Jonkerbos is a wooded area, approximately 2 miles, from the centre of Nijmegen; the largest city in the Gelderland province. There are two military cemeteries in the area: Jonkerbos War Cemetery and Dutch War Graves Cemetery.
JONKERBOS WAR CEMETERY
Nijmegen was a front line town from 17 September 1944 until February 1945. An initial temporary cemetery was created by No. 3 Casualty Clearing station, in a wooded area known as Jonkers Bosch, from which it took its name. The war cemetery was established, after the war, nearby.
The cemetery is located in Burgemeester Daleslaan, Nijmegen.
Inside the cemetery, near the entrance, is a memorial to the soldiers who were removed to this cemetery from one near Marienbosch Convent in Sophiaweg. The quotation is from Rupert Brooke’s “The Soldier”
There is a corner in [sic] a foreign field
That is for ever England
Jonkerbos War Cemetery now contains 5 Royal Navy with 1 unknown, 970 UK Army with 72 unknown, 3 Canadian, 5 Belgian, 1 Dutch, 2 Polish, 410 Royal Air Force 14 unknown, 1 Royal Canadian Air Force, 24 Royal Australian Air Force, 21 Royal Netherlands Air Force, 4 Polish Air Force graves. There are also 2 entirely unknown graves, 9 UK unknown graves and 1 Russian grave.
The one Russian grave is Labourer U. Pronenko, who died on 13 November 1944 and is buried in Plot V, Row B, Grave 8.
The graves are arranged across the Stone of Remembrance, as if the soldiers were on parade.
DUTCH WAR GRAVES CEMETERY
Just approximately 1 km from Jonkerbos War Cemetery is the Dutch War Grave Cemetery Jonkerbos.
In the rear right-hand corner of the cemetery, is a plot, laid out in 1971, beside which flies the Dutch flag, with a plaque to “The Fallen 1940-1945”.
There are 48 headstones, including resistance worker Jan van Hoof.
JAN van HOOF
In 1944 Jan van Hoof was a member of the Dutch Resistance. He became Nijmegen’s best-known resistance worker and was credited with the saving of the Nijmegen road bridge from demolition by the German forces. On 19 September 1944 van Hoof appeared at the Sionshof Hotel with information about German positions in the area around the Nijmegen Road Bridge. Later that afternoon van Hoof accompanied a Scout Car of the Grenadier Guards through the centre of Nijmegen towards the rail bridge. The Scout Car was hit by German fire and both Lance-Sergeant William Berry and Guardsman Albert Shaw were killed.
Jan van Hoof was captured by German forces and then executed at this spot near the centre of Nijmegen at Joris Ivensplein.
The inscription reads “HIER VIEL JAN van HOOF REDDER DER WAALBRUG 19-9-1944” which translates as “Here fell Jan van Hoof Saviour of the Waal Bridge 19-9-1944”.
Berry and Shaw are now buried in Jonkerbos Military Cemetery. However their grave stones have the wrong date: 21 instead of 19 September 1944.
1876119 Lance-Sergeant William Thomas Berry, Royal Engineers, was born in Croydon and resided in Kent. Buried in Plot I, Row D, Grave 2.
2622174 Guardsman Albert Shaw, 2nd Battalion, Grenadier Guards, was born in Barnsley and resided in Nottinghamshire. Buried in Plot 22, Row A, Grave 2.