Rijndijk and Engineers Monument: the crossing of the Rhine

The Netherlands




This location - situated opposite the village of Oosterbeek - played an important role in both the Polish troops' attempts to reach the British in Oosterbeek and during the withdrawal of the British soldiers from Oosterbeek in the night of 25/26 September.

Around this location, Polish troops attempted to reach the British in Oosterbeek. As the Driel ferry had disappeared, the Poles had to look for boats to cross the river. The first night they did not succeed, but during the second night, 52 Poles reached the other side with the help of inflatable boats. During the third night, 153 Poles managed to reach the other side with the help of boats that had been brought in. This is the same location as where the British and Poles crossed the Rhine in their retreat from Oosterbeek on the night of 25 to 26 September.

The storm and assault boats, which enabled the evacuation of troops across the Rhine, sailed back and forth along two routes. When the evacuation ceased around 6:00 am, about 2,400 troops who had become trapped north of the river had been ferried across. Those, who were still waiting on the northern bank to be picked up, were made prisoners of war by the German troops.

The monument is a design by H. van den Brand, a New Guinea veteran from Arnhem. It includes the emblems of the British Engineers and Canadian Engineers and a drawing of the evacuation in gold leaf.

The monument stands near the eastern evacuation route. Along this route, most evacuees were ferried.

In the large barn of De Vogelenzang farm on Vogelenzangstraat, slightly to the south, the evacuees were received by men of the 5th Battalion, The Dorset Regiment. They marched from there through the Betuwe to Nijmegen.


De Polen van Driel