5. Not registered

I found out that I was not registered anywhere. In England I was a Lance Corporal, which was equivalent to Soldier First Class in the Netherlands, but for some unknown reason I was not considered for promotion and it later was to turn out that I just did not exist in the system. I have never seen the other 9 guys that I trained with again. They were all transferred to Batavia. What I do know is that they ended up with the Secret Service in Batavia.

One afternoon a sergeant walked into the barracks in Soesterberg and said that we were pulling out that afternoon. We travelled in Army trucks to Utrecht where we were given ships leave in the Kromhout Barracks (Kazerne)

The soldiers that were stationed there were already on parade. I was the last one out of the truck and the sergeant to join the troop on parade.. He wrote down my name and rank but was not registered on his call out sheet.

In trucks we were driven to Rotterdam. On the docks we were met by people farewelling their loved ones, demonstrators and “communists” with large banners calling us “Murderers”. I could not understand that because we were going to the Dutch Indies to restore peace and order.

It was then, the 2nd of May 1947, that my ship left for the Indies. A country I only knew from my school days where we had to read out the Islands.

-- vervolg --