The Netherlands / Cemetery
The cemetery of Stevensweert contains a number of graves of inhabitants who died during the years of occupation.
Gerard van den Bergh, from Stevensweert, was a motorbike gunner on duty when the Germans invaded on 10 May 1940. On 15 May, the day the Netherlands capitulated, he crashed his motorbike into a lorry parked on the verge in Arkel in South Holland. He died of his injuries. In 1941, Van den Bergh was reburied in Stevensweert.
The cemetery also contains the grave of the Cloosen children, who died on 21 January 1945 during an English grenade attack on the hamlet of 't Reutje (Sint Odiliënberg).
After the family members were forced to leave their hometown Stevensweert at the end of October 1944, they wandered around the area for some time. Eventually most of them found shelter with Piet Hendriks in 't Reutje. They could not yet know that the hamlet would be the scene of heavy fighting in January. They did know that if war broke out, they were assured of a safe refuge in the shelter at the house. In the night of 20 to 21 January, this happened. A heavy artillery barrage woke everyone from their sleep. After the peace had been restored, the family members left the shelter and walked back to the house. No one had been hurt and no projectiles had landed in the immediate vicinity. Everyone tried to go back to sleep. But the peace was deceptive and of short duration because not much later the British opened the next grenade attack. This time Hendriks' house and the surrounding area were the target. Sleep-deprived, the residents had to run for their lives to reach the shelter in time. The children Pierre, Lenie and Sjra did not survive. Pierre was hit hard and died instantly. His little brother Sjra and sister Lenie were badly injured and died a few days later.
Jan van Steffeswertplein, Stevensweert