Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery

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The Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery and Memorial (in French: Le Cimetière de Guerre Canadien Groesbeek) is the final resting place of 2617 soldiers, mainly Canadian, killed in World War II. It is located 2 miles North of the Dutch town of Groesbeek. The cemetery is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The cemetery is unique in that many of the Canadian soldiers fallen in nearby Germany are buried here. General H. D. G. Crerar, who commanded the Canadian land forces in Europe, ordered that Canadian victims were not to be buried in German soil, so that the cemetery is one of the few to which bodies were moved across international frontiers.

The cemetery was opened by the Dutch Queen Wilhelmina on May 4 1947. The location of the cemetery was chosen by the Groesbeek Mayor Jonkheer (Esq.) van Grotenhuis van Onstein. He found the location ideal because the cemetery is on a hilltop overlooking the border with Germany. The work on the cemetery began in the summer of 1945 and was conducted under the direction of six Canadian soldiers. After two years, the first version was finished in which the graves were marked with wooden crosses; later they were replaced by steel crosses. Finally, the crosses were replaced by tombstones made out of natural stone.

Burials by nation

  • 2332 soldiers from Canada (2191 Army, 141 Air Force)
  • 7 unidentified soldiers from Canada (4 Army, 3 Air Force)
  • 254 British soldiers (3 Navy, 211 Army, 40 Air Force)
  • 13 unidentified British soldiers (10 Army, 3 Air Force)
  • 2 unidentified soldiers from Australia (Air Force)
  • 1 soldier from New Zealand (Air Force)
  • 1 soldier from Russia (Army)
  • 1 soldier from The Netherlands (Army)
  • 1 soldier from Yugoslavia (Army)
  • 2 soldiers from Poland (Army )
  • 3 soldiers from Belgium (Army)