News Articles

Zeeland village now home to monument for fallen defender

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

ANNA JACOBAPOLDER – The Second World War remains close to the Dutch consciousness. Explosives’ removal is a never ending activity, which regularly involves entire neighbourhoods. Reburial of wartime military casualties still occurs periodically as well as the erection of new war memorials. Thousands of amateur historians keep busy with aspects of local history, which is why a monument was recently relocated to St Philipsland to honour a Dutch army volunteer who lost his life defending the town when a German force raided a liberated area to take out an observation post and cause as much additional damage as possible. Breda-born section commander Piet Avontuur and his men pulled back to regroup at another line, which they held on January 23, 1945. Over sixty year later, people realize how close the German troops had come to retaking Anna Jacobapolder. One local civilian was killed by enemy fire. Six Allied soldiers lost their lives in the German attack: three Poles, two Englishmen and Piet Avontuur who now lies buried at the Loenen war cemetery.