Pays-Bas / Monument
Several reconnaissance operations were carried out in January 1945 to prepare for the Rhineland offensive. Sadly, not every soldier returned home after a mission.
The information panel commemorates Canadian soldier Ernest David Harrison, who was killed during a reconnaissance mission on 27 January 1945. He and seven other soldiers of the Canadian Scottish Regiment were due to carry out reconnaissance on German machine gun positions in the polder on this bitterly cold night, but were discovered and attacked near the Eindschenhof farm. The only survivor of the group, Sergeant MacDonald, was made a prisoner of war.
After the war, the German medic, Karl Missbach, who was involved in the incident, sent a letter to Harrison's mother, explaining the location of the field grave and informing her that he was to be given a Christian burial. With the help of this letter, Harrison's sister went to investigate and found the spot where the body was supposed to lie, and it is here where the monument now stands. However, the body was in fact not found here. There are several theories about this riddle: it could be that the body was washed away during the submergence or that the rather unclear explanation was misinterpreted and the grave is actually somewhere else. Chances are that Harrison found his final resting place in an anonymous grave in the Groesbeek soldiers' cemetery, among his old comrades.
The reconnaissance mission was one of many carried out in the Ooijpolder in January 1945, in preparation for the Rhineland Offensive. In this British-Canadian Operation, which started almost two weeks later, the Allies crossed the German border to achieve what had failed in Operation Market Garden - crossing the Rhine and advancing into the heart of Germany.
Duffeldijk, 6578 JH Erlecom