Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery
|Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery|
|Commonwealth War Graves Commission|
Cross of Sacrifice
|For soldiers who were killed during World War II|
|Unveiled||4 November 1946|
|Burials by nation|
|Burials by war|
World War II: 2,617
|Statistics source: Cemetery details. Commonwealth War Graves Commission.|
The Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery and Memorial (French:Le Cimetière de Guerre Canadien Groesbeek) is located about three kilometres north of the town of Groesbeek, Netherlands. The cemetery contains 2,338 Canadian soldiers of World War II. It was built to a design by Commission architect Philip Hepworth.
The cemetery is unique in that many of the dead were brought here from nearby Germany. It is one of the few cases where bodies were moved across international frontiers. It is believed that all fallen Canadian soldiers of the Rhineland battles, who were buried in German battlefields, were reinterred here (except for one who is buried in Reichswald Forest War Cemetery). General H.D.G. Crerar, who commanded Canadian land forces in Europe, ordered that Canadian dead were not to be buried in German soil.
Thousands of Dutch children tend the graves of the soldiers buried here as they do throughout the Netherlands.
Within the cemetery stands the Groesbeek Memorial, which commemorates members of the Commonwealth land forces who died during the campaign in north-west Europe between the time of crossing the Seine River at the end of August 1944 and the end of the war in Europe. There are 1,103 names on the memorial; although since the date of completion of the name-panels, graves have been found for four men commemorated by it. The Bayeux Memorial in Normandy, France honours 103 Canadian servicemen and women.
The memorial consists of twin colonnaded buildings which face each other across the grass forecourt of the cemetery, between the entrance and the "Stone of Remembrance." The names of the men whose graves are unknown are inscribed in panels of Portland stone built into the rear walls.
On the third day during the Four Days Marches, the route leads along the Canadian military cemetery, and the military participants commemorate their colleagues from the Second World War during an impressive ceremonial gathering.
Among those buried here is Aubrey Cosens (1921–1944) of the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada who received the Victoria Cross. John Baskeyfield (1922–1944) of the South Staffordshire Regiment, who also received the Victoria Cross is remembered in the Memorial. Memorialized also, are Gustave Biéler, Frank Pickersgill, and Roméo Sabourin, Canadian members of the Special Operations Executive who were sent undercover into occupied France; all three were caught by the Germans and sent to concentration camps, where they were executed. Terrence Hicks GM (1920- 1944) of the 1 Parachute Sqn, Royal Engineers is remembered on the Memorial, The George Medal being awarded for an act of conspicuous gallantry in Gibraltar in 1942.
Nearby Commonwealth War Graves
- "'File:Cross of Sacrifice.jpg'". wikimedia.org. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
- Canadian Encyclopedia: Monuments, World Wars I and II Archived 2011-08-10 at the Wayback Machine.
- Aubrey Cosens at Find a Grave
- John Daniel Baskeyfield at Find a Grave
- Commonwealth Grave Commission
- WO 373/67 Pt.2 and London Gazette dated 10th July 1942
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery.|
- Cemetery details. Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
- Government of Canada website for Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery
- Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery at Find a Grave
- British Pathe news clip of the dedication ceremony, held on 5 May 1947 at the cemetery's Cross of Sacrifice with Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands