The Netherlands / Cemetery

Eight British War Graves




Despite the large war cemeteries in the area, eight British soldiers are buried in the Roman Catholic cemetery of Ottersum. It is not clear why. A letter dated 3 May 1946 states that the municipality would not obtain permission from the English authorities to transfer the graves in Ottersum to the military cemetery in Milsbeek. Formal arguments may have played a role in the refusal, as the funeral had taken place without the permission of the church council.

Milsbeek is located on the edge of the Reichswald. On 8 February 1945, British and Canadian forces launched a major offensive to capture the area between the rivers Meuse and Rhine. One of the most difficult obstacles was the Reichswald. The bitter fighting claimed a heavy death toll. The exceptionally gruesome and last great battle on the Western Front explains the presence of the many war cemeteries in and around the Reichswald. Sometimes, thousands of victims are buried there.  

Sint Janstraat 13, 6595 AA Ottersum