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47RM Commando 'X' troop photo  XML
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Pete
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Joined: 23/09/2008 00:08:02
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In February of this year John Mewett sent me a photo of this troop for uploading to the gallery . It was taken in Holland in April 1945. The photo was unique in that it had at the front two of the youngest RM Commandos ever to have served ! In fact as can be seen both looked around 12 years of age or younger and were obviously local children:

http://www.commandoveterans.org/cdoGallery/v/units/Royal+Marine+Commando+Units/47RM+Commando/47+rm+cdo+x+troop+copy.jpg.html

Our friend and fellow CVA member, Jack Bakker, was immediately on the case when he saw the photo in the gallery. Jack lives in Holland and he quickly came back with the name of the church in the background located in the village of Kamperland. I decided to see if we could trace the 2 boys as I thought they may like to see the photo so, after finding a website for the church, I asked Jack if he would be willing to make some more enquiries.

Jack has now sent me this reply:

Hi Pete, as you know you sent me a link to the church in Kamperland. This is to do with the photo taken in April 1945 of X Trp of 47 RM Cdo. I had contacted the vicar of the church by email with the question of who the boys on the photo could be and could he be of any help finding them. He forwarded my message to a guy of the historical section of Noord Beveland. That was the last thing I heard of it.

Until late this afternoon when a colleague of mine by the name of Dré Pompe and who lives in Zeeland, phoned me saying that I was becoming famous in the province of Zeeland. HUH??? He told me that the quest for the boys on the photo had reached the regional newspaper and even the regional radio station. He directed me to the sites of both of them. A link to those sites and the stories about the photo and the boys is below.

A translation of the article in the first link: http://www.pzc.nl/regio/bevelandentholen/10624993/Jonge-Kamperlanders-gezocht-door-oud-commandos.ece

Former Commandos look for young men from Kamperland. Who are the two boys who posed with Royal Marine Commandos in 1945? They were put into uniform for the occasion, writes retired captain of the Dutch Commandos Jack Bakker. As a former commando, Bakker is a member of the British Commando Veterans Association (CVA). On the website of the CVA webmaster Pete Rogers recently put a photo and he contacted Bakker to find out what had become of these boys. With this question Bakker turned to the man who runs the history section of the municipal of Noord Beveland, Gerard de Fouw. People who know more about the two boys may phone him on 0113 ...... or www.commandoveterans.org

A translation of the second link: http://www.omroepzeeland.nl/nieuws/2012-03-09/107847/zoektocht-naar-twee-jongens-op-oorlogsfoto

Kamperland- The two boys on the faded black and white photo from 1945 on which they pose with a group of British Commandos, are known. They are RIEN KOOLE from Goes and PIET DE HAZE (where he lives and if he is still alive is not known). Rien Koole made himself known after a program by the regional radio station Omroep Zeeland in which the municipal of Noord Beveland was asking for the identity of the boys. Jack Bakker, a former Captain of the Korps Commandotroepen from Roosendaal, was looking for the identity of the boys who are sitting on the ground in the middle of the photo. For the photo the boys were dressed in uniform by the Royal Marine Commandos from England. The webmaster of the British Commando Veterans Association (CVA) had asked Bakker to go on a search for the two boys. The photo has been made in April 1945 in Kamperland, because in the background a small part of the steeple of the church can be seen. Jack Bakker has asked the municipal of Noord Beveland to make a call for information on their website.?


Jack goes on to say:

First of all: not all is correct in the articles, as I did not contact the historical section of Noord Beveland. My email to the vicar of Kamperland was forwarded to them and that is how it got started. I have already tried to get in contact with Gerard de Fouw, the man mentioned in the first article, but the number is the number of his office and as it is Friday he is having his weekend break I suppose. And I didn't ask for my name to be mentioned so many times. I don't want to be famous.


He goes on to say :
In the second link there are two audio parts in which Gerard de Fauw is interviewed and in short it says almost the same as is said in the articles. In the second part, which was recorded half an hour (!!) after the first recording, Gerard says that the two boys have been found and that their names are Rien Koole and Piet de Haze. Rien Koole had called Gerard and told his story. According to Gerard, Rien Koole wasn't in the least surprised by it all. He said that at the time they were 15 years of age and were helping out in the cookhouse (or galley as Marines say) peeling potatoes and doing all sorts of work there. As a token of appreciation the Troop captain (or a captain) had made four suits for them. Two working suits and two neat suits. They are on the photo in the neat suits. Gerard said that he will visit Koole, who has told him that he has more photos!! So it will not stop here!

As you might imagine I was completely flabbergasted by this news! I am already for months busy with trying to find out who are the people on the photo at the grave of Joseph Ball, with no success at all, and this has struck gold within exactly a week! In an earlier email to me Gerard de Fouw said that he would look to try to get hold of the two persons, but he didn't expect this to happen very quickly. History needs patience he said! And now this!!

I will get in contact with Gerard de Fouw for a follow up on all this. I have to meet those two guys and have a look at their photos and make a picture of them to put on the site. So I will get in touch with you about this more often, don't worry. And don't be surprised if Gerard de Fouw will get in contact with you, as he said he would do so in the interview. The strange thing is that I haven't heard from him yet. Perhaps he is as much surprised as I am!

All the best, Jack


So well done Jack. A celebrity at last and I have been promoted to webmaster :)

More seriously this is a really nice result. I know you will, but just ask Rien which one of the two he is in the photo. I will update it when you next contact me. I look forward to seeing what may come of this. And the CVA is getting a good mention on regional radio and press in Holland ! Now who is going to find us the names of all the Royal Marine Commandos in the photo?
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This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 10/03/2012 18:27:50


Pete Rogers, son of LSgt Joe Rogers MM & nephew of TSM Ken McAllister. Both No2 Cdo. God and the Soldier, all men adore, In time of danger and not before. When the danger is passed and all things righted, God is forgotten, and the Soldier slighted.

**** nb. I no longer monitor private messages (pm). Use email, forum, or use the contact form, selecting the category website gallery questions, on the main home page.
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John M
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Joined: 18/04/2007 16:22:37
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Fantastic work Pete and Jack.

This photo has languished for a few years in my archive.

I often wondered who the two boys were?

A triumph all around.

Best regards

John M

CVA Research Group

Do not speak.....unless it improves on Silence.

A good teacher opens the door.....you must enter yourself.


For Dad No 12 Commando & 4 Troop No 1 Commando
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Pete
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Joined: 23/09/2008 00:08:02
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Some names have now been added:

http://www.commandoveterans.org/cdoGallery/v/units/Royal+Marine+Commando+Units/47RM+Commando/47+rm+cdo+x+troop+copy.jpg.html

Pete Rogers, son of LSgt Joe Rogers MM & nephew of TSM Ken McAllister. Both No2 Cdo. God and the Soldier, all men adore, In time of danger and not before. When the danger is passed and all things righted, God is forgotten, and the Soldier slighted.

**** nb. I no longer monitor private messages (pm). Use email, forum, or use the contact form, selecting the category website gallery questions, on the main home page.
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Jack Bakker
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I have contacted the radio station mentioned in the articles. They told me that they had phoned around and in doing so came in contact with nephews of Piet de Haze. They told that Piet has died.

Which means that I understood the text in the articles and the interview on the radio wrong. The text in the articles I sent is wrong in the sense that NOT Piet de Haze contacted the radio station within half an hour after the first broadcast, but Rien Koole did. No wonder that Piet de Haze wasn't the least surpised by it all....

Sorry guys!
Pete
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Joined: 23/09/2008 00:08:02
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No problems Jack, I have amended the information above so it reads correct now

Pete Rogers, son of LSgt Joe Rogers MM & nephew of TSM Ken McAllister. Both No2 Cdo. God and the Soldier, all men adore, In time of danger and not before. When the danger is passed and all things righted, God is forgotten, and the Soldier slighted.

**** nb. I no longer monitor private messages (pm). Use email, forum, or use the contact form, selecting the category website gallery questions, on the main home page.
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Jack Bakker
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I have just phoned with Gerard de Fouw, the historical man of Noord Beveland. Next week he will pay a visit to Rien Koole who lives in Goes. He will have an interview with Koole which will be recorded and he will make photos. He will send me those to put on this site. He will bring me in contact with Koole as well.

Gerard told me that the left one of the two boys on the photo is Rien Koole, so on the right is Piet de Haze. He has died and he lived in Eindhoven. Koole has told Gerard that Commandos of 47 Commando RM were billeted with the family De Haze and that they sometimes came home from raids with small souveniers for the girls in the family. Koole told that the man behind him and De Haze is the Troop Captain.
John M
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Joined: 18/04/2007 16:22:37
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This is fabulous Jack..thanks very much.

It just gets better and better.

Regards

John M

CVA Research Group

Do not speak.....unless it improves on Silence.

A good teacher opens the door.....you must enter yourself.


For Dad No 12 Commando & 4 Troop No 1 Commando
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bolster
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I received a message from the daughter of one of the men that served in X-Troop, Marine John Simpson RODGER, and she thinks he may be front row second from the left.
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