Brunssum, The Netherlands – 11 November, at 1030, the annual ceremony of remembrance was conducted at the Brunssum War Cemetery. A touching service was well attended by local VIPs and the General Public. Prayers were led by Padre Nia Williams and Father Vincent Goulmy, whilst Happy Hendrix contributed wonderful songs, one of which was the famous ‘We’ll meet again’, by Dame Vera Lynn.
Amongst others, wreaths were laid by:
Deputy Mayor Brunssum, Hugo Janssen, on behalf of the people of Brunssum;
Major General Mark Pullan – on behalf of Commander and staff of JFC Brunssum;
Colonel Bianca Jansen – on behalf of Netherlands personnel at JFC Brunssum;
Colonel Richard Blunt – on behalf of the British personnel at JFC Brunssum;
And, Squadron Leader (Rtd) Rex Thompson and Mr Steve Goodison – on behalf of the Royal Air Force Association, Limburg.
Note: Brunssum was liberated in September 1944 by US forces. Shortly afterwards the British 43rd (Wessex) Division made their headquarters in the town; they, in turn, were succeeded by the British 52nd (Lowland) Division. The first burials in the cemetery were made by an Advanced Dressing Station and a Casualty Clearing Station both situated at Merkelbeek, in November 1944, when the 43rd Division were engaged in clearing a triangle between the Rivers Roer and Maas. Later, other casualties were buried in the same place; these included fifty men who were killed while clearing mines on the German border at the beginning of January 1945. Operations in the Geilenkirchen sector account for most of the casualties buried here. There are 328 British military personnel buried in the Brunssum War Cemetery, one of whom remains unidentified.