At the end of the Second World War, there were graves of tens of thousands of Dutch war victims all over the world. Unlike the countries around us that had been involved in the First World War, the Netherlands had no organisation to look after these graves. On the initiative of Reserve Lieutenant-Colonel Dr. A. van Anrooy, head of the Identification and Salvage Service of the Ministry of War, the War Graves Foundation was established on 13 September 1946. This foundation received broad support from ministries, the Red Cross, associations of ex-prisoners and the former resistance. Queen Wilhelmina became patroness and Prince Bernhard honorary chairman.
The connection with the royal family has always remained and His Majesty King Willem-Alexander is the current patron of the War Graves Foundation.
In order to be able to give Dutch war victims a grave, the War Graves Foundation needed as much data as possible from Dutch people who died during the Second World War. The collection of these data was done by a small staff and a team of volunteers.
This small group managed to set up an archive with the data of all Dutch war victims. They searched the archives of the Ministries of War and Social Affairs, the National Institute for War Documentation and the Dutch Red Cross. At the same time, they traced next of kin and searched municipal archives to check whether the data they found was correct. In total, 180,000 Dutch people perished. 50,000 of them had a recognisable grave.
In 1952, the registration of victims was largely completed. After that, work continued until 1973 on registering the 130,000 victims who did not have a recognisable grave. This database and the archive form the basis of all activities of the War Graves Foundation: telling stories, maintaining war graves, managing the war cemeteries and providing information to next of kin.
Street: Zeestraat 85
City/ZIP: Den Haag/2518AA
It seems that the Netherlands War Graves Committee also produced a number of Postcards (I found at least six differents ones) of Nijmegen, which were given or they could buy them, to the Next of Kin who came over in the 50's and 60's.
I have post a number of these which I was able to get hold of, and where possible posted the deceased soldier information I was able to trace.
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Philip Reinders, 2016