Then & Now - Wamel, Netherlands & Liberation 3 Oct 1944.

Discussion in 'WW2 Battlefields Today' started by Buteman, Jun 22, 2013.

  1. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    Following a visit to Wamel in early May 2013, to see where Dad was the same date back in 1945, this one caught my interest.

    The village of Wamel was liberated in 1944, but the church tower was destroyed by the Germans in November 1944.

    An aerial photo taken in 1939 facing North. The church can clearly be seen on the right side of the photo.


    Photo of the church in the 1920's

    RK Kerk - Wamel 1.jpg

    Aerial photo looking South in 1945 showing the damaged church.


    Photo showing the tower destroyed.

    RK Kerk - Wamel 2.jpg

    A photo taken in May 2013, without a tower.

    P1060676 (Large).JPG

    With thanks to Historie Stichting Wamel for supplying the photos.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
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  2. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    Anyone heard of the Heritage Group website? Cheeky gits have copied and pasted the contents of my post above, as though it's their own work. If you try and copy the photos, you have to contact them if you'd like a copy. :(

    (Links now removed)
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi ramacal

    First I have heard of them but they seem to be a South Africa based group - which would have obvious connections to Holland. The contact and ToC buttons do not appear to work on their site

  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I get their site with a 404 error when I click that link.
  5. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

  6. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    I've just checked the site and they've removed the thread. I used their contact form and asked why they'd copied and pasted the whole article giving the impression it was their own work. It worked, hence the 404 error when you click the link.
  7. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    Seeing this again, has enabled me to plot and correct the location of 336 Battery HQ of 102 LAA Regiment between 21 April - 4 May 1945. (Coordinates translator put the location a 100 metres north of it's true location). Getting a copy of the original map from that period has been extremely useful.

    The prewar aerial photo again:-

    1939 - Aerial photo of  Wamel - Copy (Large).jpg

    Map with correct coordinates marked:-


    It was the location of a gymnasium (converted post WW2 into a temporary RC Church after the original church was destroyed by German artillery) and a girls school.

    0050-0160_ 0003 - Muurschildering in de noodkerk3.jpg

    0050-0160_ 0006 - RK noodkerk en meisjesschool Wamel6.jpg

    0050-0160_ 0004 - Noodkerk4.jpg

    They were later demolished, to become the location of the village war memorial in 1986 and a home for senior citizens. The home is behind the war memorial.

    Once again, thanks to Stichting Historie Wamel for the old photos.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
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  8. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Great stuff Rob, and well done for protecting your research too!
  9. Lotus7

    Lotus7 Well-Known Member

    Well done Rob for sorting it out, your hard work and research should not be taken in vein

  10. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    On the 4th May 2015, on the day the Netherlands remembered their war dead, I returned to the village of Wamel, to attend their evening ceremony. I made a promise to do this, as it coincided with my Dad's unit having been in this village 70 years before. I was honoured to be invited as a guest by the Orange committee. I would like to thank Jan Zondag of the Stichting Historie Wamel & Harriet Maes of the Stichting Oranjecomite Wamel for this invitation and the hospitality shown to me.

    In the rooms of the VTC (the village hall), a male voice choir sang a number of beautiful pieces and various individuals read about events that took place and the names of the fallen. We then moved outside and laid our wreaths to the fallen at the War Memorial. Following the ceremony, we moved back inside and were able to view an exhibition about the period 1940-45. Several people approached me to talk and one event in particular that took place on September 20th 1944 caught my attention. Relatives of some of the fallen were still upset about an event that was to see 14 men of Wamel taken and shot as an act of reprisal. This is what I found out.

    Following the events of Operation Market Garden, Allied armoured reconnaissance vehicles arrived in Wamel on the 19th September 1944. Dutch Resistance, no doubt emboldened by these events, fired on a Ferry transferring German Troops across the River Waal from the town of Tiel opposite Wamel. They retreated and the following day, brought more men across, driving off the Dutch Resistance and the Allied Troops.

    The German troops then systematically searched houses, looking for weapons and ammunition. They found none. However, the anger of the German Officer leading the search (an Oberleutnant) was such that men and women were rounded up and taken to the road leading to the Ferry for questioning. The women were released, but 14 men were taken by Ferry back across the River Waal to Tiel.

    Eye witness statements later recorded that the men were taken to the outer city wall of Tiel by the River Waal and the sound of Machine Gun fire was heard, followed by Pistol shots. The bodies were later recovered and found to be riddled with bullets.

    A war crimes investigation was completed by Dutch Investigators as recently as 2007. A summary in English can be be found here:-

    Battledetective Battle Relic

    The 14 victims (* - birth date) were:-

    AJ den Bieman, * 2-1-1891
    P. Dingenouts, * 9-6-1894
    N. of Echteld, * 13-8-1901
    KM of Echteld, * 25-5-1903
    HAM Echteld, * 23-8-1913
    PJA van Elsen, * 11-11-1887
    DC Jansen, * 23-12-1880
    SJG Janssen, * 30-12-1921
    PJ Janssen, * 15-4-1923
    JG van Rooij * 14-3-1917
    JCV van der Wielen, * 3-9-1897
    H. Schonenberg, * 23-1-1876
    JM Schonenberg, * 8-3-1908
    W. Schonenberg, * 23-5-1909

    Reconnaissance troops of the 52 Division entered Wamel & Dreummel on the 4th October 1944 and found the villages clear of Germans. The Germans would still remain in the area of Tiel and a continuing threat until they surrendered in May 1945.

    The memorial in Tiel, close to the Ferry and the site of the Execution (Photos from the Traces of War, NL website)

    The men executed were buried in the Catholic Cemetery of Tiel


    The ceremony at Wamel 4 May 2015.





    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
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  11. Lotus7

    Lotus7 Well-Known Member

    Once again thanks for sharing your story and wonderful photographs Rob. Must have been a very emotional visit.
    Just me being curious was the lady playing the Flugelhorn playing the last post ?

  12. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA


    She was playing the Dutch version of the last post.

    Found one for you to listen to:-
  13. Lotus7

    Lotus7 Well-Known Member

    Many thanks Rob for the YouTube clip, as moving as the British version. Digressing slightly, I was asked by the family (awhile ago now) of a veteran who had passed away to play the Last Post as he was laid to rest, very moving experience.

  14. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    On the 3rd October 1944, "D" Squadron of 2 Household Cavalry entered Wamel and reported the village clear of enemy. They were followed in by "B" & "C" Squadron Assault Troops of 52 Recce Regiment. Men from the Dutch Princes Irene Brigade also followed up, searching houses, gathering up collaborators and women who had had personal relationships with German soldiers.

    Attached are the war diary pages of 2 Household Cavalry and 52 Recce Regt, together with a page from the personal diary of Tonny van Dinter (an inhabitant of Wamel) who gave her interpretation of the events of that day (With thanks to Jan Sondag of Stichting Historie Wamel for supplying the diary of Tonny van Dinter).




    Dinsdag 3 Oct 1944.

    s Morgens kwam ’t bericht binnen dat alle burgers om twaalf uur binnen moesten zijn. Wij waren benieuwd wat of dat zou zijn. De Irene Brigade was in die tijd ook gekomen en wij dachten niet anders of er zou gescho- ten worden. Maar ’t was heel wat anders. Waar we 4 jaar op hadden zitten snakken, ging gebeuren. De N.S.B.-ers werden opgehaald. Ook de meiden die met de moffen uit geweest waren. Dat was wat hoor!!! Het was avond voor ze daar mee klaar waren. Ze werden door ’t ondergrondse leger opgehaald. Dat waren onze beleve- nissen van dien dag.”

    Tuesday, 3 oct 1944

    In the morning came the message all the citizens has to be at home at twelve o’clock. We were curious what what would happen. At that time the Irene Brigade had also come and we thought there wil be shooting But is was completely different. What we are waiting for four years was going to happen. The collaborators were picked up. Also the girls who dated with the Germans That was impressive. It was evening when they were done wit hit. They were picked up by the patriots. Those were our experiences of that day.”
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
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  15. Lotus7

    Lotus7 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for sharing Rob, another interesting post


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