Special items


“How do we make sure our boys will not be forgotten?”
Some 65 years ago Mrs Arpots (91) adopted the grave of British soldier Leonard Raymond Allison at the British War Cemetery in Brunssum. Still she is in good contact with the soldier’s family in the UK. “The mother of the soldier in particular was very grateful that we maintained the grave of her son. For us it was the least we could do after having been liberated.”

Just like Mrs. Arpots people from Brunssum have adopted a grave immediately following the liberation. They not only looked after the graves but also continued staying in touch with the family of the deceased soldier. Mrs. Arpots: “The family found it consoling and assuring that we maintained those graves for them. Leonard was their beloved son or brother. We have seen them frequently, and then they stayed with us or we stayed with them. We also received baby clothes and toys from them. We always had a very special relationship. I really enjoyed looking after the grave and maintain our relationship with the family.”

In the fifties the British Government decided to stop the adoption of war graves. The care often went to the parents’ children. By coincidence Ruud Scholten, Chrisje Baar and Anne-Mie Koopmans met and started a conversation. Anne-Mie Koopmans: “We assumed we were not the only ones who find it special to look after such a grave. Ruud Scholten subsequently asked assistance from the municipality Brunssum. Together they received permission from the British Authorities that we as Foundation War Cemetery Brunssum could revitalise the adoption of the British war graves in Brunssum.”

Soon the adoption of the 328 war graves can be initiated officially. Anne-Mie Koopmans: “For €5 people will receive a certificate and all available data of the soldier. The only ‘commitment’ of the adoption is to put some flowers on the grave three times a year (at 4 May National Memorial Day, 11 November Poppy Day and Christmas) or to pay us so we can do this on behalf of you. That is how we make sure that these boys who died for our freedom will not be forgotten.”

Would you like to adopt a grave? Please send your request to:
Stichting War Cemetery Brunssum, Heugerstraat 21F, 6443 BR Brunssum.






Left Mrs. Arpots, right Anne-Mie Koopmans
secretary of the Foundation War Cemetery Brunssum
© Pascal Moors - Nose for Photography



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E 05 58 16










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