(click on the images to enlarge them)
The goal was to go North, get around Antwerp and take a flooded Walcheren Island. The German 7th army had been ordered to hold the north bank of the Scheldt river with everything they had. They succeeded long enough to allow the vast majority of their army to escape through Antwerp, and get away to Holland, where we had to face them later. This is the Commonwealth War Graves cemetary at Bergen Op Zoom, just north of Antwerp and across the border into Holland. That's my uncle's grave, the one I was named after. It is a bit chilling to see you own name on a grave stone!
All the British Commonwealth cemetaries have a monument like this one. A big marble cross with a bronze sword on it. The swords have all been re-made in fiberglass because they kept getting stolen and melted down for the bronze metal in them. The fiberglass ones look just fine.
It is remarkable how well the Dutch people care for these cemetaries...apparently they are being visited less and less as time goes by. I had heard that each gravestone is the responsibility of a local school boy. I didn't meet anybody who would know about that when I was there.
I am really proud of the Calgary Highlanders, my uncles who did their duty, and spent their whole lives being quiet and modest about a remarkable accomplishment. Most people who study this whole action feel that the Canadians got the muddy end of the stick in this action....but then, after the Dieppe fiasco the previous year, they made sure they were ready for it.