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Annual ceremony ended with death of last glider pilot


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

ELSHOUT The Brabant village of Elshout has held its final remembrance ceremony for the nearly 50 Allied glider pilots who hid for over a month in Elshout in September 1944. The gliders, part of Operation Market Garden, had landed prematurely in German occupied territory. The pilots were rounded up by the resistance who placed them with the nuns in a monastery, where Germans were billeted on the bottom floor. The municipality of Heusden decided to end the annual ceremony now that all the surviving pilots have died. Each year, World War II veterans from England and elsewhere attended the ceremony. One 93-year old English veteran had been surprised each year anew how new generations of villagers stepped up to keep the ceremonies going over all those decades.