Pictures from the Netherlands: then and now

Look at the expression on the boy’s face…

For that matter look at all the people’s facial expressions on all these pictures sent by a reader who lives in the Netherlands.

bevrijding 011Canadians liberated the Netherlands in 1945.

People never forgot.

bevrijding 012These pictures were shared this week by someone I have never met.

bevrijding 016Where were those pictures taken?bevrijding 034

The answer is just after this picture of a German soldier.

The look on his face says it all.

bevrijding 046

These pictures were sent to me by Hennie Berendsen. I asked him if I could post them.

He shared those pictures reacting to a post I wrote on this other blog about RCAF 403 Squadron.

You can read it here if you want.

Hennie had sent me some pictures about one of the pilots who was shot down in the Netherlands in 1945. I wrote his story in 2011.

You can read it here if you want.

Hennie read that post and he shared these pictures for my readers.

burial-place-hank-bird photo-wreck-1 photo-wreck-2

I always write something when someone shares pictures or stories and he or she wants me to share them. I do all this to find relatives of those who never came back.

I never got any messages from Admiral Byrd’s relatives. Maybe one day I will.

So what about these five pictures?

Hennie wrote me this…

Here are the pictures taken 31 march 1945 of the liberation of Ulft.
Canadian  8th RECC and Regiment Fusiliers  Mont Royal.
They took prisoners of German Fallschirmjager.

He added this after…

Hello Pierre,

I’ve pictures of  the liberation of  the place Ulft made by a civilian.
The liberators  Canadian 8th Recce with Les Fusiliers Mont Royal,
Easter Day  found us in the town of Ulft (war diary) MR 068670 sheet P-1 which had been entered the previous day against scattered resistance, consisting mainly of snipers and A/A gun stations used on ground role.

Thanks to Karl Lusink Drempt.

Ulft is a small town near the German frontier in the east of  the Netherlands, about 60 miles from the German Ruhrgebiet.

Many planes crashed in the neighbourhood, the résistance movement had helped also many pilots to escape. (Cappetti-line)



Hennie sent me more pictures with this message.


In honour of our Canadian Liberators a few years ago, they rebuilt a Bailey bridge over the river “Oude IJssel” in our town, as you can see in the attachment.


DSC00803 DSC00806 DSC00924


Dutch travel photographer Hans Hendriksen aimed to honour all the brave British and Canadian soldiers who liberated the central-eastern part of the Netherlands (called Achterhoek) from the 5-year German occupation in April 1945 by making this sequential compilation of restaured, improved and post-colorised historic photographs.

UlftClick here…


22 thoughts on “Pictures from the Netherlands: then and now

  1. I find the very first photo particularly interesting. The little boy is excited and admiring, the man at the rear is watching his friends’/family’s reactions, the girl and young woman are looking troubled and uncertain. There are many possible explanations for this – unable to believe freedom is for real? worried about the oil-covered face? frightened by a soldier on a motorbike…?

    1. The young woman in the first picture is my grandmother, currently 84 years old. Fantastic picture and nice to see how she resembles my mother (and probably me).

  2. The answer is…

    Bevrijding Nederland Liberation Holland Achterhoek "Bevrijding van Ulft op 1 April 1945" Ulft.06 by Hans Hendriksen

    This photograph of the liberation of the village of Ulft in the Netherlands by the First Canadian Liberation Army was taken on April 1th 1945. This image has been postcolorised by travel photographer Hans Hendriksen. The image is part of a fully colorised image compilation of 6 minutes that you can find at Liberation Route East Holland in full-color – April 1945.

  3. While doing some research a few years ago for my family tree, I was fascinated to learn that my grandfather, Captain Fernand Dale Bourcier, Régiment de Maisonneuve, was in consideration to be honoured in the naming of the new bridge in Ulft. Nobody in the family, including his daughter, my mother, had any idea about the role he played in the liberation. He chose to keep much of his war experience to himself, as many of his generation did, but every November 11 is when I remember and silently thank him for his contributions to the war effort. He is pictured on the left in the link below:

    1. Hello Jacques I wrote that article in the local newspaper, have you perhaps more information about your grandfather, for example his Army story?

      1. Hello Hennie, I received your message. I will contact you directly to the address Pierre provided.

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