Thursday, October 20, 2016

WW2 | Willem van Stockum Gravesite

I have posted elsewhere the memorials to the crew of the two airplanes that crashed during the week of  D-Day.

My wife Alice Tepper Marlin and I attended a reunion of the relatives of the crew members in June 2014, 70 years after the downing of the planes.

In HvS's diary of her travels in 1954, she mentions the trauma she felt on finding her brother Willem van Stockum's gravesite without a marker.

The explanation for the absence of a grave headstone is in the letter dated Feb. 21, 1955 at left from the Imperial War Graves Commission.

Apparently the British were in charge of all the headstones for this gravesite and they made 13 headstones for the British and Commonwealth countries, including the Australian who piloted the second plane.

The Dutch Government was in charge of providing the headstone for Willem. They asked HvS what she wanted written on the headstone and she said: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13."

The headstone was delivered by the government, but without the inscription.

Related Posts: Memorials to Air Crews . HvS Diary of Travels, 1954 . New Edition of The Borrowed House (about WW2) . Letter 1 about The Borrowed House . Letter 2 . Letter 3 . The van Arkel Portrait . Time Bomber

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