The Netherlands / Story

Villa 'Laag Buurlo', from hiding place to Canadian command post.




During the German occupation, Villa 'Laag Buurlo' plays an important role in housing hiding individuals and concealing weapons for the resistance. As the Canadians approach Apeldoorn on April 13, 1945, the villa becomes a temporary command post for the Canadians. Unfortunately, two Canadian officers lose their lives due to a grenade explosion in the villa.

During the occupation, Villa Laag Buurlo on Deventerstraat in Apeldoorn serves as a hiding place and secret location for concealing dropped weapons. An interesting detail is that three rooms are requisitioned for German nurses working in the Kriegslazarett (military hospital) located in the former St. Joseph Foundation building on the property. In the evenings, these ladies receive visits from German officers, which is highly risky due to the supply and distribution of weapons from the resistance. By complaining that the servant Toon Buitenhuis's bicycle has been stolen, signs with "Zutritt verboten. Von Wehrmacht besetzt" are placed at the German Kriegslazarett. This ensures that Laag Buurlo no longer receives 'unwanted visitors', and illegal activities can resume.

On Friday, April 13, 1945, the Canadians approach. In the evening, three Germans walk along the bicycle path towards Twello. Gunfire erupts shortly after, and the three men quickly retreat. Across the street - in the Kruitbos - are the Canadians. Soon after, the rest of the regiment arrives, and Villa Laag Buurlo is set up as a command post.

After a failed attack, a Canadian patrol sets out at night. The commander believes that Friday the 13th brings bad luck. Therefore, it is agreed that a member of the underground will leave with three Canadians only after midnight. However, the resistance member fails to show up, so the servant Toon accompanies them (carrying a weapon just in case). They walk through the gardens towards De Tol (the intersection of Deventerstraat and Zutphensestraat). They knock on the window of a house, but the man who answers refuses to provide information. He doesn't believe they are really Canadians, as just before, three Germans had come to him to fetch water.

The Canadians realize that the Germans are nearby. Once outside again, they suddenly hear German conversations on the other side of the hedge. To make matters worse, a plane flies overhead and fires a flare. The men are illuminated. They aim their weapons at the hedge, just four meters away, but all remains quiet. They then head back towards Villa Laag Buurlo and safely arrive around three o'clock in the morning to report.

The next morning - April 14 - a grenade strikes the conservatory of Laag Buurlo. The grenade pierces through four double plates of the heating, then through a wall and into the ground outside. At that exact moment, the Canadians are in a meeting. Two officers lose their lives due to the grenade strike. Captain F.J. Sims of the Royal Canadian Regiment and Lieutenant J.W. Reardon of the 1st Hussars tank regiment breathe their last breath. Sims is 24 years old and Reardon is 33 years old. They are temporarily buried at the St. Joseph Foundation on Deventerstraat and later reburied at the Canadian War Cemetery in Holten.

Deventerstraat 389, Apeldoorn