The story of the ill-fated patrol to Fort St. Andries October 26, 1944


January 2012 the bronze head was stolen.....

....but fortunately replaced by a new
made ​​of corten steel


Click on the picture for more information


The monument

October 26,  1944:
A patrol of  'A' Squadron. was ambushed near Fort Sint Andries, close to the sluice complex at Rossum. Three men escaped, four were killed while the rest was taken prisoner by the Germans.

26 oktober 1999:
On the Waaldyke, close to Fort Sint Andries a monument is unveiled to commemorate the soldiers Hadwin, Stopher, Merritt en Walker.

the monument consists of a piece of concrete of 1.50 meters. On top of it is the bronze head of an English soldier.  His face expresses desperation. The scarve on his face enables the visitor  to look inside the head. The breaking eyes seem to warn the visitor: "Watch out, this has happenede to me, but it might happen to you!"

The stones suggest desolation. On the plaque is a English-Dutch inscription.


The monument was designed by Martin van den Houdt from Dreumel.

The victims

John Raymond Hadwin Reginald Stopher Rowland Merrit John William Walker

Fort Sint Andries


Fort Sint Andries is situated along the sluice complex that connects the rivers Waal and Maas. The photograph above is published with permission of the owner, Mr. Jan Houkes. He took this picture in 1941. He was befriended with the son of the lock keeper. One day they climbed the sluice tower and secrely took a photograph of the fortress, because it was forbidden to photograph military objects. Mr. Jan Houkes even succesfully sold copies to the German soldiers that occupied the fortress.

The fortress was the main target of the patrol that was ambushed.

April1945 the fortress was demolished while being attacked by the Royal Marines.

In the foreground: two spotlights on top of the sluice tower. In the middle the fortress; left of the fortress is the gate keepers house. Behind this house is the main entrance of the fortress. Right of the fortress is the casemat. At the rear is the river Waal.



Troopers J. R. Hadwin and R. Stopher were killed immediately and buries in a fieldgrave inside the fortress. After the demolision of the fort in april 1945, there graves were covered with tons of stones.

In time several attempts were made to trace the fieldgraves. Until now unsuccesfully. Their names are inscripted on the Wall of Honour at the entrance of the Canadian War Cemetry at Groesbeek.

Trooper J W Walker was transported to the German Field Hospital at Waardenburg were he passed away the next day. After the war he was reburied at the War cemetry at Bergen op Zoom. 

War Cemetry at Bergen op Zoom

Trooper R Merritt was transported via Culemborg to St. Antoniusziekenhuis at Utrecht. There he died of wounds at October 29, 1944. He was bureid with military honour by the Germans at Algemene Begraafplaats "Soestbergen". in Utrecht.

Algemene Begraafplaats "Soestbergen", Utrecht.

The POWs were interrogated at Rossum and the next day were forced to march to the concentratiekamp Amersfoort. Later on they were transported by train to Prison Camp Stalag XIB in Fallingbostel (Germany) where they stayed until the end of the war.


Stalag XIB  Fallingbostel


Annual Remembrance Service

Every year at May 4 at 14.00 hrs there is a remembrance service at the monument site. Both Burgomaster and Aldermen of the Communities of Maasdriel and West Maas en Waal are present at this service. Also present are children  of Adoption school "De Oversteek" from Dreumel.

May 4, 2005

Ernst, Renske, Marlieke en Piet represent the adoption school from Dreumel Mayor Mikkers from Maasdriel welcomes everyone
Loco-mayor Piet de Leeuw of West Maas en Waal helds a short speech  Renske (left) and Marlieke read a poem
Both mayors layed a wreath..... ...........followed by Ernst (left) and Piet on behalf of the adoptionschool
Olaf van Hoften, dressed in English uniform, llaid a wreath on behalf of the veterans Ray Surrey and Fred Sylvester In the end some children layed flowers

May 4, 2006

Mayor Steenkamp helds a speech Mayor Steenkamp of West Maas en Waal and dept Mayor van den Anker lay a wreath
Carlijn and Ton lay a wreath on behalf of the adoption school Left Carlijn and Ton, right Sander and Erik who read the poem

May 4, 2007

Mayor Steenkamp helds a speech; among the listeners Mrs. Marjorie Cundy (2nd of right) from  Engeland Laura and Joyce read the poem "Two minutes"
Both mayors lay a wreath Anouk and Manon lay a wreath on behalf of the adoption school
Children of the adoptionschool together with the mayors L-R: Olaf van Hoften (representing 43rd Recce Regiment), Anouk,  Laura, Manojn, Mrs. Cundy and Joyce