The Netherlands / Cemetery
Over 3,900 war victims are buried at Loenen Field of Honour and include those who lost their lives in different places around the world due to various circumstances. There are military personnel, members of the resistance, people who escaped the Netherlands and went to England during the first years of the WWII to join the Allies (‘Engelandvaarders’) and victims of reprisal and forced labour. Those who died during the Indonesian War of Independence, military casualties from New Guinea and victims of peacekeeping missions in Korea, Lebanon, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Mali are also buried here.
In 1947, the Dutch Government decided to transfer to the Netherlands the remains of Dutch people who had been killed in Germany. These war victims had been laid to rest in foreign soil, and many did not get a decent burial. To facilitate this decision, in 1948, the Netherlands War Graves Foundation made plans for a Field of Honour in Loenen (municipality of Apeldoorn). Loenen Field of Honour was inaugurated by HRH Princess Wilhelmina on 18 October 1949. There are now almost 4,000 Dutch buried in this war cemetery and reinterments still take place regularly. Loenen Field of Honour was specially designed to scatter the graves over a 17-hectare wooded area. The graves are quite inconspicuous, and there are no straights lines of crosses. Each grave is marked by a flat stone, and each inscription conveys its own story.
The Field of Honour is the final resting place for a diverse range of Dutch WWII victims. There are not only military personnel who were killed in action, but also many civilians: members of the resistance, political prisoners, those who escaped the Netherlands to England during the first years of WWII to join the Allied forces (‘Engelandvaarders’) and victims of forced labour ‘Arbeitseinzatz’ in Germany. A centrally located chapel houses a shrine for commemorative books, a wooden triptych listing the names of the ‘Engelandvaarders’ and several urns containing ashes from concentration camps. In addition to WWII victims, since the 1980s, military personnel and civilians who were killed during peacekeeping and security operations have also been buried or reinterred at Loenen Field of Honour.