The Memorial Royal Engineers (RE) and Royal Canadian Engineers (RCE) Driel commemorates the evacuation of the survivors of the 1st British Airborne Division from Oosterbeek. This evacuation with the codename operation 'Berlin' took place on the evening and night of the 25th and 26th of September 1944. The storm and assault boats which made it possible to evacuate the troops on the north side of the river, went back and forth over the river along two routes.
Along the western route boated the 553rd Field Company RE and the 20th Field Company RCE. Along the eastern route were the 260th Field Company RE with the 23rd Field Company RCE. When the evacuation was halted around 06:00 approximately 2,400 men who had been held up at the North side had been transferred. Those who remained at the North side waiting to be picked up were made prisoners-of-war.
The front of the memorial states:
"25/26 SEPTEMBER 1944"
"...THEY WERE JUST WHISPERS AND SHADOWS IN THE NIGHT..."
The information panel beside the memorial states:
"It is 25th September 1944,The battle of Arnhem is still raging, but the position of the surrounded British an Polish Airborne troops on the northern Rhine bank has become untenable. Then the order for their evacuation across the river is given. In that rainy night hundreds of soldiers come in small parties to the river forelands both clearly visible from here and wait to be rescued. Under heavy German fire from the Westerbouwring British and Canadian Engeniers make dozens of trips in their small boats from this bank. In one night, supported by other units they manage to rescue 2,400 Airborne troops. At the time the rescue had hardly seen their savers, so they have never been able to thank them. This monument has been erected to express their gratitude (15th September 1989)."
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- Text: Jeroen Niels
- Photos: Arjan Vrieze (1,2,3) & Jeroen Niels (4,5)