July 29, 2020

Sports Dutch woman who tended Scots soldier’s grave dies


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Media captionFor 75 years, Willemien Rieken tended to the grave of a soldier killed all by WW2

A Dutch lady who had tended the World Struggle Two grave of a Scottish soldier since she changed into a nine-365 days-worn lady has died.

After the Battle of Arnhem in Holland in 1944, children who had lived come the scene of the struggling with got a battle grave to relief.

Willemien Rieken, 85, looked after the resting position of Trooper William Edmund from Musselburgh.

Her dying has been presented by the Arnhem 1944 Fellowship.

She changed into surely one of many supreme surviving Flower Kids, teens that laid plant life at hundreds of graves of Allied casualties in a ceremony after the pinnacle of the battle.

Niall Cherry, secretary of the Arnhem 1944 Fellowship, stated the charity changed into saddened to be taught of her dying.

He stated: “She changed into surely one of many supreme surviving Dutch civilian hyperlinks to the Battle of Arnhem.

“Willemien changed into a perfect lady who tended to the grave of Trooper Edmund for loads of years. She will be able to likely be sadly overlooked.”

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Niall Cherry

Image caption

Arnhem 1944 Fellowship secretary Niall Cherry with Mrs Rieken

In September 1944, British, US and Polish forces dropped within the assist of enemy strains in Holland.

About 35,000 troops landed by parachute and gliders in what changed into then the biggest airborne operation in historical past.

Called Operation Market Garden, it changed into an strive to shorten the battle by shooting key bridges and canals, nonetheless the Allied forces had to retreat within the face of German counter attacks.

Mrs Rieken and her family, alongside with other residents of the village of Oosterbeek, had been caught up within the struggling with. Following the strive towards they had been compelled to head away their village.

Final 365 days, on the 75th anniversary of the strive towards, she spoke to BBC Scotland about why she felt it changed into well-known to continue her work sustaining Trooper Edmund’s grave.

She stated she wished to take into account the sacrifice made by the soldier and the more than 1,700 males buried at her village.

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