July 2005, Volume 25, No. 2

XII Manitoba Dragoons
Ubique Honor et Equis - Everywhere Honour and Equality

What's in this issue

What’s in this Issue 

Bulletin Board
Last Post
Dues and Donations
A Nation Remembers by Susan Jones
Museum Notes by Gord Sim
Visiting Holland
Readers Write
Holland Perspective ~ Holten
George Hoffman's Memories
Kit Shop and Contacts

Staghound Subscription: $10.00
Cheques payable to: 
XII Manitoba Dragoons Association
300 Total copies printed
XII Manitoba Dragoons Association
Secretary-Treasurer: Dolores Green  (204) 667-1302 
Newsletter Editor:  Lora Deighton   (204) 222-6000 
Email: loradeighton@shaw.ca
Send Dues, Requests & Submissions to:
Secretary-Treasurer: Dolores Green
778 Moncton Ave. 
Winnipeg, MB R2K 1Y5

Alternate Format: PDF Version


We sent a donation of $1500.00 to the Children’s Hospital in April. Thank you to you all who continue to contribute to the fund. 
Write Back 
Your ideas and comments are always welcome. If you have any suggestions, please send them along to us. We’d be 
happy to hear from you. 

Looking For... 
I’m looking for any back issues of the Staghound that you might be willing to send me. Even photo copies. Recently Jack 
Wilkinson sent me copies from 1944, 1945. If you don’t know what to do with your copies, I’d be glad to take them off your hands. Please contact me I will pay for postage. Thank you. 

Lora Deighton (address on the Credits page) 

"At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them"
We Remember your Walk
We Remember your Smile
We Remember your laughter
That was sure to beguile
Your presence we Miss
For you we have wept
We think of you often
Lest We Forget!
H77233 John D. (Jack) Rollo 
A104216 Tpr. Robert M Jewell 
C32239 Tpr. Harold F. Lauzon 
H77197 Casmir Miscavish 
H77639 Cpl. H.J Webb 
M104628 Tpr. John E. Landeen 
H77859 Tpr. John Slimmon
For the Fallen
They shall grow not old
As we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them
Nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun
And in the morning 
We will remember them
Laurence Binyon
Please note this list includes those who have sent in dues and donations since the last newsletter in March 2005.
If we have missed your name, it should appear in the next newsletter. 
Braden, H.D. 
Crone, H 
DeJongh, E.W. 
Goodday, B. 
Grant, A. 
Kochanski, E. 
Major, R. 
Paterson, L. 
Piper, J. 
Rae, M. 
Richardson, J.P.
Riddell, A 
Sales, R. 
Shadeed, E. 
Sim, G. 
Sweetland, H. 
Wanklyn, D 

Andrews, G. 
Archambault, J. 
Braden, H.D. 
Brooks, CM 
Clark, R. 
Crone, H 

DeJongh, E.W. 
Delmage, E & R 
Goodday, B. 
Grant, A. 
Hunt. A. E 
Johnson, G. 
Kochanski, E. 
Kool, W. 
Major, R. 
Masniuk, R. 
Mills, V. 
Neale, A.R. 
Paterson, L. 
Piper, J. 
Rae, M. 
Richardson, J.P. 
Riddell, A 
Sales, R. 
Shadeed, E. 
Sherbo, P. 
Sim, G. 
Slimmon, I. 
Sobkowicz, W. 
Sweetland, H. 
Tully, H 
Vanetta, L. 

Poppies Bloom Out of Season 

By Susan Jones 
Staff Writer ~ St. Albert Gazette 

Beside me on my desk are two Remembrance Day poppies. They are somewhat different from the poppies the Canadian Legion now distributes to commemorate Nov. 11. They are thicker and more like the poppies I remember as a child. There are no pins on the back, so I cannot stick them to my lapel and later lose them. These two poppies will be kept by me for a long, long time. 

The bright red symbols honouring those who fought in the wars were brought to me by Reg Hodgson. The St. Albert resident is editor of Army Motors, a magazine dedicated to the collection of vehicles used in the First and Second World Wars. Hodgson is a collector himself and three years ago in November, I visited him and saw his armoured tank-like vehicle called a Staghound. My task then was to find a St. Albert connection to the vehicle, which had been in action in France, Holland and Germany in 1945 along with members of the 12th Manitoba Dragoons. That day Hodgson and I discovered together that my Uncle Winsty had died in a Staghound, which was probably identical to the one before me. 

The resulting story brought me in contact with Dragoon veterans from across the country. First Dragoons Jack Simison from Ottawa and George Hoffman from British Columbia, who had not known my uncle personally, searched to find his comrades. One by one over the past three years I have heard from those men. I have received pictures from them of my uncle during the war and of his grave, which they visited in grief and remembrance. 

From Herb Nicholson in Winnipeg I received a phone call and letters. He was there the day a German bazooka blew up my uncle’s stag, killing him and officer Lt. Perrin. About every six months since I wrote that story, I have had a phone call or an email from veterans who, somehow, have just heard the story and want to know more. 

Last fall I received a phone call from retired member of Parliament Douglas Fisher in Ottawa, who told me he and my uncle had been friends from the time they trained on Vancouver Island to the day Winsty was killed. He told me stories about my uncle, who was apparently somewhat of a joker. He also told me that fate had kept him from being in the Staghound April 7, when my uncle died. The Gazette story, which was published in honour of Remembrance Day 2002, went on to win a Best History Feature award from the C a n a d i a n C o m m u n i t y Newspapers Association. 

All this for an uncle who died before I was born. All this for an uncle who was seldom talked about in our home because it was too painful for my mother. All this for a man I had never before honoured. I’m a baby boomer and, when I went to university in the late 1960s, I had at least two Vietnam draft dodgers for professors. I bought into the idea that war was bad and once even marched in front of the University of Alberta’s Student’s Union Building to protest the honouring of Remembrance Day and what I saw as the glorification and therefore perpetuation of war. 

And then this week, Hodgson told me how he purposely visited my Uncle Winsty’s grave because of me. Hodgson travelled to Holland to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of Second World War and the freeing of that country from German occupation. He rode 400 kilometres in seven different ceremonial parades in a Staghound owned by a Dutch collector 

"I rode in the operator-loader spot in the Staghound, which is where Winsty would have been. After 400 kilometres I can’t believe what they went through. It gave me a little inkling of what it was like," said Hodgson, adding he wore his Canadian parka and gloves because it was so cold.

"[Dragoon vet] George Hoffman told me the Staghound was like a wind tunnel and they nearly froze to death. Now I understand," Hodgson said, explaining that the cramped quarters were impossibly small for five men. 

Like me, Hodgson is too young to remember the war, but he was in Holland to honour the Canadian soldiers. On their behalf he received the cheers of the multitudes of Dutch people who came to the parades. They were cheers, he realized, given for the soldiers who died, the veterans who were there to commemorate the occasion and for their enormous effort in 1945 in Holland. But he also realized they were cheers honouring Canada and he felt great pride. 

Liberation Day May 4 

He told his host Marco Hognkamp he wanted to visit Winston Hooker’s grave and to his amazement, was told exactly which cemetery to go to. 

"Marco told me,‘Oh Hooker! He was buried in Holten,’ " Hodgson said. "I felt a bit ashamed because the Dutch know this history so well. They honour our Canadian soldiers as heroes and study them in school. 

At Holten, Hodgson felt a tremendous surge of Canadian pride as Gov.-Gen. Adrienne Clarkson spoke to thousands of visitors at the cemetery. Again to Hodgson’s surprise, when he went searching for my uncle’s grave, a stranger told him the row "where Hooker was buried." 

As he took photos of Winston Hooker’s grave, which is among the graves of 1,300 other Canadian soldiers, a helicopter flew overhead and dropped thousands of poppies. 

"Two fell on your uncle’s grave. I brought them home for you," Hodgson said as he placed them in my hand. 

Coincidentally the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War almost exactly marks the 60th anniversary of my uncle’s death in April 1945. 

He is remembered as a friend, by veterans like Doug Fisher, as a brother by my 90-year-old Aunt Laura and by the 
Dutch as a Canadian soldier, who died for his country and the freedom of Holland. He is among thousands and thousands of Canadian soldiers who met the same fate and are still remembered by fewer and fewer comrades and family members. 

Remembering those men does not glorify war. Quite the opposite. 

"It’s unlikely there will be another anniversary commemoration," said Hodgson, referring to the age of the remaining Second World War vets, most of whom are now in their 80s or 90s. 

Three years ago I searched for a St. Albert connection to a war that was over before I was born. Those two poppies beside my computer serve as a reminder of worldwide connections. In September 1914, Englishman Laurence Binyon wrote a poem about his friends who were killed in the First World War, the war that was to end all wars, but didn’t. 
I found his poem among my Grandmother Hooker’s possessions, where it was carefully tucked in beside my Uncle 
Winsty’s medals. Here are the famous words that Binyon wrote: 

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: 
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn 
At the going down of the sun and in the morning 
We will remember them 


26 Field Regiment RCA/XII Manitoba Dragoon Museum 

The Museum has been very busy doing research since September of last year to assist with the 60th Anniversary of the Liberation of Belgium and Holland. Some in greater depth, especially the one from Albert Metselaar in Hoogeveen. 

The Town of Virden sent a congratulatory letter to the Mayor and citizens of Hoogeveen for this event and 5 packets of mementos for each organizers. Our Museum also sent 5 Poppy quarters issued to comemerate “2005 The Year of the Veteran”. Each coin container fit in a box with the Dragoons Buffalo logo inside the lid. 

We had the privilege of talking to 3 of the Dragoons that made the trip to Holland this Spring either in person or on the Internet. Art Lyon offered to send us some pictures when he returned and we received a CD with 220 photos on it and an explanation of each set of photos. Art also dropped in for a visit while on the way to Winnipeg and on the way home to BC. If anyone gets a chance to drop in to the Museum we would be very glad to show them to you. 

I would like to thank all those who have been in contact with us over the last year for the information. Please keep in contact with us by internet or by regular mail at the useum. If we can help with any information we will certainly try. We appreciate any information or pictures of the Regiment and it’s members that you would share with us. 

The Museum has been invited to an Open House in Virden on 11 August from 1400 to 1900 hours. We would really appreciate it if any of you do attend you would come over to our table and introduce yourselves. 

Cheers from the Museum, Gord Sim 

If we can be of assistance in any information you may like please drop us a line by 

email: museum@12mbdragoons.com

or regular mail at:
XII Manitoba Dragoons 
1116 Victoria Avenue 
Brandon, MB, R7B 2N4 

Trip of Lifetime 

Dear Fellow Comrades:
I am sure happy I was the lucky one to receive an all expense paid trip to the Netherlands for thE 60th Anniversary Day 
Celebrations. It was the trip of a lifetime and the Dutch people still give us the ground they walk on. 

I found the graves of former Comrades Sneesby, Barlow, Tester and Deacon. I had the privilege of riding in a re-built 
Staghound that took five years to restore. Thank you to Dolores Green for her kindness and help to finalize my trip. 

Yours Always, 
Art Lyon 

Art Lyon during the 60th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands
Art Lyon during the 60th Anniversary of 
the Liberation of the Netherlands
Art rode in a restored Staghound
Art rode in a restored Staghound

Roy Webster’s Visit to Holland 

I was able to attend the 60th anniversary of the liberation and the 25th anniversary of Queen Beatrix as Queen. I stayed at the same host family as in 95 (1st cousin of Hermam Stegeman our historian). 

Russell Kennedy also stayed at Vriezenveen with the same host family he stayed with in 95. We were the only veterans at Vriezenveen so the two of us took part in the local festivity's as well as the various ceremony's at Groesbeek and Holten cemetery's and also the large parade at Appledoorn. It was a very full schedule so the time went quickly past. 

The crowds of people were just as large as at any of the previous celebrations and the gratitude and the enthusiasm of the people like wise. The greatest joy is from the little children standing in the rain and reaching up to shake our hands or even touch us and the mother or fathers holding their child up beside one of us so Grandma can get a picture for posterity. This was repeated many times along the parade route two miles or so. We had sunshine, light rain, heavy rain and a few minutes of hail but everyone stayed till the end. I would estimate that I shook hands a several thousand of times in the two hours along the parade route, got soaked like everyone else, but the adrenaline was flowing so fast that no one took note of the weather. One thing is for certain that in years to come when the rest of the world has forgotten the liberators of Holland, their children and grandchildren will still remember us and all of our comrades that gave their lives so that we all may be free. 

Best Regards to all 
Roy Webster 

Bayard Goodday’s Holland Trip 

A note to let you know I had a great trip to Holland for the 60th Anniversary ceremonies. I ran into Russ Kennedy at the Amsterdam airport after we de-planed and again at the Groesbeck Cemetery Ceremony. He was headed for Almelo and my host tour was Deventer. We were scattered all over and trying to find someone was like looking for a needle in a haystack. 

My sister, Betty, and her husband (a navy veteran) were with us and we stayed with a wonderful host family in Bathmen, a village 12 KM east of Deventer. The host committee of Deventer had a full program lined up for us, which was very interesting and entertaining thoroughly enjoyable. It of course included the official ceremonies at Groesbeek and Holten cemeteries and the final big parade in Apeldoorn on May 8th. One afternoon was devoted to a boat ride in a luxurious riverboat for a trip on the river Ijssel. At one point up stream the boat stopped in mid-stream for a special memorial service being conducted on shore at the very spot the first crossing of the river Ijssel by the PPCLI In April 1945. 

A highlight for me was the chance to visit Herman Stegeman in his home in Den Ham. I had corresponded with him but had never met him. He certainly is a great friend of the Regiment. He was a fountain of information and gave us information, which we put to good use during the trip. 

Another highlight was a day we took off from the program and devoted it to a day trip to the town of Klundert in the province of Nord-Brabant. This is a town 13 troop of C Squadron occupied and controlled for several weeks in November and early December 1944. The Germans were across the river from us. I had established a connection with a doctor’s family and used one of the daughters as an interpreter from time to time. The troop was well received by the town’s folk so much so the men put on a party for the young children on their Christmas December 6th I believe. Anyway our host phoned some Klundert town officials and found out there was a surviving daughter of the above mentioned doctor’s family and she remembered me. He contacted her and arrangements were made for a meeting. It was an emotional get-together. She is now 76 – a widow and her 2 grown sons were on hand when we arrived. The sons had many pictures of 13th troop and other momentous of our occupation of their town 60 years ago, which they had saved from family records. They were obviously very happy that I made the effort to come back to see them 60 years later. 

I found the visits to the cemeteries very emotional, particularly Holten, where I managed to find the grave of Gerry Soanes, who was my wireless operator when I was in 19 Troop – D Squadron. I handed out various Regimental memorabilia. All in all it was a memorable trip and I am glad I was finally able to make it to what in all probability was the last official celebration in the Netherlands.

With kind regards,
Bayard Gooday 

Liberation of Vroomshoop 

The following letter was sent to Nelson Smith 
In the local newspaper here was a little article that told about what happened on one of the last days under the German oppression in 1945 in a village in our neighbourhood called Vriiezenveen- Vroomshoop. It says, “The liberation came just in time. The furious Germans were preparing a mass execution of villagers of Vroomshoope because the day before five Germans had been killed by members of the underground organization. Fifty men, women and children were taken from the houses of the Hoofdstreet, Orangestraat and Tonnedike and lined up along the border of the local canal to be executed. In that very moment an armoured car of Manitoba Dragoons appeared and made the Germans hurry up to flee. So the fifty lives were saved by the regiment of the Manitoba Dragoons.” Further on in the article written is about a Fly Pass that will take place on April 5th as a remembrance of the liberation of this village 60 years ago. 
Rieky en Meindert van der Woude - Almelo 

Let me respectfully suggest that it's time to relate what you went through, both the good and the bad. I's also like to let you know that there are still many of us in the following generations who respect, remember and are both proud and humbled by your accomplishments and the freedom you have passed on to us. On VE-day, I'll be driving my restored 
1944 CMP Chev 3-ton cargo truck. 
Marc Montgomery 

Our Heartfelt Condolances 

Sadly we learned of the passing of Art Lyon’s wife and David Blackburn’s wife recently. We wish to send our condolances to the families, and all the families who have lost a loved one. 

Nephew of Brigadier Roberts Writes:

I am the nephew of the late Brigadier Roberts who was the Commanding Officer of the XII Manitoba Dragoons during the war, before being promoted Commander of the 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade. 

Brigadier Roberts has entrusted all of his wartime memorabilia, files, etc. to me. It is my intention to go through this material in the near future to see whether any of it should be sent to the Association for its archives and/or its museum. 

I am writing to ask whether it might be possible to obtain a full set of "The Staghound" newsletters as published weekly throughout the War from the time of the Regiment's arrival in England until cessation of hostilities in 1945. 

When my uncle visited me in Victoria BC in 1984, I arranged for him to reunite with some of the local ex-Dragoons, including Sgt. Bill Ward who was the editor of "The Staghound" throughout the war. Bill was kind enough to allow me to look through his file of back-issues and I read a number of items regarding my uncle, and a few referring to my father who also served in the Regiment as OC A and C Squadrons. Sadly, Bill passed away about four years ago and his widow is now confined to the Lodge at Broadmead in Victoria, a care facility for veterans and their families. His file of back-issues has been disposed of, destination unknown. 

Does the Association have a copy of my uncle's autobiography "The Canadian Summer" which includes a complete record of his military career, with particular emphasis on his years as CO of the Dragoons? If not, I will be pleased to 
provide it with a copy. 

Michael Roberts 

Note: We are looking for any copies of the Staghound that you can send us. Please contact me Lora Deighton at the address or phone number on the back of the Newsletter. Thank you. 

Impressed Reader 

I came across your Manitoba Dragoons webpage recently and wish to congratulate you on the work you're doing to keep the memory alive. 

It is sad for me (next generation) to see so many names in the Last Post. Good to see Doug Fisher still kicking, alhtough I 
hope he doesn't stop his writing career too soon! 

For the other vets, please pass on your experiences.Too often indeed, I get requests from sons and daughters who wish to learn more about what their Dads did in the war. 

Your experiences are a part of Canada's heritage, and a vey honourable part at that.

Setting the Record Straight 

Hi. Great to receive the March issue of the Staghound, but it was no pleasure reading the last post. I saw both Ken Farmer and George Campbell at the Voorst Airshow on a hot May3/95 in Holland. I met Ken while walking in a crowd. Ken was looking fit,bareheaded,white shirt open at the collar,dark jacket,only thing identifying him as a Canadian was his Order of Canada on his lapel. I was sitting in the stands with my wife Alice and George spied my black tam and hat badge and came up into the stands to talk to me. 

In George Hoffman's Memories (March 2005 issue) while staying at the Kazerne I was amazed that he would disparage a fellow Dragoon and decorated W.O.2 with his remarks, and then go on to demean himself and his uniform to kick a Dutch boy down a flight of stairs in an apparent fit of anger. The late Sgt.Johnny Spence was also a friend of mine. Alice and I met and talked to him a number of times at reunions after the war.As I recall our Sgts mess at the Kazerne was a dry mess.There was not that many Senior Ncos around in our last months in Europe and they were laid back bunch of guys.Our Sgts messes in the UK were dry messes.When you were getting $1.70 a day and sending half of it home,you really couldnt afford more than a pint or two of mild and bitter(mud and blood). Officers messes were wet messes. They were the boys with the bucks. In the last weeks of the war NE Holland some of the boys in the Regt hurriedly loaded up a truck full of Bols from Amsterdam liquers from a German suppy dump. Apricot Brandy, sherry whiskey, Advocat. All that easy to drink but potent stuff. For a couple of months after the war some Sgts messes were wet. RHQ and HQ had a posh mess on the second floor of the Orange Hotel in Leeuwarden.I recall one evening on the second floor balcony of our mess,a now deceased Sgt dancing on a table. 

When we were in Holland in 89 Alice and I visited the Orange Hotel but it had been torn down and replaced with a new one. Reading on in George’s Memories I find he had resurrected and embellished my old love affair with Lena Berens.We never did go to the Berens residence in Den Haan for a going away party as George states. Nor did I ever go on a weekend with George to Den Haan.George and I did have a memorable time on a warm Sept day in 1944 when we cycled along the dune coast on bicycles built for two with our girlfriends and had lunch in Wenduine before returning to Den Haan(Le Coq sur mere. Coming back to our departure from Ostend I had phoned Lena a few days before telling her our deparure day and time.She was at the pier to meet me and wave me good bye.It was and is a very poignant memory in my life. Heading for Dover I had four guns in my kit bag. An 1894 Model Winchester rifle,a Belgium double barrelled 12 gauge shot gun, a 7.65(32 colt)Walther pistol, a P38 9mm revolver and case.We disregarded the stern warnings coming over the loudspeakers on the boat "Any persons caught with weapons will be sent back to the occupation force in Germany.All guns came home safely.Only one in my possession now is the P38. 

Prior to our Regt. trip to Europe in l989 I made contact with Lenas brother. He and his wife met us at our hotel in Brugge. We toured the city briefly, had lunch with some of the gang. Then Sylvaind and his wife Andrea drove us to their home "Villa Avendrood" in Knocke. We had lunch on their patio. I talked to Lena on the phone. She was living at this time on the Island of Corsica in the Meditteranean. We then toured west along the dune coast to Den Haan and then back to Damme on the Leopold Canal for a delicious seafood supper. I feel I made the right decision for Lena and myself. There is much that could be said but the Staghound is not a tabloid magazine. This year my very dear wife Alice and I are celebrating our 55th wedding anniversary. 

I have been retired since 1983. We have spent 17 winters in Arizona and our summers at Madge Lake in Sask. Archie Butt used to walk past almost every day with his dog Rusty. Well cheers to all you fellows, we are getting to be a rare breed. Only two of us left in the Swan River Valley, young Omar Lamb (79) and myself. Legion calls me out to Legion Funerals, two in the last six weeks. 

Archie Glenn Riddell 

Jack Rollo 

We were very lucky to have a gorgeous day for Jack’s funeral it was unbelievable. Jack told me often he wanted pipes at his funeral, so when I asked for pipes they were doubtful, said maybe if the weather changed and it did! A gift from heaven, everyone took his time not the hurried we usually see, it sure does make me feel good. 

Everything looked so nice, the green carpet and our stone. The Virden cemetery is very beautiful with many big old stones on a big area of sandy soil, the only thing is it’s dry and flowers die quick. 

Elise Rollo 

Elise phoned to tell us of Jack’s untimely passing. When I last spoke to him he said he was feeling pretty good. 

Jack and I were in 20th Troop of “D” squadron – he was the driver and I was the lowest form of human life, the Lance/jack (that is an old expression) which you may not have heard before. Our car was #204, the only one that I know of that we equipped with a 50 caliber Browning and a 30 caliber side by side. He was a good steady driver and we 
got along well. I will miss our conversations – we used to be in touch every few months, mostly to talk about the 
latest doctor’s appointments is seems. I’ll take this opportunity to say thanks for your continued efforts to keep 
everyone in touch through the Staghound – much appreciated. 
R.C. Major 

Just to Clarify 

Just received the Staghound – thank you to all who keep the “old vets up to date on Regimental happenings. 
I would like to clarify any confusion that might arise concerning the letter from J.Flemmings. The armoured car 
mentioned that drove over a mine was from 17th Troop, not 19th. Beside Sgt Balfour, the crew consisted of S.L. 
Anderson, P.J. Devine, M.W. Hamilton and A.J. Morris. I was a corporal in 17th Troop and A.B. Megave was our troop leader. 
Lorne Paterson 

(Please note we always do our best to get names right, it is sometimes hard to read handwriting) 

Liberation of Hoogeveen, The Netherlands, 60th Anniversary 

On October 18, 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 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 44 Euros, first to Veterans and then to son’s 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 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 offered 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 - 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 
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. From reports he had tears in his eyes when he had to give all 5 coins out,however the Museum will be sending him one shortly. 

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 from our Museum and I am sure from the Dragoons Association as well, who assisted in the 

To follow is a submission from Albert Metselaar and some photos of the ceremonies. 

By Albert Metselaar 

Monday, April 11, 2005. It feels like time stood still. More than thirty WW2 vehicles are standing, riding, making noise like war is ready to come, and the heavenly smell of fresh burned diesel is going through my nose and my clothes. I am dressed in my old leather coat, helmet on and army bugle at my side, so let them come, those damned jerries…. I realise that we had more trouble in Hoogeveen and my home-village Hollandscheveld with Dutch people, who worked together with the Germans. The cruellest SS-men were Dutchmen. They tortured more than 175 people in the school next to the church in Hollandscheveld. But in the talk of the people, they where all jerries… 

I am standing between more than 60 people, young and old, with only one love: keeping the old vehicles rolling. We start our tour on 09.30 hours. One of the cars stopped immediately. Yesterday he did it perfectly, but alas, it is today. Another car, a Bren gun carrier, stops after 5 minutes. Yesterday he did it perfectly. Our trail goes to the Town Hall, where the mayor of Hoogeveen is waiting with guests. The mayor, Mr. Urlings, is giving a speech. After that I introduce him to Mr. Meerpoel. The people of Hoogeveen could not believe that they where liberated on April 11 by Canadians and Belgians. Mr. Meerpoel is a veteran of Belgian SAS, an English parachute regiment. He was in Hoogeveen on April 11, 1945, liberation day of Hoogeveen. He is my still living witness that I am not having too many fantasies. Mr. Meerpoel has been talking to two French SAS-soldiers, also veterans, also in Drenthe in 1945. The long trip through Hoogeveen and area is to cold for them, but Meerpoel told me: “I will never be back to Hoogeveen at my age, and if it is the last I do, I will do it all today.” So we help him in an open car, having warm clothes and a big jacket loaned from somebody. We have to keep him warm, because he has to do a job this afternoon. The fourth veteran, Wim de Jongh, translating Dutch to English for the Manitoba Dragoons in January 1945, is still at home. He will be here this afternoon. 

Mr. Wim de Jongh represented the unit proudlyWe are driving through Hoogeveen, liberated on April 11, and the area, liberated on April 10 1945. Beautiful weather, a little cold, but the sun is shining like 60 years ago on this day, so we will have no problem with it. I am sitting in the first car, an original Willy’s jeep, with Hagge Trip, leader of Keep Them Rolling, the WW2-car association, for today. 

We are riding through all the villages in the area of Hoogeveen, and everywhere we see Dutch flags, people shouting, orange-colours, happy faces, so it must have been 60 years ago. I have my eldest army-bugle with me, type American Civil War, and am trumpeting everywhere we come. The real WW2 was not filled with trumpets, but we were also not liberated by the US, so that most of the cars in US colours this day are also not original to this day. We make a happy day together, people believe having a part of the last war in their backyard, they feel like it was 60 years ago, and that is what counts today……. 

The mayor of Hoogeveen starts a second speech, and Wim de Jongh honours the organisations that organised this day with a beautiful coin, given by the Manitoba Dragoons Museum. It is not an official medal, but given on this moment, for what we did for the people who liberated us, feels like having an official medal. We walked to the park, in front of the town hall, where the people of Hoogeveen where waiting. Three trees were planted, maple leafs, to remember our liberators. One tree for the Canadians, and especially for the Manitoba Dragoons, one tree for the Belgian people, and especially for their parachutists of SAS, one tree for the French people, and specially for their parachutists of SAS. 

N. Probizanski ~ H77424 ~ Died April 11, 1945  Age 22Those where the memories of April 11. But there still was another special day for me, and that was May 4, on Holten cemetery, where the Canadian soldiers of the north of the Netherlands are buried. I expected there, veterans of the Manitoba’s, 8th Recce, the South Saskatchewan Regiment, the Fort Garry Horse, and other people who liberated Hoogeveen. I found none of them, but we (Marga Zwiggelaar, Hagge Trip of Keep them Rolling, my wife and I) had a good day. We arrived very early at the cemetery. 

Those two hours were quick going, because there was a lot to see and to do. We went to the grave of John Mckee, who died on April 11 in Hoogeveen. We laid flowers on his grave. With the flowers we gave the words: Thank you very much, the citizens of Hoogeveen. We found John burried next to a trooper of the Manitoba’s, who is also killed on april 11. Does anyone know him? 

My heart and my brains are full of memories. My digital camera is full of pictures. Let a part of them go over the earth, and let them make great the name of the people that liberated Hoogeveen, or died for that liberation: the Belgian Parachute Regiment SAS, the Manitoba Dragoons, the South Saskatchewan Regiment (John Mckee) and the French Parachute Regiments SAS (Jean Salomon Simon). 

Let’s not forget….. 

Entrance at Holten Cemetery
Entrance at Holten Cemetery


When it’s spring time in Manitoba
And the gentle breezes blow
About seventy miles an hour
And it’s fifty-two below.
You can tell you’re in Manitoba
‘cause the snow’s up to your butt,
And when you take a breath of air
Your nose holes both freeze shut.
The weather here is wonderful
So I gues I’ll hang around.
I could never leave Manitoba
My feet are frozen in the ground!


Little Pill, here in my hand,
I wonder how yu undersand;
Just what to do or where to go,
To stop the ache that hurst me so.
Within your covering is relief,
You work alone in unbelief;
You sink to regions there below,
As down my throat you quickly go.
But what I wonder little pill,
How do you know where I am ill?
And how you really know
Just where you are supposed to go?

I’ve got a headache that is true
My broken bones need attention too;
So how can anything so small,
Find my aches in no time at all.
Do you work alone or hire a crew,
To do the good things that you do?
I’m counting on you mighty strong
To get in there where you belong,
Don’t let me down and please don’t shirk;
But do your undercover work.
So down my throat - be on your way,
And end my aches another day,
Don’t make a wrong turn, is my plea,
‘Cause I can’t take another - til after three.

George Hoffman’s Memories

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