Let me introduce myself.
My name is Wim Rhebergen and I am a Dutch historian and author. I was born in 1960 in Aalten, Holland, close to the German border. Now I am living in a small village named Hoevelaken which is close to Amersfoort in the middle of the Netherlands. Although I was not in the war I have always been very interested in events that took place during the dark years of occupation. I feel continuing gratitude to all the men and women who gave or risked their lives for our liberty.
I have written two books and many articles published in Holland and England.
In 1991 my book “Vermist boven de Achterhoek” (Missing above the Achterhoek) was launched. The book describes in detail what happened during the last fatal flights of unlucky RAF bombers and the fate of the crew members who did not return to their homebases in England. The planes crashed in the Achterhoek, the area where I was born.
In 2010 my second book, “Britse littekens in Aaltense bodem” (British scars in Aalten’s soil) was published. This book is about the liberation of Aalten by the Grenadier and Irish Guards on Good Friday 30 March 1945. I have attached the front and back cover of my book.
I am in touch with veterans who fought at Aalten and relatives of those who were killed. Many of them have visited me in the past few years.
As a result of my investigations my wife Karin and I were invited to the Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in June 2006 which marked the 350th Anniversary of the Grenadier Guards in presence of Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh. I had the privilege to talk with Prince Philip.
In May 2010, immediately after the launch of my second book, we again were invited to Buckingham Palace. The 1st. Battalion Grenadier Guards were given New Colours. After the ceremony we had lunch with Prince Philip.
J.HARRISON, ROYAL ENGINEERS:
One of my latest projects is searching for more information about a British soldier who has been staying in Aalten for a few days, presumably immediately after the liberation of the town. Aalten was liberated on 30 March 1945.
This particular soldier has left a note and photographs with a local family who lived in Aalten at the time. On that note he has written his name, address and unit.
His name was J. (Jimmy or James) Harrison, service number 1894326.
He served with 145 Field Park Company, Royal Engineers (British Liberation Army).
His former address was: 153 Boundfield Road, Verdant Lane, Catford, London S.E.6, England.
Do you have any records for J. Harrison ?
What do you suggest me to do to find out more about this soldier ?
I look forward to hearing from you.
De Wetering 2,
3871 RJ Hoevelaken,