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Monument to Antonio Barbaro


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The monument with information panel that was unveiled in September 2014 preserves the memory of 22-year-old corporal Antonio (Tony) Barbaro, who was killed during a successful attempt to save two comrades from death by drowning. When the boat in which they were sitting capsized, he gave the only two life jackets to his brothers in arms, because they could not swim. He himself tried to reach the river bank by swimming. The unfortunate Barbaro was swept away by the strong current in the river Meuse and drowned.

The monument by the river Meuse overlooks the place where he drowned: Lance Corporal Antonio Barbaro of the Royal Canadian Engineers 23rd Field Company.

 Early in 1945, the Canadian Royal Engineers started building a Bailey bridge on the pillars of the railway bridge at Mook that had been blown up by the Germans on 17 September 1944. On 15 February 1945, around half past 9 in the morning, a motor boat took off with three persons on board: Tony Barbaro, H. Malone, and A.E. Sager. After heavy snowfall in January, the water level in the river Meuse was extremely high because of the high quantities of melt water. There was a powerful current. At a considerable distance from the bank, their boat hit one of the pillars and was wrecked. Without a moment's thought, Tony gave of one the two life jackets they had with them to his comrades. The two men could not swim. A trained swimmer himself, Barbaro tried to reach the bank without a life jacket, but proved no match for the current that was very strong at the time. He was swept away and drowned. His body, which was not recovered until two months later, was buried in the temporary cemetery at the Baily bridge in Mook. Later, he was reburied in the Canadian War Cemetery in Groesbeek.

De Municipality of Mook en Middelaar has proclaimed Barbaro an icon of the soldiers and the residents who were killed in Mook during the Second World War.

Maasdijk, Mook