Cycling around the country lanes of Limburg province I’m reminded of the 1914 poem by Rupert Brooke…..“If I should die, think only this of me:that there’s some corner of a foreign field that is for ever England….”
War memorials & CWGC cemeteries, mostly from WW2 are very common in this area.
Large numbers of Allied soldiers and airmen are buried & remembered in quiet corners of very flat Dutch fields, each one with stories to tell.
My 46 km ride today was a loop to the north & west of Weert.
First I came across an unusual monument in the village of Gastel, near Maarheeze, which required a little reseach to discover the full story..
It remembers three British soldiers who were travelling in an army truck containing munitions, on 8th November 1944. It failed to negotiate the bend, rolled into a ditch & caught fire before all the cargo exploded.
Two soldiers were killed instantly & the driver survived long enough to be transferred to hospital, before he died from his injuries.
Secondly, I came across an unusual monument to the crew of an RAF Halifax bomber, which crashed at the hamlet of Toom, near the Belgian border, on 28th May 1944, on it’s way to bomb targets in Germany.
Four crew died, including the pilot whose parachute apparently failed. The other four survived the crash but were taken as Prisoners of War by the Germans.
Finally, on the road back home , in Budel-Dorplein, I came across a church cemetery with a CWGC section containing four graves of British soldiers.
All from different units, killed on different dates.