The Netherlands / Cemetery
In a pine forest on Luikerweg, south of Valkenswaard, lies the Valkenswaard War Cemetery. This British military cemetery was established in stages from October 1945.
The cemetery contains the graves of 222 soldiers - 220 land soldiers and two airmen, all British. Some of them were killed in action during the liberation of Valkenswaard on 17 September 1944, during Operation Market Garden. Additionally, the cemetery contains the graves of soldiers who lost their lives during acts of war in the vicinity of the municipalities of Best, Eersel and Bergeijk.
Since 15 June 1946, the cemetery has been administered by the British Imperial War Graves Commission. In addition, the local population plays an important role in the maintenance and decoration of the tombstones. Under the auspices of the 'Stichting 40-45 gemeenten Valkenswaard en Waalre' residents adopt one or more graves on the cemetery. By means of a financial contribution, but also by doing their own work, they keep the gravestones clean, take care of the plants and - for example with flowers - add an extra personal touch to the graves on special occasions. Every year on 4 May and on 17 September, a solemn celebration is held in the cemetery to commemorate the fallen. Valkenswaard then pauses to remember the ultimate sacrifice they made for freedom.