Margaret Walsh in the documentary 'Memories in Mud'
BERKHOUT - Irish and British families of the airmen who perished when their bomber was shot in Berkhout, 1941, are impressed with the way the makers of the documentary 'Memories of Mud' visualised their emotions. 'Very respectful of my brothers memory', was the reaction of Margaret Walsh in Ireland.
Margaret Walsh is the now 90-year-old sister, who requested the salvage of the plane. The elderly Irish is recovering from surgery. She wasn't able to be present at the premiere of the film, last week at the International Film Festival in Breda. On her behalf her daughters Margaret and Carmel attended.
In the past years, her daughters accompanied her to memorial services in Berkhout, on the meadow at the Westeinde where the wreck with the remains of John Kehoe and Stanley Mullenger was finally excavated in 2007.
Margaret and Carmel showed the dvd of 'Memories of Mud' to their mother Sunday. She was very pleased. ,,A little sad remembering but this is ok. Mam taught it was very well done", Carmel wrote.
"Dignified" was the first reaction of Sheila Hamilton after the premiere. She is the daughter of Mary Irving, Kehoe's fiancee.
In the documentary her now deceased mother tells about their farewell at the busstation in Newcastle. They had agreed that on his next leave, the next month at Christmas, he would take her to Ireland to meet his mother. 'Break it up', the bus driver said, 'I have a schedule to keep'. As they waved at each other, Mary Irving couldn't know it was the last time they saw each other.
Daughter Sheila did much
for her mother to find out what happened to the missing Kehoe. She knows how
important it was to her mother, knowing that he finally was buried in a dignified
resting place, in May 2008 at the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Bergen.
,,Two days before she died she asked me if I wanted to read the poem, a daughter of the pilot had recited at the funeral.''
That daughter of pilot Chris Saunders, Jackie Purser, brought a poignant text. About four men who made jokes on their airbase Scampton, but didn't return of their flight to Germany. ,,They always have been missed, but their sacrifice wasn't for nought '', Jackie said.
She also recites it in the documentary.
Sheila Hamilton travels
to the Netherlands again in May. On Liberation Day, she wants to lay flowers
at the graves of the crew of the bomber in Bergen and at the monument that was
erected after the salvage has been established, alongside the Westeinde in Berkhout.
On May 6 she will also attend the regional premiere the Noordhollands Dagblad has organized in Filmhouse Hoorn.
The film also impressed
persons who where less directly involved.
Leo Hannewijk, director of the International Film Festival, praised the skill of the filmmakers Brabant Arthur van der Starre and Raoul de Zwart
Huibert van Driel, director of Monshouwer, the company that carried out the salvaging of the plane in Berkhout, said that the makers of the documentary did their job "with modesty, respect and the right feeling for people".
Van Driel: "We can't be made aware long and often enough of the madness people have to deal with all over the world, even nowadays. Isn't it peculiar that we still have a complete industry in the Netherlands, continually trying to literally cleaning up our past?''