Today’s 33 km cycle ride visits four Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemeteries near Weert, Limburg.
The first at Swartbroek contains 51 graves & is located right next to the local church.
Moving on to the second one at Hunsel, I discover graves of seven RAF personnel, the entire crew of a Lancaster bomber which was brought down by enemy action on the outskirts of the village.
Nearby is a very well kept memorial on the site of the Lancaster crash & it’s particularly poignant to see that someone has placed seven fresh red roses in holders on the memorial.
Gratifying that even after all these years these men are being so thoughtfully remembered.
Moving on from Hunsel I come across another CWGC cemetery at Molenbeersel, just over the border in Belgium.
Here I find the graves of three RAF airmen, whose Wellington bomber crashed nearby having been brought down by enemy action.
The other three crewmen survived & were taken as prisoners of war, with one of them later being shot as he tried to escape from a German POW camp.
Finally I end up in Tungelroij, once again the site of a Lancaster bomber crash, brought down by the enemy.
The graves of four airmen are found in the CWGC cemetery inside the local churchyard & I subsequently learned that the remaining three crewmen survived the crash & were taken as prisoners of war.
Local historians tell me that 515 allied aircraft were brought down in Limburg province alone from a total of almost 6000 that crashed in the Netherlands in WW2.