CIVILIAN VICTIMS

In the violence of war that ravaged our village in September 1944, nine civilians were killed and a similar number were seriously injured. Civilians sometimes felt safe when the fighting seemed a little further away and had no idea about the range of projectiles. Sometimes it was also carelessness or terribly bad luck that killed them.

Driek van Houtum - Gerrit Groot

Driek van Houtum, 40 years old
Gerrit Groot, 23 years old (refugee)

September 25, 1944
Driek van Houtum had gone out early in the morning to go milking the cows with  Gerrit Groot from Zaandam, whom he had taken in his home as a refugee. They were fired on at Den Dubbelen near the Elize Hoeve. Gerrit was immediately dead. Driek, seriously injured, crawled a few hundred meters in a futile attempt to reach Willem Verhagen's house.
Driek left his wife Mieke with seven children.

Marjan Verstappen

Marjan Verstappen, 62 years old

September 29, 1944
Marjan Verstappen, taking advantage of a calmness in the fights, went to feed the chickens and collect some eggs. She was hit by a grenade that bounced off the facade of a house. Marian died instantly.
Postman Jan Deckers writes emotionally in his diary: "Marjanneke killed! That was all that this attack achieved. Marjanneke that good soul! Dead because of the war!"

Mobirise

Dorus van Heeswijk, 51 years old

September 30, 1944
While his family was in an air raid shelter in Eerde, Dorus van Heeswijk went to his house on the Vlagheide to secure money and valuables. The house was hit by a number of grenades. Dorus, father of eight children, did not survive. He was buried in the cemetery in Eerde.
A few days later, his wife realized that the family capital was probably buried along with Dorus. The grave was opened and the money and jewelry were indeed found in his inner pockets.

Mobirise

Jan Wallensteijn, 31 years old (refugee)

November 21, 1944
Jan Wallensteijn from Loosduinen was in hiding with the van Geffen family.
It was November, calm had returned to some extent in Eerde and the surrounding area.
On November 21, Jan cycled on the Boterpad past the farm of Jas van der Linden (now the farm on the grounds of the Mars factories). He was fatally struck by a bomb that was lost by an airplane that was returning from a mission over Germany.

Mobirise
Frans van Asseldonk, 20 years old

December 1944
Frans van Asseldonk from Eerde was working in the orchard of a farmer in Boxtel in September 1944 when he was hit by a grenade.
He died of his injuries three months later.
Frans was only 20 years old.

Mobirise
Graard van Grinsven, 46 years old

May 8, 1945
It was May 8, 1945. A few days earlier, the occupiers  acknowledged their defeat. Peace was signed. But the war continued to make victims.
In the Wijbosch Broek, Graard van Grinsven drove his horse cart onto a landmine, where he lost his life.

Mobirise

Ardina van der Heijden – Vissers, 53 years old

September 29, 1944
Ardina van der Heijden was on her way by foot to the hospital to visit someone there.
On the way, she was hit in the neck by shrapnel and bled to death on the spot.

Mobirise

Bert Korsten, 27 years old

Bert was walking along the railway with two other residents of Eerde when he discovered a booby trap. Bert had taken apart ammunition before and wanted to investigate this device as well. This time it went terribly wrong. Bert did not survive the explosion.

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