Liberation of Hoogeveen
The Netherlands ~ 60th Anniversary
On Oct 18th of 2004 we received our first letter from Albert Metselaar of Hoogeveen Holland requesting information on the XII Manitoba Dragoons to see if they were involved in the Liberation of that city.  After a great deal of discussion and emailing it was determined that D Squadron of XII Manitoba Dragoons liberated the West side of Hoogeveen on 11 April of 45.  It was also determined that the Belgian SAS liberated the East Side of the city and the French SAS liberated the surrounding territory.

Hoogeveen decided to hold a 60th Anniversary of the Liberation of their city on 11 April and to ask for members of those units to attend.  Despite an offer of 400 Euros, first to Veterans and then to sons or daughters of veterans to assist in attending, there were none available to attend.  It is felt that this was due to the fact that most who were able to go had already made arrangements through the Canadian Government or their assistance programmes that required them to be there over VE Day on 8 May.

A Celebration Committee was formed to look after the Ceremonies and it was decided there would be a tree planted for each of the Regiments that liberated the city.  Our Museum at that time made an offer to supply a boxed “Poppy Quarter” to the main people or organizations involved.  Five of these coins were sent to be presented to:

  • Mayor Urlings of the City of Hoogeveen
  • Historische Kring Hoogeveen (Historical Society of Hoogeveen)
  • Museum de 5,000 Morgen (Hoogeveen City Museum)
  • Keep Them Rolling (Organization that keeps old WW 2 vehicles running)
  • Albert Metselaar (Our correspondent that did all the digging) 
  • Dragoons Poppy Quarter
    Dragoon Poppy Quarter

    In the last few days before the ceremony and with no Dragoons able to attend, Albert emailed us of a Dutch Interpreter who had served with the Dragoons in 1945.  We were able to verify this and Mr. Wim de Jongh represented the unit proudly.  It is reported that he had tears in his eyes when he had not received one of the five coins that were given out -- however the Museum will be sending him one shortly

    Albert sent us many photos from the ceremony, which we proudly share here on our Website.

    In the near future Albert will be sending an article of the Ceremony from the point of view of those who were liberated.

    On behalf of our Dragoons Museum and the Dragoons Association, who assisted in the research, I would like to express a hearty thank you to the City of Hoogeveen and the organizations and individuals who put so much work into this project.

    Gord Sim ~ XII Manitoba Dragoons Museum

    From the  Albert Metselaar Collection

    Albert dressed up to go to war with his leather coat, 
    Dutch underground arm band and bugle

    Army vehicles

    Veterans of the Belgian & French SAS forces

    To Photo Album II

    Albert Metselaar
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