Field of Honor World War 2 victims

In honor of the WW2 victims, born or killed in Markelo, a field of honor was established at the main entrance of the cemetery, consisting of:

a. central tomb,
b. 17 allied graves,
c. 4 graves of local resistance people,
d. 2 graves of civilian victims.

a. Central Tomb:
Late 1940 this monument was established in memory of the Markelo soldier Hendrik Olijdam. He was killed during the invasion of the Germans on May 10, 1940 in Doesburg, where he was defending the IJssel-bridge.
Initially he was buried in Doesburg, but end 1940 he was reburied in Markelo.

b. 17 Allied Wargraves:
On March 2, 1943 the first Allied bomber crashed at Stokkum. It was the Halifax W7877. One day later the 5 killed crew members were burried with German military honor at the front of the cemetery.

Last year a relative sent us the following buriel report with photographs of this ceremony.



On Thursday 2nd March, 1943 at 0.45 hours, at night, an English 4 engined Halifax bomber crashed in the community of Markelo in the hamlet of Oost-Stokkum, on the road through Stokkum near the farm of Wid. Kooymans; 5 members of the crew perished. 3 of them have been identified and 2 others are still unknown.

  1. Sergeant KELLY, Identity disc. NO. 1384311 nailed on the coffin
  2. Sergeant WATT, Identified by his port-folio.
  3. Sergeant SLOMAN, Identified by his pocket-diary.
  4. Unknown English flyer
  5. Unknown English flyer At the expense of the community of Markelo,

5 coffins have been made by the carpenters:

  • J. Ooms
  • J.H. Dijkink
  • D.J. Geurtsen
  • J. Hargeerds

The burial took place on 3rd March, 1943 at 11.00 hours in the morning. The undermentioned were present:

  • The representative of the Grave Officer of the German Military Forces Gefreiter Burtscheidt,
  • A firing party of 4 men of the German Military Forces,
  • The Burgomaster of Markelo,
  • Mr. A.P. Korthals Altes,
  • The Police,
  • Parson G.C. Schellenberg,
  • Neth. Ref. Comm. of Markelo W. Bartlema,
  • Ass. Parson of Markelo Parson Van ’t Riet,
  • Reformer Church in Goor,
  • Chr. Aarsen,
  • Chief Civil Defence,
  • J.C. Romijn,
  • Mun. doctor in Markelo,
  • W.J. ten Have,
  • secretary of comm. of Markelo,
  • A.J. de Wilde, Mun.-foreman-labourer.

The landowners from the vicinity of the place where the plane crashed were acting as bearers:

  • J.H. Oolbrink
  • R.J. Hargeerds
  • J.H. Wolbrink
  • J.W. Eertink
  • G.H. Heuten
  • G.H. Vruwink
  • H.J. Bomans
  • D.J. Kooijmans

The coffins were placed in the community burial on the 1st Row, from the middle path in series 1 – 5 from North to South with the Head to the Eastside (as shown on the card).

After this, the representative of the Grave Officer of the German Military Forces came to the front and rendered them the funeral hours which were as follows:

“Comrades, for so can I call you, for after death all contrasts disappear. We were adversaries in the fight, an honest fight in which you met your death as heroes in the air. The German Military Forces appreciate to honour you as such and to render you the funeral honours. Rest soft in this cool earth”.

Than a volley of 3 shots followed.

The Burgomaster of Markelo spoke at the communal graveside first in Dutch and then in German:

“Here we are standing on Markeloschen earth at the graves of the fighters from far countries. The fighting man is the pre-eminently living man, the man who does not know what his lot is bringing him, but the man, who is going out and is prepared to make sacrifices, if necessary the loss of his life, the highest thing Man can give. A person who is true till death, will be mostly esteemed by everyone, whatever the conviction of that person may be. But next to higher thoughts there is the simple human, the simple sorrow in the families who lost these men. They went out and greeted all those they loved, but that was for the last time. Airmen, here we are standing in the place of them, you loved most, and are wishing you on behalf of them rest after a fight. Rest soft in Markeloschen earth “.

After this the Burgomaster spoke the same in the German language.

Then Parson Schellenberg, Neth. Ref. Church in Markelo read out the Romans 8, couplet 18,19,31,32 and 35-39 and then the ceremony closed with the pray of “OUR FATHER”. Then the persons invited, filed before the graves. After Gefreiter Burtscheidt had greated the Burgomaster, the people were allowed to file before the graves in two’s. This was put to good use.

G.95875. (In 2011 this report is made available by relatives of Flight Sergeant Thomas Neville Sankey)






We neither have reports or photos of the l funerals from the Lancaster-crew, which crashed on May 24, 1943 in Groenland nor from the Stirling-crew, which crashed on June 23, 1943 at the Kattenberg.

It is known by testimonies that neighbours of the crash locations were acting as bearers and that both crews also were buried with German military honor.

Initially black wooden crosses were placed on the graves with the German text: Hier ruht (= here rest) and gefallen (= died).

The following 3 photos of the black crosses were supplied by relatives.






After the liberation in 1945 the black wooden crossen were replaced by white wooden crosses. See the following photos of the commemoration in 1946.

The next pictures show that in 1949 the wooden crosses were replaced by white steel crosses.






In 1955 the steel crosses were replaced by the current CWGC-tombstones, on which relatives could put a personal text at the bottom.
See picture at the top.

c. 4 graves of local resistance people:
Opposite the 17 allied Wargraves are the 4 joined tombstones of the Markelo resistance people Hardenberg, Romeijn, Ten Hove and Wondaal. In 1944 Hardenberg and Romeijn were suspected of spying, arrested and brought to the German Camp Neuengamme where they died in spring 1945.

Due to resistance activities Bouke Wondaal was executed by the Germans in Enschede on October 4th 1944 and Albert ten Hove was shot by drunken German soldiers when he walked to his barn to hide weapons only one week before the Liberation on April 1, 1945.


d. 2 graves of civilian people:
Jan Hendrik Wissink, he died April 10, 1944 in Wolfsburg Germany, where he was obliged to work. He probably died due to tuberculosis. 



Willem Immink, he was a farmer’s son and was shot by the Germans on October 18, 1944, because he refused to stop after he was ordered to do so. 

In addition to the above persons there were another 19 civilian war victims at Markelo. Sixteen of them were jewish people, all of whom died in German concentration camps.


Relatives of the remaining victims preferred to bury their family-member in a family grave.

The names of all 42 war victims are described on the Municipal Resistance Monument at Beaufortplein in the centre of Markelo.

Rev. 12 September 2012