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Jan Jozef Lambert van Hoof   

 

Date of Birth : 7 august 1922
Date of Death : 19 september 1944
Age : 22
Cemetery : Algemene begraafplaats Vredehof, Nijmegen
Organisation : Studentenverzet and Geheime Dienst Nederland (GDN)
Jan van Hoof was born in Nijmegen. He was the son of Jan Lambert van Hoof, a teacher, and Regina Engelina Van Hoof-Herfkens. Before the war he was a boy scout with the Catholic Scouts. During the war scouting was forbidden. All the scouting organisations were to be integrated into the Nationale Jeugdstorm (a Dutch version of the Hitlerjugend). Dutch scout organisations did not agree with the terms and went underground or joined the resistance.
Jan van Hoof in particular joined the resistance. He made observations and drawings of his environment, especially the Waal Bridges. Van Hoof also printed illegal newspapers (Vrij Nederland and Je Maintiendrai) and distributed them. In may 1943 Van Hoof signed in on a technical school. By doing this he avoided being sent to Germany for forced labor. In the same year he joined a Dutch Air Raid Precautions organisation, which meant he was permitted to use a bike and to be out on the streets during so-called Sperrzeit, when no civilians were allowed to be on the streets.
In spring 1944 Van Hoof joined the resistancegroup Geheime Dienst Nederland. Is is said Van Hoof disarmed the explosived that were attached to the Waal Bridge before the fighting, though no-one saw him do it. Van Hoof supposedly told his sister 'the bridge is saved'. Enquiries after the war could not positively identify Van Hoof as the individual who cut the wires to the bridge, however circumstancial evidence backs up the claim. 
With the coming of the Allies during operation Market Garden Van Hoof used his expertise by guiding the Allies through the city of Nijmegen. On 19 september 1944 Van Hoot was riding on top of a Guards Armoured Division Humber Scout Car, guiding the vehicle to the central post office, when a German 2 cm gun opened fire on the vehicle at the Nieuwe Markt. The British crew (William Berry and Albert Shaw) were allready dead when German soldiers arrived, but Van Hoof was still alive. He was beaten and shot between 1700hrs and 1800hrs that day.
Van Hoof was posthumously awarded the Medal of Freedom with bronze Palm (USA), the Order of William Knight 4th Class (The Netherlands), The King's Commendation for Brave Conduct with silver laurel (UK). There are several monuments dedicated to Jan van Hoof in Nijmegen.
Van Hoof was buried at the Kronenburgerpark and later Rustoord. In 1945 he was reburied at Daalseweg and in 1969 at the Ereveld Vredehof. 

The Humber Scout Car

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