Jacobus Groenwoud (1916-1944).
Jacobus Groenwoud was part of the Jedburgh Team "Claude" during the battle of Arnhem. This team had the task to gain as much information from the resistance that could help the 1st British Airborne Division in getting to the bridge. Jedburgh Team "Claude" existed from 2 Americans and a Dutch man. After being flown in a C-47 Dakota he landed on 17 September around 1400 Hours on the heath near Heelsum and Wolfheze, also known as 'Dropping Zone X'.
After the landing Groenwoud joined the 1st Parachute Brigade HQ.
Together with them he started marching to the bridge. During his way he succeeded, with two other British to capture the Rijn pavilion. Doing so, he found important documents, that contained plans on destroying the harbours in Amsterdam and Rotterdam.
Later that day Groenwoud arrived at the Arnhem trafficbridge. The following days formed one of the most memorable actions in the history of teh British Airborne units. The British units around the bridge, about 600 in number, had little or no contact with the main part of the unit, who was trying desperately to break trough around the St. Elisabeth Gasthuis and the City hall and to reinforce the man at the bridge. That was also the reason that on Monday 18 September Groenwoud volunteered to go trough the German attack lines in the direction of Oosterbeek to give some important orders to the division.
At only a couple of hundred meter outside the bridgehead of the British faith struck. Groenwoud was hit in the head by a German sniper and Groenwoud died immediately. On 27 July 1945 Captain Jacobus Groenwoud was registerd in the Order of the Militaire Willemsorde.
Born: 8 November 1916 in Amsterdam
Died: 18 September 1944 in Arnhem
The Jacobus Groenewoud Plantsoen
The Jacobus Groenewoud plantsoen is situated in the middle of Arnhem, near the John Frostbrigde. The square was made several years ago when Paul Scholten was mayor of Arnhem (1989-2001).
On the square several things can be seen. First you will find a big stone with a helmet on top if you walk up the stairs. This stone was from the Eusebius church in Arnhem, also known as the 'big' church. The church was destroyed completely as a result of the fights in Arnhem. When people walk around the square they will find a big plaque. It says in Dutch, English and Polish a brief note of how the battle of Arnhem took place. When you will walk further you will see 8 other, smaller, plaque's which all contain a photo or drawing that connect Arnhem to the Second World War. So you will find drawings of the battle of Arnhem, but also the periods that eventually led to the liberation of Arnhem in April 1945.
Between these plaquettes you will find some benches, from where you will have a nice view on the Rhine river and the bridge. Also there are some others objects placed that remind of the fighting from the Second World War. So there you will find a bomb om a total of 400 kilograms and some other ammunition. Also you can find a piece of a propeller given by the Museum '40-'45 in Schaarsbergen, Arnhem.
Next to that you will find a big white sign at the end of the square, it says as follows, " Jacobus Groenewoud, reserve captain of the Infantry, born 1916, died 18 September 1944, as only Dutch officer during the fighting for the Rhine bridge. Posthumous rewarded with the Militairy Willemsorde.
The eye catcher object is the Canadian 25 pounder artillery gun. Wrongfully it is thought that this gun is from the battle of Arnhem.This is not the case because this object can't be transported trough the air and the British paratroopers didn't used this gun.. On this gun you will find a stone from the 16th Parachute Field Ambulance (RAMC), one of the medical units who would face an impossible task to take care of the many wounded. On the gun you will find a plaque with the following text, "A stone with a badge, a name, a date buried here, brothers, friends and mate they fought their battles to free us all till the bugle sounded their last call."
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