Zevenkerken, Belgium - Remembrance Ceremony in the Abbey
It is already the 77th anniversary and commemoration of the hiding of 36 Emblems of Belgian Units in the Benedictine Abbey of Sint-Andries, Zevenkerken on May 28, 1940 under the former Abbot Théodore Nève. Out of respect and tribute for the patriotic act of the Abbot and the Abbey community in May 1940, the Minister of Defense, Colonel De Greef, was handed over on behalf of the King, an Emblem of the Belgian army "Rijksvaandel", on 8 September 1952. The Rijksvaandel, of the same type as the hidden Emblems, comes outside every year at the commemoration ceremony of the liberation of the Abbey in September and is included in the large escort of the military detachment. This year 75 years ago, and this year is included in the large escort of the military detachment together with the 36 Emblems that were hidden there at the time and are being carried by pupils from the Royal Military School.
Those who gave the highest sacrifice for their homeland, their lives, were forced to be buried in the forest with a simple funeral. Many of them will be excavated later on request of the family to rest in their own city or village.
All crosses are equal, 60 cm in size and in bluestone. The death battle was individual: short or long, painful or soft. A bullet, a schrapnel, an air raid, an artillery bombardment was sufficient. Many were brought in horribly maimed, others seemed barely hurt. Such as Adjudant Baron Philippe DE BIBER, 25 years old and candidate officer. Already wounded by a machine gun in his hand, he stayed on post in his armored car and rescued a Belgian patrol who was shot. He was in command of a machine gun position when he was hit by a bullet in his sleep. A small round hole was the only visible injury.
On the two rows of lined crosses they read their name, degree (not for the soldiers), unity, year of birth and death. The year of death is uniform: 1940.
- Jacques Schol 26 Art 1914 -1940.
- Louis Moeys 2 Gidsen 1916 -1940.
- Achilie Van De Wiele 1Gren 1918-1940.
- Jan Pauwels 2 Gidsen 1916-1940.
- Jacques Vanhercke Cara 1 Carab 1919-1940.
- Marcus Galewith 1 Carab 1916-1940.
- Jan Deyaer 1 Carab 1918-1940.
- Lodewijk De Pauw P.A.M.A. 1906-1940.
- Casimir Smolders 29 Linie 1919-1940.
- Adjt Baron Philippe De Biber 1ChasAch 1895-1940.
- Firmin Soenen 7 Art 1908-1940.
- Cdt Charles Delpaire Woeste 1 Chas Ach 1895-1940.
- Maurice Bellon Priester Brankardier 1895-1940.
- Cpl Lucien Cambier 8 Jagers 1911-1940.
- Cpl Jean Dirick 1 Gr 1919-1940.
- Michel Posello 2.D.T.C.A. 1911-1940.
- Benoni Roggen C.I.4c.A. 1911-1940.
- Joseph De Boeck 39 Linie 1911-1940.
- Rene Declercq 22 Linie 1914-1940.
- Onbekende Soldaat (Unknown Soldier) 1940.
- Gaston Declercq 3e Jagers 1913-1940.
- Alois Lemaire(l) 22 Linie 1914-1940.
- Cdt Cesar Ernalsteen 2e Linie 1894-1940.
- Jules Deloose Tlr 1913-1940.
- Roger Delafontaine 39 Linie 1909-1940.
- SLt Robert Leruth 44 Linie 1912-1940.