Regimental Family Contingent to Leeuwarden

Members of The Royal Canadian Dragoons are traveling to Leeuwarden, Netherlands to commemorate the liberation of the city in April 15, 1945. In the photo above: Jim Follwell, Dean Milner, Darnai Sukonthapanich, John Gaetz, Alexandra Brisson, Derek Edgell, and Tom Skelding

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13 april 04

12 April- enroute to Leeuwarden from Amsterdam we had a chance to see see the hotel where the Germans surrendered to LGen Foulkes of the CDN Corps and visited the Airborne museum and a bridge too far in Arnhem - Operation Market Garden

13 april 02
13 april 01

13 April - honoured our fallen in Holden CDN War Cemetery and visited Lettele, where we had a ceremony and reception with the town. Lettele was the town where we lost Tpr McCluskey,  Tpr Winter and Cpl Miller on 9 Apr 45

13 april 05
13 april 03
april 14 01

14 April -  was another busy day for the crew with visits to various points of significance for Dragoons. Of course the reception by our Dutch host was again incredible.

First we went to the town of Drachten where we were hosted by the town and witness the opening of a new Canadian Liberation Park, complete with pipes and drums and war era vehicles.

Then it was off to Mildam where D Squadron secured the only remaining intact bridge to keep momentum.

And finally a ceremony in the nearby town of Oldeholtpade to pay our respects to Tpr Berry and the townspeople who have supported the monument for all this time.

april 14 02
april 14 03
april 15 03

April 15 - Another great day that started in the capital of Friesland, Leeuwarden with the raising of the RCD flag at city hall.

We also participated in the opening of the liberation Europe trail where we were surprised with a monument dedicated to the Regiment, a great honor indeed.


The other place we visited was the town of Burrard, the place where Lt Buddell was killed during the liberation of the town that had one of the last bridges allowing German escape.


Finally, the group had the chance to say happy birthday to Jenny, the first baby born in Leeuwarden after liberation. Jenny was adopted by the Regiment to celebrate the day. HAPPY BIRTHDAY JENNY!!

april 15 02
april 15 04
april 15 01

April 16 - This is our last day of the official program. We were very fortunate to visit the town of Dokkum  where we stood in the square where B Sqn conducted clearing patrols and support to the Dutch resistance 14-16 Apr.

Next we stopped at the coastal town of Oostrnahorn where the sqn reinforced the resistance to repel a German amphibious landing trying to support German withdrawal. It was here that we lost Cpl J. Elliott and  Tpr DJ MacDonald.

Then it was off to Eenrum in Groningen province to the crossroads where the D Sqn liberated the town.

Final stop was Uithuizen in Groningen province where A sqn was operating to clean up remaining German forces and liberated that town.

Overall an outstanding and informative trip. We wish to thank the Dutch people for their continued friendship and the outstanding support the provided at every stop!!!  A big thank you to Tom Skelding for his in-depth history of the Regiment’s operation in The Netherlands. We will start planning our next Leeuwarden trip to very soon for the 80th anniversary.