Cameron cap badge The Queens Own Cameron Highlanders
"Keep 'em Moving"

Dutch flag
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
The Picturesque town of Heusden, Holland. 2007.

with their kind Permission,

The following photographs are owned by the good people of Heusden
Pre-war Townhall, Heusden, HollandOroiginal Townhall, Heusden, Holland 1944
The original Town Hall, Heusden, Holland.
Destroyed Townhall, Heusden Holland
(1) The aftermath. Heusden Town Hall, Holland, November 1944.
Camerons help to clear the rubble of the Town Hall, Heusden, Holland, November 1944
(2) The aftermath, Heusden Town Hall, Holland, November 1944.
5th Camerons help clear the rubble and to retrieve bodies.
( All 4 pictures above were supplied with the permission of the Archives from:
Streekarchief Land van Heusden en Altena )
Site of the bomb damaged town hall, Heusden Holland
The memorial square outside the new Town Hall, marking the area of the cellar of the old Town Hall

poppy of remembranceMemorial to the victims of the Town hall demolitionpoppy of remembrance
The memorial plaque to the 130 victims of the "Disaster of Heusden" as it is known by the inhabitants.
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