A Tribute to My Uncle (1)

by Greg Blaney May. 25, 2018 665 views

Recently, I traveled to Europe to attend the unveiling of a plaque to honour my uncle Frank, who was killed in WWII while fighting in the Netherlands. We visited his grave at the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten and then 2 days later was the unveiling of the plaque in Schalkhaar, just outside the town of Deventer, Netherlands.

There is a memorial museum at Holten. In it is a wall that is covered in white tiles, each tile individually drawn by local grade 5 students with red markers. Above is and example of the types of messages these students conveyed on their tile.

There is a memorial museum at Holten. In it is a wall that is covered in white tiles, each tile individually drawn by local grade 5 students with red markers. Above is and example of the types of messages these students conveyed on their tile.

The tiles were collected and made into a mosaic on a feature wall at the Holten Cemetery. It's a very moving memorial that was created and presented as a remembrance to the sacrifices made by soldiers from another country more than 3 generations ago.

The tiles were collected and made into a mosaic on a feature wall at the Holten Cemetery. It's a very moving memorial that was created and presented as a remembrance to the sacrifices made by soldiers from another country more than 3 generations ago.

The Canadian War Cemetery in Holten, Netherlands. As with all war cemeteries, the hosts work hard to keep the grounds meticulous. There are 1382 soldiers buried in this cemetery.

The Canadian War Cemetery in Holten, Netherlands. As with all war cemeteries, the hosts work hard to keep the grounds meticulous. There are 1382 soldiers buried in this cemetery.

Although the headstone states my uncle's age as 21, he was actually only 20 - he lied about his age in order to enlist early. The inscription at the bottom (provided by his parents) says "Five brothers in arms, four survive, life's work well done, now comes rest."

Although the headstone states my uncle's age as 21, he was actually only 20 - he lied about his age in order to enlist early. The inscription at the bottom (provided by his parents) says "Five brothers in arms, four survive, life's work well done, now comes rest."

The plaque honouring my uncle, which is erected on the boulevard in front of the very house in which he was killed on April 10, 1945.

The plaque honouring my uncle, which is erected on the boulevard in front of the very house in which he was killed on April 10, 1945.

The plaque. It's in Dutch but basically gives a brief history of his life and the circumstances of his death.

The plaque. It's in Dutch but basically gives a brief history of his life and the circumstances of his death.

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Berckmans Peter 1 year, 10 months ago

Many thanks and respect to your family for the sacrifice they gave. The translation of the caption on the plaque of your uncle is FOR OUR FREEDOM. The title on the wall translates like this ,We are from after the war,let it stay like that. I must say schools here in Belgium take the time again to visit this places and teach them about the wars. Never forget

1 year, 10 months ago Edited
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