Cameron  blazer badge The Queens Own Cameron Highlanders
"Keep 'em Moving"
Dutch flag
Heusden, Holland
November 1944

After the successful assault on a section of the Aftenwaterings canal and their objectives at, first, Wolfshoek and then Elshout, clearing the areas by 03.00 hrs on 5th November 1944, The main body of 5th Camerons rested until 10.00 hours, 6th November. "B" Company leading, Oudheusden was reported clear. "A" company followed and pushed through into Heusden. Heavy mortaring caused some casualties. The leading Camerons came upon some Dutch women weeping, standing by what they thought was a bombed church. With broken English and broken Dutch, it emerged that the Town Hall had been blown up, by SS troops, with over 130 women and children inside. It has been suggested by a local historian that 10% of the Heusden population were lost in the tragedy. Ted Murcar and his Pioneer Platoon comrades were given the task of helping to clear the site. This action would make 5th Camerons reluctant to accept the surrender of SS troops in future actions. In 1994, on his return to Holland for the 50th anniversary celebrations, Ted was unable to bring himself to enter the area of the original building, because of the bad memories.
Heusden Holland 2007
The Picturesque town of Heusden, Holland. 2007.

with their kind Permission,

The following photographs are owned by the good people of Heusden
Heusden Town Hall pre 1944    1940 Heusden Town Hall or Gemeente huis
The original Town Hall, Heusden, Holland.
5th Camerons help to clear up after the town hall was blown up by German forces killing over 130 civilians
(1) The aftermath. Heusden Town Hall, Holland, November 1944.
Aftermath of Heusden town hall blown up.
(2) The aftermath, Heusden Town Hall, Holland, November 1944.

( All 4 pictures above were supplied with the permission of the Archives from:
Streekarchief Land van Heusden en Altena )
The memorial square outside the new Heusden town hall.
The memorial square outside the new Town Hall, marking the area of the cellar of the old Town Hall
  poppyMemorial Stone to 132 victims of the 1944 Town hall disaster  poppy
The memorial plaque to the 130 victims of the "Disaster of Heusden" as it is known by the inhabitants.
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