XII Manitoba Dragoons
LIBERATION OF HOLLAND
Liberation of Lichtenvoorde
These two photos were taken in my hometown Lichtenvoorde, in the eastern
part of Holland. They were taken by the father (Willem Wekking) of my uncle.
He was a professional photographer before the war, and, as a true Dutchman,
kept on photographing/filming during the war, despite the severe penalties
which could result.
Lichtenvoorde was liberated about 8.00 hours in the morning of 31 March
1945 by the British Guards Armoured Division. 31 March was "Eerste
Paasdag" or "First Eastern Day". According to eyewitnesses the liberation
of Lichtenvoorde was easy (I think when you are in a fighting unit you
can never speak of an "easy" liberation) It was described as "they came
from Aalten and went to Groenlo".
Both photos were made later on this day, in the centre of the village,
opposite site of the church.
The actual liberation of Lichtenvoorde was also filmed on 8mm film by
the same man. The film shows a column of Shermans and Halftracks entering
the town from the direction of Aalten. The Shermans carry the numbers 52
and 48. In the film there also appear a Dingo and a Daimler armored car,
both clearly carrying the well known number "44" .
The XII Manitoba Dragoons
Enter the City of Vriezenveen
Amsterdam Parade on June
This photo was used in a collection
of postcards which was made in
remembrance of the "Bevrijdingsfeesten"
or "Liberation Celebrities".
This photo was taken at nearby Eerde, in the Ommen region.
The crew on this Staghound escaped unharmed
This photo was taken on the "Stationsweg" in Ommen
Regretfully two members of the Dragoons died here April
There is a small memorial on this spot in honour of
Lieutenant Thomas Wilson and Trooper Wilfred Soanes.
Lievelderweg 36 ~ 7131 MC ~ Lichtenvoorde
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