Brunssum, the Netherlands – Sunday 10 November the annual Service of Remembrance was conducted in Sittard. This was the 52nd year that the Sittard War Graves Committee, the Mayor and community of Sittard have joined with members of the local British community, JFC Brunssum, and their families for an act of remembrance at St Peter’s Church and, later, at the Commonwealth War Cemetery, Ophoven.
This year organizers were delighted that the Governor of Limburg, Mr Theo Bovens, could attend. JFC Brunssum was represented by the Deputy Commander, Lieutenant General Stuart Skeates, CBE, and Colonel Frank Warda, the headquarters’ spokesperson. The British military community was represented by Group Captain Jeremy Johnson RAF; the Dutch by Colonel Petrus Kemna; and the French by Major Alexandra Francois.
Following a beautifully crafted service full of reflection led by Dean Wilbert van Rens attendees made their way to the Commonwealth War Cemetery. Once assembled, an equally moving service took place that included the laying of wreaths and the placement of poppies on every grave by children.
As has become the norm the people of Sittard turned out in considerable numbers to pay tribute to those who had made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. This year the War Graves Committee were pleased to host Mr Martin Hartigan and his family, sibling of Navigator Kenneth Hackett who is laid to rest at Ophoven, in grave B15.