'Finally they will be in consecrated ground'

BERKHOUT - The Irish Margaret Tracey says she 'have to pinch myself' to believe that it's actually going to happen. Her uncle John Kehoe will be buried with full military honours at 11:00 hrs on Wednesday, 7th of may in Bergen. ,,It's marvellous, we are thrilled. Finally they will be buried in consecrated ground.''

Tracey accompanied her mother Margaret Walsh, the now 88 years old sister of Kehoe, several times on a trip to Berkhout. First to the monument at the church, and after they discovered where the plane was, to the memorial services on the meadow at the Westeinde. There, the wreckage was excavated in september last year, on request of Kehoe's sister. Between the parts of the Hampden bomber the remains of Kehoe and his British collegae air gunner Stanley Mullenger were found.

Mrs. Walsh-Kehoe places flowers at the graves of Saunders and d'Arcy in 2005. Two and a half year later her brother will find his final resting place here. Foto JJFoto/Erwin Neles.
It was the wish of the Irish family to bury Kehoe in Ireland, in the family grave. But Margaret Tracey and her mother were told it would take a couple of years to separate the human remains of the men via comparison of their DNA. ,,And my mother hasn't that long. It is a pity. But it's consecrated ground. My mother has accepted it. She is very well at the moment, I hope she will be able to attend. She will be 89 in august, we'll have to be very easy on her.''
The Irish family was allready prepared this could be the outcome of the investigation. Since it's final, they have peace with the two finding their last resting place together at a Commonwealth war grave in Bergen general cemetery.
Fourteen members of the Irish family will come to Bergen and Berkhout, where on the same day a memorial to the crew of P1206 will be unveiled. ,,They all want to come. We've waited a long time for this.''

Source: Noordhollands Dagblad, March 14, 2008