Jan Hendriks.

a family history project by Mur Hendriks

A soldier & volunteer!

My great-grandfather, Jan Hendriks, was a soldier during World War 2. He joined the Dutch army in 1940, when most men were required to join. He had a wife and six children, one of them being my grandfather. In 1945 he volunteered to join the American-Dutch army. He now lies in the Field of Honor Loenen cemetery.
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Where did he fit in history?

Jan Hendriks was born September 30th, 1914. He was born in Limburg, the Netherlands. On that very day, Western Front comprises the Franco-German-Belgian front and any military action in Great Britain, Switzerland, Scandinavia, and The Netherlands during World war 1.

February 5th, 1935, Jan Hendriks got married to Els Hendriks. One day later, the board game "Monopoly" goes on sale for the first time.

Jan died April 19th, 1945. He died in Mönchen-gladbach, Germany. On that day, the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "Carousel" opened on Broadway. In the last few days of his life he might have heard about that musical. That day, the US aircraft carrier named Franklin also got heavy damaged in a Japanese air raid.

What other events has Jan Hendriks witnessed?

Jan had six children, Jellie, Els, Dirk, Fillipus, Jan, and Gert.

Jellie Hendriks was the oldest and was born the same year as Jan got married. She was born December 10th, 1935. 5 days before she was born, the National Council of Negro Women was formed by Mary McLeod Bethune.

Els Hendriks, named after her mother, was the second oldest. Els was born November 3rd, 1936. One day before birth, the first high-definition TV broadcast service landed by BBC in London. I could imagine the Hendriks family watching the broadcast together the night before the big day.

Next, Dirk Hendriks was born April 17th, 1938. Exactly a week after Austria became a new state of Germany.

After Dirk, my own grandpa Fillipus Hendriks (nicknamed Flip) was born May 31st, 1943. The same day, "Archie" the comic strip was first broadcasted on radio. A 5 year gap was between Dirk and Flip caused by Jan Hendriks having to serve in the army.

Jan Hendriks jr. was born July 28th, 1944. He was named after his dad. The day after he was born, Nazi Paul Touvier shot 7 jews dead. I couldn't even begin to imagine how much fear the Hendriks family must have lived through as their father/husband served in the army.

The last child born was Gert Hendriks. Gert was born a few months after Jan Hendriks had been shot and died. He was born September 27th, 1945. The day before, all old Dutch banknotes had been declared invalid.

Holland during WW2 1940-45

The life and death of Jan Hendriks

Jan Hendriks did not live to see the end of World War 2. He died two weeks before the Netherlands were freed. He died April 19th, 1945. As Jan was working as a volunteer in the American-Dutch army, he accidentally got shot. Another soldier in the same army was cleaning a gun and the trigger was on. The trigger went off. Jan walked in as this occurred. He passed away that same day. He died at the age 30, two weeks before he would have been free.

Jan's life was very short yet powerful. He lived while many inventions were invented. he also witnessed World War 1, World War 2, The Great Depression, and many more things. He got married and had 6 children. I am grateful because without him my family wouldn't be here today, and i respect him tons for living in such a dramatic, horrible time. He barely got so see his family due to having to serve in the army. He had to live with the possibility of dying everyday. I couldn't describe my respect to him in any amount of words. I am proud to be a Hendriks.