The Netherlands / Battlefield

Goes; Good whiskey instead of destructions




From October 24, 1944, Canadian troops advanced from the Kreekrak Dam towards Walcheren. It was a challenging advance through a landscape submerged underwater. After crossing the canal through South Beveland, the German defense decided to abandon the rest of the Bevelands and retreat to Walcheren. Only a rearguard remained to slow down the Allied advance to the maximum. Meanwhile, the Canadians, taking no chances, deployed reinforcements to capture Goes. In the night from Saturday to Sunday, October 29, a few shells fell on the old Hanseatic city, followed by the distant roar of engines announcing the arrival of the liberators. The people of Goes anxiously awaited what awaited them.

Before sunrise on Sunday, October 29, 1944, soldiers of the Black Watch of Canada stood ready for their next mission. The liberation of Goes was well-prepared, and the artillery had developed an extensive bombardment plan to quickly suppress any opposition.

The Canadians traveled through the hamlets of Dijkwel and Abbekinderen via back roads towards the city. It was only at the 's-Gravenpolderseweg that they encountered the enemy, and a firefight began shortly after 9:00 am. The Canadian artillery opened fire on the water tower, located 500 meters away on the other side of the watercourse. The battalion commander personally inspected the situation and decided not to proceed with the proposed airstrike because the precise location of the German troops could not be determined. The skirmishes continued for several hours, resulting in 20 wounded on the Canadian side. Soldier Norman Wynes succumbed to his injuries on October 30.

At 1:00 pm, the first Canadian soldiers crossed the railroad crossings towards Kloetinge and the Van de Spiegelstraat towards the city center. Subsequently, the armored vehicles entered the city center from the tracks without encountering any resistance. Meanwhile, the auxiliary police of Goes had great difficulty keeping people off the streets. However, when the first 'tank' appeared, there was no stopping the crowd. The residents of Goes streamed towards the Canadians. The cheers and enthusiasm were indescribable. The enormous emotional pressure, built up over four and a half years of oppression, was finally released. The market square was bustling with celebration, and amidst loud cheers, the English flag was hoisted on the town hall.

A Canadian soldier was handed a bottle of 'Old Mull' whiskey. As he looked at his loot with a beaming smile, an old woman told him that she had kept the bottle for all those years, especially for this occasion!

Van de Spiegelstraat, Goes