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DUTCH GIRL TENDS GRAVE OF ROXBURGH SOLDIER

 
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Kenneth Morrison



Joined: 29 Sep 2008
Posts: 6190
Location: Rockcliffe Dalbeattie

PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2019 3:52 pm    Post subject: DUTCH GIRL TENDS GRAVE OF ROXBURGH SOLDIER Reply with quote

Just a charming little story from the Jedburgh Gazette Friday 12 August 1949 p.4

DUTCH GIRL TENDS GRAVE OF ROXBURGH SOLDIER.
Lying in a soldier's grave at Mierlo, South Holland, is Pte. George Small, brother of Mr Robert Small, Roxburgh Mill, Roxburgh. Pte. Small was killed at Best on 25th September, 1944, while serving with the Gordon Highlanders. and along with 600 of his comrades was interred in the little cemetery at Mierlo. The inhabitants of the village of Hout, by Helmond, were requested to "adopt" a British soldier's grave, and Pte. Small's grave was tended by Miss Maria v. d. Sanden, who works in an office in Helmond. Miss Sanden wrote to the War Office and received the address of the dead soldier's relatives, and she has been in communication with Mr and Mrs Small at Roxburgh Mill.

VISIT OF DUTCH GIRL
On 17th July Miss Sanden arrived in this country and was met by Mrs Small at Edinburgh, and for the past fortnight she has been the guest of Mr and Mrs Robt. Small at Roxburgh Mill.
She brought with her photographs of Pte. Small's grave and Mr and Mrs Small, as well as the other brothers and sisters of the dead man, are delight to know that their brother's grave is being to carefully attended.
A bright, smiling fair-haired girl, Miss Sanden, who is now 24 years of age, answered questions put to her by a reporter in very good English.
She told him she had “adopted” the grave of Pte. Small in October 1944, and although the cemetery is now under the jurisdiction of the War Graves Commission she still tends to it regularly and keeps it well supplied with flowers.
During the time she has been in Scotland, which incidentally is her first visit to any country outside her own, Miss Sanden has paid visits to the other brothers and sisters of Pte. Small.
In addition she has seen a lot of the surrounding countryside since she arrived in the district.

A REMINDER OF SCOTLAND
Travelling by cycle, Mrs Small has seen to it that her very welcome guest has seen all the beauty spots possible to be seen in a day's cycle run. With Holland such a flat country, Miss Sanden has been intrigued by our Border Hills. “I love the hills” she said to the interviewer, smiling charmingly at the same time, and she proudly displayed a snapshot of a party which had been at The Venchen, Yetholm.
She has collected a fine display of snapshots to take back with her to Holland to show her friends, and to remind her of her very first visit to Scotland.
On Tuesday of last week Miss Sanden left on her return journey “but” she said “Mrs Small and I are having a look round Edinburgh where I am going to buy a kilt to take home with me.”


George Alexander Walker Small – age 27 – Private (3197818) 2nd Battalion, Gordon Highlanders.
George was a joiner at Roxburgh Mill.
The 2nd Gordons landed at Normandy on D-day 6 June 1944 and fought through France, Belgium and the Netherlands. At the crossing of the Wilhelmina canal they were involved in heavy fighting at Best from 21 September 1944 to the liberation of the town on 24 October.
George was killed there on 25 September 1944 but was re-interred at Mierlo in July 1945.

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