The bombing of Terherne lock
On 11 November 1944, pilots of the Royal Canadian Air Force, based at Welschap airfield near Eindhoven, were ordered to bomb the lock at Terherne in two groups. The reason for the bombardment of Terherne lock was to restrict (German) transport movements.
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On 11 November 1944, pilots of the Royal Canadian Air Force, based at Welschap airfield near Eindhoven, were ordered to bomb the lock at Terherne in two groups. The reason for the bombardment of Terherne lock was to restrict (German) transport movements. The lock complex was situated on the main shipping route from Germany via Groningen to the Randstad, along which the Germans transported goods and military equipment.
After the railway strike in September had already disrupted rail transport considerably, actions against shipping traffic followed in the months thereafter. The southern part of the country may have been liberated, but fierce battles were still to be fought in the other parts.
Such was the case on that 11th November just after nine o'clock in the morning when the two groups of Hawker Typhoon fighter-bombers took off shortly after each other from Eindhoven for their mission. Around 10:00, the lock at Terherne was bombed from the north for the first time and then again around 10:30.
The consequences were huge for the people living on the lock. The wives of both lock keepers, a one-year-old baby and a German soldier were killed. Also, pilot John Gordon Fraser's aircraft was damaged to such extent that he had to make an emergency landing at St. Johannesga. Although the bombing resulted in the northern passageway being deactivated and no longer usable, the southern passageway remained open and could still be used.
Today, a boathouse for the State yacht of the province of Friesland has been built over the southern passage. A new building, that serves as a guest house for the province, was put up on the site of the lock keeper's house on the south side.
A monument has been erected on the northern pier in memory of those who perished at the lock. This monument was unveiled on 10 November 1985 by Hattum Hoekstra, son of 1st lock keeper Wiemer and Tietje Hoekstra. Since then, the commemoration of the dead in Terherne has always taken place at the old lock, and the children of primary school 'It Kampke' have adopted the monument.