On Friday June 21th, 2013 a monument has been revealed in commemoration to 21 crewmembers of 3 bomber aircrafts (Halifax, Lancaster and Stirling) at the General Cemetery of Markelo. These planes crashed in Markelo during World War II in 1943, while they were on their mission to Germany. The crewmembers originated from Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain. 17 of them perished and are buried in Markelo. Three crewmen survived the crash, but unfortunately have passed away and one crewman is still missing. After 70 years the personal background of 20 of the 21 crewmen has been unveiled and their faces are now connected to their graves.
The Fallen Airmen Memorial Markelo Association started the initiative for the foundation of the monument in commemoration of these brave men to give it a permanent place in the future of the community of Markelo.
Many family and relatives of the deceased crewmembers came from Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain and even Canada to the Netherlands to be present at the memorial.
From the rendezvous point many guests were transported by army vehicles of “Keep them rolling” to the by trees enclosed General Cemetery of Markelo.
The ceremony started, while it was pouring rain, with words of thanks, remembrance and in memory by many (international) representatives of for instance the Embassies of the countries of the fallen men, Dutch local and provincial governments and military attachés. Children of several local elementary schools laid flowers on the graves and in that way adopted symbolically the remembrance to these fallen crewmen for the future.
Also an extensive delegation of the Royal Air Force from all the participating countries attended to the ceremony during which they formed a guard of honor and performed a fly-past in two historical aircrafts, a Harvard and a B18.
The unveiling of the monument, the propeller and part of the engine of a crashed plane, took place by the family by removing a parachute which covered the monument. The Last Post was played solemnly and two minutes of silence was observed.
After returning, again partly in army vehicles of “Keep them rolling” and passing the inhabitants of Markelo gathered in the streets to wave and cheer, there was the opportunity to talk with all invitees in the local Lodge “De Pot”.
During the ceremony The Royal British Legion Holland Branch and The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 005 co-operated in a jointly Colour Party.
Pictures of the event are available in the Archive of RCL 005 (click here)
For additional information about the Fallen Airmen Memorial Markelo Association please go to: www.memorialmarkelo.nl