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Bernardus Beekmans    

Servicenumber :
Rank : Soldaat (Private)
Regiment : 17e Grensbataljon
Unit : 3e Compagnie
Date of Death : 10-05-1940
Age : 32
Grave : Row 13. Grave 14.
Bernardus Beekmans was born on 12 october 1907 in Best. On 18 may 1932 he married Catharina Vorstenbosch. They got three children. On 28 august 1939 he was enlisted into the Dutch army and served with 17 Grensbataljon (borderbattalion). 
He was killed in a casemate in Wessem. West of the river Maas at Wessem, south of the canal Nederweert - Wessem lay 4 casemates. Beekmans served in number S1, positioned where the canal and the river came together. The casemate was fired upon with anti tank weapons and artillery. When the Germans send some Dutch prisoners to the casemate to convince Beekmans that he should surrender, he was found dead. 
Beekmans was awarded the Militaire Willemsorde 4e Klasse. According to the citation he behaved courageously and loyal during fighting near Wessem and stayed in his casemate, even when the others fled. He kept firing at the Germans who were crossing the river Maas and died when the enemy eventually attacked the casemate from the rear. 
Picture: 13-09-2016
Sources: Website Oorlogsgravenstichting, website www.maaslinie-mei1940.nl and website www.geschiedenisvanbest.nl 


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