Relation with Lake (class): Lake Area Cemetery (LAI)  
Total nr. of casualties buried here (TC): 42 end WW2, today: 29. 
Lake casualties, initially, end WW2 (LC-I): None.
Unknown today: 5.  
of which unknown from Lake (LC-U): 0
of which unknown from North Sea (NS-U): 5
Initial burial site in WW2: yes.
Post war burial site for collection and reburial from other sites: yes 
Cemetery with Lake casualties today: no.



           
OLDEBROEK GENERAL CEMETERY  "EEKELENBURG"


During WW2 four aircraft crashed east of Oldebroek. Their crews were the first airmen buried in this village, 15 men in total. One American paratrooper, scout Ted Bachenheimer of the 504 PIR (82nd Airborne Division) was also initially buried here (grave 14). Read more on this below. 

In August 1947 an English Missing Research & Enquiry Unit temporary stationed on the Dutch Army base Oldebroek, inspected the smallest Dutch Frisian isle: the island of Rottumeroog. This was (and is) nothing more than an uninhabited sandbank in constant danger of overflooding. During WW2 it had a German guard-station and washed ashore Allied were buried in a sort of vegetable garden in the sand, with simple crosses that could not endure the North Sea weather. In 1947, the MRE-team was shocked by the terrible state the abandoned grave site was in, and the danger of the sea. They found (digging) 28 war graves on the plot (most crosses were gone) and decided to bring them without any delay or paperwork back to the mainland, before it was too late.  

The unexpected exhumed remains were not planned to take back and caused a logistical problem. Centralisation war cemeteries as in Bergen-op-Zoom or Nijmegen-Jonkerbos were not there yet or designated as such. Therefore the team took the 28 war dead from Rottumeroog with them to their base in the small village of Oldebroek. They knew there was a new cemetery (Eekelenburg) there, with already airwar graves and enough space. Among the dead were 13 French war casualties, washed ashore on Rottum island end July 1940 (Dunkerque victims). 


   
Dutch name cemetery: Oldebroek begr. pl. Eekelenburg 
Full name: Oldebroek General Cemetery "Eekelenburg"
Address (usable for car navigation):
Mheneweg-zuid 38-40, Oldebroek.

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PELOUSE D'HONNEUR
In 1947, upon arrival of the 28 Rottumeroog war dead, they were buried in the usual war graves plot lay-out; strait rows with crosses.

The photo above shows today's unusual (for the lake region unique) half circle grave lay-out. It dates from the 1950's. The official term used is 'Pelouse d'Honneur', French for 'Field of Honour'. In the summer of 1949, all French war dead in the Netherlands were assembled and repatriated to France or reburied in Kapelle; the central French war cemetery in the Netherlands. After the 13 or 14 French casualties in Oldebroek were exhumed, the site had to be reconstructed. Clearly the French influence on the reconstruction is visible.




The situation in Oldebroek end WW2, May 1945 (before the 'Pelouse d'Honneur'):



































TED BACHENHEIMER
On the morning of October the 23rd 1944, an American soldier was found dead (shot) just 2 miles down the road of this cemetery. The front line was fixed at the time and lay 32 miles to the South of Arnhem. Not one of the civilians that had to bury him, knew or could imagine he was a scout of the 82nd Airborne and came from the front line. The only explanation for being so deep into German controlled territory was that he was an airman. So they buried him in grave MR 14 as 'Bachenheimer, T.H. American flying officer'. April 1946 he was exhumed and reburied in the US War Cemetery "Ardennes" in Neuville-en-Condroz (Belgium). In 1949 he found his final resting place in California. 














For more on Ted Bachenheimer read here:  Intro page 1  -  The Island page 2   -  Oldebroek page 3  -  Map Oct 1944 page 4.



ROTTUMEROOG TO OLDEBROEK
In August 1947 the casualties from Rottumeroog island arrived in Oldebroek and were interred next to the 15 men already here. We believe that the English Missing Research & Enquiry Unit took also with them 13 French casualties from the island and buried them here in grave 24 to 37. Since the exhunation of the French, these grave numbers are still empty today in the cemeteries administration.
     

































 






























































THE FRENCH TO KAPELLE 1949 (Kapelle PLOT B, ROW 3)
In the summer of 1949, all French war dead in Holland were repartiated to France or centralised in Kapelle. Since then, the military grave numbers 24 to 38 are not mentioned or used in Oldebroek anymore. The names of the 6 French soldiers in above list are retrieved from old files (see our site article on cemetery Rottumeroog). It is possible the names where not known at the time of burial in Oldebroek, because burial files were not present during the exhumation on Rottumeroog. We assume the 6 men with name were repatriated to France and the 7 not-identified were moved to Kapelle in 1949. However, the row in Kapelle with victims originating from Rottumeroog contains 12 NON-IDENTIFIED French soldiers. Did the French grave recovery team find another 5 unknown French graves on Rottumeroog in 1949? Or are the 6 men that originally lay buried identified with name on Rottum now buried in Kapelle as non-identifi√©?


R. LAMBERT MIA
In grave 38 was resting R. Lambert (see above). This person was identified as British RAF Sgt. Raymond Lambert (1525044) on 11 January 1946 on Rottumeroog Island. Apparently this ID proved to be wrong, since his grave is no longer here and he is declared missing in action. Presumably this person was French or American and moved from Oldebroek to another cemetery. Lambert was no Dunkirk victim since his was ashore date was 10th of April 1943. He crashed in the Wadden Sea, north-west North Sea or north off the Frisians Islands probably in January - March 1943. Lambert could have been also his first or middle name.










































  


























The above table shows the 29 men that lay in Oldebroek today, incl. their present grave numbers. The men are no longer buried in the above order. In the construction of the Pelouse d'Honneur some were moved again, possibly also for identification purposes, but they did not received a new grave number. For example Wing Commander Murphy and his navigator Darbon lay now between the men from Rottumeroog island. For a more information on W/C "Sticky" Murphy and a visit of his daughter in 2011 click here:  http://www.oldebroek.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=14619#p14619     b

For an excellent photo serie click here:  https://picasaweb.google.com/114687557657941904914/HerdenkingVliegtuigcrash1944?gsessionid=2TELKCH_ZmbCAT-Nk-l74A# 



KNOWN TO GOD
Because of the equal washing ashore location on Rottumeroog and the time frame, there is a connection between P/O Gerry and the unknown men in grave 17 and 19, see above table. The same between Sgt. Netik and grave 22. See for this also our file on Rottumeroog cemetery.



GERMAN SOLDIERS
Buried in Oldebroek: Carl Bremer. And an man from India who was soldier in the German regiment 'Free India'. He was executed by the Germans in 1943. In Wezep was buried: Frans Schlossarzyk. In Oosterwolde: Karl Heinz Horold (washed ashore IJsselmeer?). They were reburied in Ysselsteyn.




Research ZZairwar ¬© 2013

       
Sources:

- Site: Not forgotten Holland. Free Czechoslovak Air Force
- Site: 626 Sqn Willem de Jong Rottum Island Toxopeus
- Site: Herdenking vliegtuigcrash 1944 Stichting Oldebroek.net
- Site: Index begraven Oldebroek 1907 - 1950
- Site: Wikipedia Peter Baker (British politician)
- Site: ww2historyproject.org A Tribute Ted Bachenheimer
- Site: military.com Tribute Theodore Bachenheimer
- Site: Strikehold504th - Holland
- Site: Go2war2 Bachenheimer (Dutch language only)
- Book Oldebroek in Oorlogstijd (- in wartime). Albert Visser/De Broeklanden, 1995.
- Magazine Then and Now nr. 117 (2004) Frank van Lunteren & Karel Margry
- Biography Ted Bachenheimer by Frank van Lunteren & James McNamara