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Thread: Markelo 2013

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    Default Markelo 2013

    This has been translated from Dutch for me and I thought you all might be interested:

    In 1943, three Bombers of the Royal Air Force crashed in Markelo. On the 2nd of March a Halifax on the Tichelweg, on 24th of May a Lancaster on the Witterietsweg and on the 23rd of June a Stirling on the Traasweg. This resulted in 17 of the 21 crew members dying. They are all buried in the Algemene Begraafplaats (General Cemetery) in Markelo. Seventy years to the day on 21st June 2013 a new monument will be unveiled on the Field of Honour near the 17 war graves. There will also be a big Remembrance event held, to which the families of all 21 crew members will be invited. To organise it , a new foundation has been formed called ‘Committee for The Fallen Airmen Memorial Markelo 2013’ by Benny Schreurs (Chairman) and Egbert Holterman (Treasurer). They were both committee members of the ‘Foundation for Cultural Historical Elements Around Markelo’ and were very closely involved with the Remembrances of 2008 after the unveiling of the aeroplane engine-monument on the Kattenberg and in 2010 on the occasion of the 65th anniversary celebration of the liberation of Markelo.

    It appears, unlike in many other places, there is no central area at the Field of Honour’s war graves, where wreaths or flowers can be laid. Contact via the War Graves Foundation was made with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) and a request lodged with them that an authentic WWII propeller could be placed as a monument by the 17 war graves. The CWGC gave a positive answer to the request followed by the head of the Twente Council offering their full co-operation. That resulted in a WWII propeller being bought and plans being taken further.

    Due to the Remembrances in 2008 and 2010 many reactions from The Netherlands and other countries have been received, including a visit from the New Zealand’s Minister of Defence Dr. Wayne Mapp and also many crew family members who came especially from New Zealand to visit Markelo. After that the idea was formed to place the monument for the three bombers and unveil it in 2013, 70 years after the crashes, inviting the family members of all 21 crew members (17 died, 3 survived and 1 missing) coming from Australia 1, New Zealand 4 and Great Britain 16.

    Up until last year the only contact was with the family members of 4 of the crew of the New Zealand’s Stirling that had crashed on the Kattenberg. One of them, Darryl Robertson had tried earlier to contact the family members of the Stirling’s 3 British crew members without success. In the summer of 2011, with the help of a number of RAF veterans and others, articles asking for contact with the families were posted in all the local newspapers of the birth places of those crew members, with surprisingly positive results. Many family members of 18 of the 21 crew members responded. Their reactions were heart warming and the expectation is that at least 60 of those will attend the 2013 unveiling of the monument. After consultations with the Canada Comité Markelo it was agreed, for 1 week that those guests would be put up local families who for years have welcomed Canadian veterans and their families. As representatives of the Canada Comité, Henriette Kok (secretary) and Gert Jan Oplaat (committee member) have offered to take seats on the committee of the new foundation.

    At the celebration of the 65th year of liberty in 2010, close co-operation with Keep Them Rolling (KTR) was made during their Liberty tour with over 100 vehicles who then also attended the Markelo Remembrance at the cemetery. In 2013 the KTR will not only be at the Markelose memorial but provide transport for foreign visitors. For this the Markelose member of KTR will have a seat in the new foundation’s committee.
    The children of class 8 of the Markelose Junior School will play a close part in the remembrance. Years ago they adopted the war graves to keep the remembrance alive for the fact that our freedom was not without sacrifice won back and that freedom should not be taken for granted

    The committee is busy gathering all the information they can get, from home or abroad, about the 3 crashed bombers and their 21 crew members and asks all the people of Markelo or others who have information not already known to pass this on to Benny Schreurs Tel: 0547 363080 (from abroad 0031 547 363080 ) or Egbert Holterman Tel: 0547 361881 (from abroad 0031 547 361881)

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    F/S S.L.C Watts AFM KIA 1/3/1943 35 Sqn Buried Markelo

    Air Force Medal recommendation for Flight Engineer SLC Watt(s) - AIR 2 8887
    London Gazette 1 January 1941

    Aeroplane And Armament Experimental Establishment
    216038 Sergeant Stanley Langford Conway WATT.
    This airman has been employed with heavy aircraft of the performance Testing Section for the past 5 years, during which time he has proved himself to be the most resourceful tradesman and an exceptional test observer. He has acted as such on 25 experimental types during their trials and is always chosen by pilots to accompany them on awkward or difficult tests, as they are fully aware that his judgement and quick action will not be found wanting in an emergency. He has shown undoubted courage and disregard of risks.

    In 2010 the Commonwealth War Graves Commission added his AFM to his gravestone. For some unknown reason it had been omitted from his records.

    Mark

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