne Museum renovation (supervised by the Gerritsen Bouwgroup B.V.from Renkum) progresses steadily.
(photo: B. de Reus)

Volunteers and the Airborne Museum
Some time ago an appeal appeared in the Newsletter for members who were prepared to carry out voluntary work for the Airborne Museum. This appeal produced a variety of reactions. Although not all wishes could be met, various members are busy working for the museum at the moment. Below is a survey of the work the volunteers are doing at present as well as the work already completed.
Mr. Vastenhout from Schaarsbergen has updated the photographic archives. Mr. Van der Kwast from Oosterbeek is correcting the photo albums and re-typing the texts where necessary. Mr. De Ruyter from Arnhem is going through all the negatives and making new contact prints where necessary.
Mr. Jacobs from Spijkenisse has already been busy for two years putting a photographic archive of more than 2,000 photographs on computer.
Translation and correction of the German texts for the new layout is in the hands of J. Wieringa from Doorwerth, H. Becher from Bocholt in Germany and P. Geers from Zutphen. A. Groeneweg from Doorwerth and J. van Slooten from Oosterbeek are making additions to and correcting the English texts. Eugene Wijrthoud is cutting and pasting the new photographs and texts. A number of people are helping Mr. De Reus with the wiring for the new videos. In the past months Mr. Jansen has cleaned and re-lubricated all the weaponry. With the cooperation of the Museum of Liberation at Groesbeek, Mr. J. van Ommeren from Budelsloot has made a copy of a breech block housing for the 75mm Pack howitzer which is virtually indistinguishable from the real thing. Jasper Oorthuys from Dieren is at present making new figures for the model of the Horsa glider and a number of these have already been put in position. Mr. Wandel from Oosterbeek is making a survey map, with photos, which will be on display in the coffee room. This survey will show the various cycling and walking routes over the battlefield. The descriptions of these routes are on sale in the museum.
Mr. Van Riet from Arnhem is engaged in the restoration of the WS no. 18 radio set casing which was found some time ago at the spot where a former communications post was located. It is intended that the model of the Rhine bridge will undergo a maintenance programme this winter. This will be carried-oubby-a-model builders club-in Friesland- under the supervision of P. van Kempen from Reduzum (Roordahuizen to other Dutch people).
However, there are still tasks outstanding for which volunteers are sought. Below is a short summary of (a) what the work comprises, (b) where it can be done and (c) when it must be finished.
1. Legends have to be made for three maps.
a. Paintwork with transfer letters, b. At home, c. End of January 1994.
2. The making of large texts for the new expositions.
a. Sticking adhesive letters onto a PVC background,
b. At the museum and at home, c. End of December.
3. Help with the placing of new photographs.
b. Evening work in the museum,
c. November, December.
Volunteers can contact W. Boersma at the museum, tel. no. 085-337710, or at home, tel. no. 08380-39633.

Who can lend a hand?
As you already know, for many years the society has taken care of the artillery pieces and the tank which stand outside the Airborne Museum. By virtue of the hard work carried out by so many of us the tank as well as the 17 pounders were saved from a sad fate, and in all respects are still worth seeing. Many of you will recall the spontaneous “Give a tile” action during one of our annual meetings. This resulted in so many tiles and promises that the tank could be placed on the existing platform as well as on tiles.

Besides this we were able to honour the liberators of the Veluwe region with a beautiful marble tablet bearing the coat of arms of the Canadian Lord Strathcona Horse Regiment, which liberated large areas of our country in 1945.
Sadly, however, we have not escaped the scourge of vandalism and the black marble tablet has been damaged because gravel has been thrown at it. In order to prevent such unpleasant occurrences in the future it is planned to remove the gravel and to have the area paved. Already generous benefactors have made bricks and pavement edging available. There will be enough red sand left over from the rebuilding work which can be used for the paving.
What we need now are people who are prepared to lend a hand on one or two Saturdays. Of course it would also be nice if a few paviours could be found among these people because as well as needing support troops for the “coolie work”, somebody who could lay a nifty bit of paving would also come in very handy.
This work has to be done in the spring of 1994, but we are asking now; are there members or friends or acquaintances of members who would be willing to help us? This would be a splendid complement to the internal renewing of the museum. Further
information and notification can be obtained from C. van Roekel, telephone 085-333261.

The reinterment of two missing soldiers
In January of this year the remains of two soldiers of C Company The Border Regiment were discovered in a garden in Oosterbeek. The unit concerned with burials in the Royal Netherlands Army, represented by 1st Lieutenant Jongen, Warrant Officer Bolle and Sergeant 1st Class Van de Vliet, did an excellent job in very quickly identifying these soldiers. Their details were confirmed via the British Embassy in the person of Lieutenant-Colonel John Young and concern Private Ernest Ager and Private Douglas Lowery, up until now recorded as missing in action. They were reinterred in the Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery (Airborne Cemetery) in Oosterbeek on the 8th of October. Seventeen “old comrades” came over at the British Ministry of Defense’s expense, and they carried the coffins to the graveside. Others present at the ceremony included the British Military Attache and his wife, Brigadier-General James Howard (secretary of the Border Regiment) and his wife, Major Charles Gray of the 1st Battalion The Border Regiment and Stuart Eastwood, curator of the Border Regiment Museum.
It was a worthy mark of honour to two fighters for our freedom. Sadly it will be about a year before the graves are provided with headstones, but until then temporary listings (plots 25 C 1 and 25 C 4, Lowery * and Ager) will be placed over the graves.
Of special interest is the fact that the Last Post was played on the same bugle that was used during the first commemoration in 1945, and which can now be found in the Border Regiment Museum in Carlisle. (A.G.)

The remains of the two Border Regiment soldiers found in January this year were reinterred in the Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery on the 8th of October 1993. (photo: B.de Reus)

Poles Apart
At last the full English version of the book “De Polen van Driel” has appeared under the title “Poles Apart – The Polish Airborne at the Battle of Arnhem”.
The Dutch version was published in the Netherlands in 1990. Originally, given the available space, Jan Bouman from the publishers Lunet in Naarden had to prune the original text by some 30%. At the same time he re-wrote the translation of the English text into popular Dutch.
The number of photographs in the English/American version has been drastically reduced, but the text is now complete and contains additional information that the Polish/American author (our member George F. Cholewczynski) has obtained since 1989.
The book comprises 318 pages and tells the story of the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade. From the birth of Stanislaw Franciszek Sosabowski (who later formed and commanded the brigade) on 8 May 1892 up to and including a parade of veterans through the streets of Warsaw (1992), a vivid picture of the ups and downs of Polish soldiers abroad is drawn, namely during the period 1940 to 1945. Fifteen (209 pages) of the 23 chapters concern operation Market Garden, in particular the events in Driel and Oosterbeek.
Sarpendon (New York) and Greenhill Books (London) have brought this publication into the world together, and it is for sale in the Airborne Museum (as well as from other suppliers) at 52,50 guilders. For our members abroad who wish to obtain a copy the ISBN numbers are 1-85367-165-7 (UK) and 0-9627613-5-4 (USA).

We have received the following correction to Ministory XXXVI from Mr. J.J. Lorys of London. In the third sentence on page 3 is written “as new Commander in Chief of the Polish army Kosnkowski”; this should read “K. Sosnkowski”.

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