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Dutch War Memorials

I didn’t expect to see War Memorials in out of the way places in The Netherlands. The country didn’t take part in the Great War but was of course invaded by Germany in 1940. The Dutch were unable to combat the Luftwaffe bombers – the centre of Rotterdam was destroyed – and surrendered to avoid destruction of their other cities. The fighting lasted seven days.

But then there were also the almost constant Allied bombing raids over Germany in the latter part of the war (the run-up to D-Day excepted) which flew over The Netherlands en route and on return.

It seems two such aeroplanes were shot down over or near Opende.

This view shows both memorials:-

The distinctive headstones of Commonwealth war graves can be seen. I assume these were erected after the war.

The inscription on the brick wall reads :-

In Memory of the seven heroes whose plane crashed in Opende, 15 Feb 1944.
The Residents of Opende

This is the other end of the memorial:

The aircraft was a Halifax bomber with seven crew, six of whom were Australian. It was shot down. The details are here.

Links to more information about the crew can be found on this webpage.

The other plaque on the site is for a US B 17, “Sky Queen” which came down on 28 Jul 1943.

More information about this crew is here.

In the nearby town (I would call it a town but by the Dutch definition it’s a village) of Surhuisterveen there is a War Memorial plaque on the other side of the clock tower from this view.

The inscription reads:-

In memory. To our local fallen in the war 1940-45.

Live It Up 1: Live It Up

Three years ago it was the 1960s, two years ago the 70s and last year it was the 1980s from which we at work were to pick our favourite song as a piece of fun at Easter.

The 80s winner?

A Town Called Malice.

Second was Money For Nothing, both from the beginning of the decade I noticed.

I haven’t bothered doing 80s songs up to now as among other things it was the decade style forgot (at least if Ashes to Ashes can be relied on.) I also wasn’t paying that much attention to contemporary music then.

Mostly though it was because I couldn’t decide which song to go with for the series title.

I’ve opted for Live It Up because that’s what a lot of people purported to do during Thatcher’s time. (A lot more were miserable.)

This particular song always reminds me of Boghead, late lamented ground of the famous Dumbarton FC, the Sons of the Rock. It was a Second Division game when Tommy Burns’s Kilmarnock came calling on their way to promotion. (And thumped us, so ruining our already unlikely promotion prospects.) Live It Up was played over the tannoy.

The group which performed this were (are?) Australian – which also goes along with the Easybeats connection of Friday On My Mind – but their name could be Scottish. Except I suppose if it were, the last word would be much more expressive.

Mental As Anything: Live It Up

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