Tulips Placed At Each Grave At The Canadian War Cemetery In Groesbeek

speldje bevrijding

May 5, 2020.  While events planned for the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of The Netherlands were cancelled due to social distancing to prevent further outbreaks of coronavirus, organizations and individuals have found ways to mark the occasion.  One group from BC, the Dutch Canadian Liberation 2020 Society, planned many commemorative events.  (See https://www.dutchcanada2020.com/about-us/ )

When these had to be cancelled, the Society decided to pay for tulips to be placed at the graves at the Canadian War Cemetery in Groesbeek, The Netherlands.  Most of the soldiers buried in this cemetery fell during the fighting on the Lower Rhine between February 8 and March 26, 1945.  In addition, the names of 1,103 soldiers reported missing between August 1944 and May 1945 are listed on the Groesbeek Memorial, with only a few found since the memorial was put up.  The rest are still listed as MIA (Missing In Action).

The Cemetery was closed on the first two days in May while volunteers placed tulips in vases beside each grave.

Tulips arriving at groesbeek on may 1st spanjers

Tulips arrive at the Cemetery on May 1.  (Photo credit: Piet Spanjers)

close up of tulip by grave in groesbeek spanjers

Each grave had a vase of tulips placed by volunteers.  (Photo credit: Piet Spanjers)

Memorial Wall scheepers

Vases of tulips line the bench along the Memorial Wall.  (Photo credit:  Scheepers family)


Grave of L/Cpl Ralph Schurman BOULTER, North Nova Scotia Highlanders, from West Point. (Photo credit:  Scheepers family)

heneberry 1 scheepers

Grave of PEI soldier Sapper Joseph Edmond HENNEBERY, Corps of Royal Canadian Engineers, from Morrell. (Photo credit: Scheepers family)


Grave of L/Cpl Frank Edward MCGOVERN, North Shore Regiment, born in Chipman. (Photo credit:  Scheepers family)

Our thanks to Ad and Noor Scheepers for taking photos, including those of the graves of:

  • Ralph Schurman BOULTER, who came from West Point, PEI
  • Joseph Edmond HENNEBERY, who came from Morrell, PEI
  • Frank Edward MCGOVERN, born in Chipman, NB

You can read (or re-read!) about our 2019 and 2017 War Memorial tour visits to the cemetery here:

·         https://bordencarletonresearchproject.wordpress.com/2019/12/04/on-the-war-memorial-trail-our-2019-visit-to-the-canadian-war-cemetery-in-groesbeek/

·         https://bordencarletonresearchproject.wordpress.com/2017/12/30/on-the-war-memorial-trail-pei-soldiers-buried-in-the-canadian-war-cemetery-in-groesbeek/

·         https://bordencarletonresearchproject.wordpress.com/2017/12/25/on-the-war-memorial-trail-at-the-canadian-war-cemetery-in-groesbeek/

In an unrelated commemorative gesture, a group of Dutch farmers used tractors to spell out ’75 Jaar Vrijheid’ (75 Years of Freedom) in the shape of a torch. They were given a citation by Dutch authorities for not respecting social distancing rules! (Watch them make this tribute in a 42 second video at https://www.nu.nl/280619/video/boeren-vormen-fakkel-met-trekkers-in-wei-en-ontsteken-vrijheidsvuur.html?jwsource=em)

No photos have yet been found for Joseph Edmond HENNEBERY and Frank Edward MCGOVERN. Can you help? If you have information to share about any Canadian soldiers buried in The Netherlands, please contact Pieter at dariadv@yahoo.ca or comment on the blog.

© Daria Valkenburg

2 thoughts on “Tulips Placed At Each Grave At The Canadian War Cemetery In Groesbeek

  1. Pingback: 3 Short Videos About The Liberation Of The Netherlands | Borden-Carleton Cenotaph Research Project

  2. Pingback: Commemorating Liberation Day At The Canadian War Cemetery In Groesbeek | On The War Memorial Trail Research Project…….. with Pieter and Daria Valkenburg

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