The Netherlands / Vector of Memory

Liberation by Royal Canadian Dragoons




The Royal Canadian Dragoons entered Friesland near Noordwolde on 12 April 1945. They managed to traverse large parts of the province in a few days. This reconnaissance regiment thereby not only paved the way for the approaching Canadian main force, but the Dragoons also managed to liberate parts of Friesland.

Their armoured vehicles and cars were already rolling into Dokkum, the northernmost town, on 14 April. One day later, they also liberated the capital of Leeuwarden. Battles still continued in several locations. The Dragoons managed to limit their losses, however, partly due to intelligence and help from the Frisian resistance. Another four young Dragoons nevertheless lost their lives during the battles. The connection with Friesland, and Leeuwarden in particular, has always remained strong. The Dragoons celebrate "Leeuwarden Day" every year on 15 April.

In Leeuwarden, their deployment is commemorated with the raising of the regimental flag.