Maria ten Horn of Nijmegen (1924-1998)

During the height of the battle of Nijmegen, three Grenadiers, LSgt WFR Draycott,
Gdsm J. Newsome and Gdsm GA Richardson were killed when their tank received a direct hit. This was near to the home of Maria ten Horn and Maria and her family buried the Grenadiers in their garden with Maria tending their graves regularly with flowers. However, as the war passed on from Nijmegen, the War Graves Commission eventually moved the graves to the Jonkerbos War Cemetery. For the next 54 years, until her illness, she continued to visit the graves at regular intervals to place flowers on the three Grenadier graves.

On the picture Maria ten Horn is on the right, second from left is Yvonne Rohn (MGVA's secretary for England) during a visit of a Market Garden Veteran (of the Grenadier Guards). Maria and Yvonne were neighbours for a couple of years.

During the liberation of Nijmegen, Maria became involved in the Woman’s Auxiliary Corps of the YMGA. She later served as a Captain in the British Army between 1946 and 1948, after which she became the Personal Assistant to the Dutch Consul in Klieve. In that capacity she was involved in the process of repatriating the Dutch then present in Germany. She was also engaged on a special assignment to hear cases of Dutch citizenship.

She later studied English, becoming a teacher and translator. She was the holder of the France and Germany Star and the War Medal. Maria was present during many visits of the Grenadier Guards and through knowing Burton Upon Trent members who were veterans of the battle, she became an Honorary Vice President of the Branch. Each year she was proud to receive the Grenadier Gazette and cards from many of her friends in the Regiment.

She contracted cancer and after many months of illness died on 1st April 1998. It was her last wish that the flowers from her funeral were to be placed on the three Grenadier graves and those of two RAF pilots in Jonkerbos and this was done by her brother Lawrence.

(Grenadier Gazette No22 1999).