Adopt a grave
Foundation War Cemetery Brunssum
Adopt a British grave in Brunssum
“This way we ensure that the boys are not forgotten”
At the time of the establishment of Foundation War Cemetery Brunssum in 2011, Mrs. Arpots (then 91 years old) was interviewed.
She then said: “This way we ensure that the boys are not forgotten”
When the 2nd World War was over, Mrs Arpots adopted the grave of the British soldier Leonard Raymond Allison at the British War Cemetery in Brunssum. She had good contact with the soldier’s family in England. “The soldier’s mother in particular was very grateful that we were tending to her boy’s grave. For us, that was the least we could do back after the liberation.”
Like Mrs Arpots, more people in Brunssum adopted a grave immediately after the liberation. They maintained not only the graves but often also the contact with the family of the fallen soldier. Mrs Arpots: “The family thinks it very nice and reassuring that we maintained the grave. After all, Leonard was their much-loved son or brother. We have also met many times, they stayed with us or we stayed with them. We also got baby clothes and toys from them. We always had a special bond. I have always liked the care for the grave and the contact with the family.”
(In May 2018, Ms. Arpots attended the commemoration for the last time. She passed away in September 2018 at the blessed age of 99.
Her son Marcel Arpots has taken over the adoption of the grave of “her” soldier and continues the contact with the family.)
Click on the TV screen for the broadcast of L1 (01-05-2011).
In the 50s, the British government decided to stop the adoption of war graves. Despite this, many families continued to maintain a grave. This care also often passing from parents to their children. Ruud Scholten, Chrisje Baar and Anne-mie Koopmans happened to discuss this with each other. Anne-mie Koopmans: “We thought that we were probably not the only ones who were particularly interested in taking care of such a grave. Ruud Scholten then enlisted the help of the municipality of Brunssum. In the end, we received permission from the British government to restart the adoption of the British war graves in Brunssum.”
Foundation War Cemetery Brunssum was founded in 2011 and we are extremely proud to be the first Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery where grave adoption was allowed.
After a regorous update of our adoptionregister in 2022/2023 we have some graves available for adoption.
For 5 euros per year or a life time adoption of € 100.00 you can adopt a grave of one of our 328 soldiers. You will receive a certificate and all available data from the soldier. The only ‘obligation’ of adoption is to place a bouquet of flowers on the grave several times a year (4 May – Nat. Remembrance Day, November 11 Poppy Day, Christmas, day of day of death of the soldier). We also offer the possibility to take care of this for you if this is not possible for you because ofe.g. distance, health condition or holidays.
In this way we ensure that the boys who died for our freedom are not forgotten.
Would you like to adopt a grave?
Send a request to our secretary: Stichting War Cemetery Brunssum, Apollolaan 5d, 6411 BA, Heerlen.
Or mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Left Mrs. Arpots, right Anne-Mie Koopmans
Board member of Foundation War Cemetery Brunssum from 2011-2023
© Pascal Moors – Nose for Photography