Introduction

Article published in the journal “Heidebloemke Genk " (volume 48 - No. 5 - October 1 - 1989)

Everyone knows the cross in the heath of Boxbergheide, nowadays put together with the memorial, established 19 years ago in the Boxbergstraat, near the school. At first it was a simple wooden cross but already in 1943 it was replaced by a concrete cross on the three war graves: it became the first RAF-memorial in the province of Limburg.

In Limburg only, 139 RAF airmen lost their lives, of whom 127 were British, 45 Canadians, 14 Australians, 3 New Zealanders, 3 South Africans and l Belgian. This number will probably be higher because during the occupation, over a long period, the German Luftwaffe collected the bodies of the casualties to investigate and afterwards buried them at the military airfield of St.-Truiden (Brustem). After the war, they were excavated by the UK Recognition Department and transferred to several cemeteries, so that all the bomber crashes in Limburg can be traced. Thanks to a small group of friends and to a close cooperation with the school of Boxbergheide, a memorial tribute at the concrete cross and later at the memorial is held annually to keep the commemoration alive; meanwhile it has become a tradition.

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