Relation with Lake (class): no. Is Other Cemetery in Area (OCA)  
Total nr. of casualties buried here (TC): 18 ? end WW2, today 9. 
Lake casualties, initially, end WW2 (LC-I): 0
Unknown today: 2
of which unknown from Lake (LC-U): 0
of which unknown from North Sea (NS-U): 2
Initial burial site in WW2. 
Post war burial site for collection and reburial from other sites: no. 
Cemetery with Lake casualties today: no.


Heemkerk has a stretch of North Sea dunes and shoreline of 3,6 km long. Direct south the beach belongs to Wijk aan Zee/Beverwijk. North is the beach of Castricum/Limmen. From July 29th 1940 to the end of 1940, six (?) bodies washed ashore on the 3,6 km Heemskerk strip. They were casualties of the Dunkirk evacuation, one of them an English Sailor of the Royal Navy. The others were French/French North-African soldiers (Marrocan, Algerian). They were moved in the summer of 1949 to the French field of honor in the Netherlands in Kapelle (near Goes, Zeeland province) or to France. Begin September 1943 the first American airman was buried here. On 20 Dec. 1943 the row expanded with 7 graves due to crash in the dunes of Lancaster DS835 (crashed night 16 Dec. 1943). The American(s) were brought to the US identification centre in Neuville-en-Condroz in 1946.


Dutch name cemetery: Begr. pl. Hervormde Kerk 
Full name: Heemskerk Protestant Churchyard
Address (usable for car navigation):
Kerkplein 1, Heemskerk.

For reaction or comments; send us an email,
see address and info at CONTACT.
Please use as subject title: 'Heemskerk'

The church originates from year 1320. Until 1575 it was a Roman-Katholic, thereafter Protestant. Tower is from 1585. The bell in the (all stone) bell tower was casted in 1464. The picture of the 3 girls shows the graveyard direct after the war in 1945. The wooden crosses are the original war-time crosses. This image is a copy of the photo in the collection of Mr. J. Schoen.



Here under a picture as displayed on the site We believe that this picture dates from 4th of May 1948. The war time crosses have been replaced by white crosses, possibly made of steel. Dutch flag is waving and a wreath from the people of Heemkerk is positioned in front to honour these soldiers. The American grave in the centre, as well the one on end of the row (open space before last cross) were already cleared 2 years earlier. A year after this photo was taken, the French graves (second from left, third, fourth and fifth, as well as the (muslim) graves under the 3 small poles on the forefront were moved to Kapelle. 

Attempt to reconstruct this photo, date possibly 4th of May 1948: 

Back row (starting left): 

Grave Nr.

298   An English sailor, 18 September 1940
299  (Unknown) French soldier, end July 1940
300  (Unknown) French soldier, end July 1940
301  American airman Sgt. Eldon F. Richter 1st Sept 1943
302  (Unknown) French soldier, end July 1940 or US
303  empty?
304  Engl. airman Seatter,       16th December 1943 
305  Engl. airman Cowdrey,    16th December 1943
306  Engl. airman Hawkins,    16th December 1943  
307  Engl. airman Downs,       16th December 1943
308  Engl. airman Newton,      16th December 1943
309  Engl. airman Ray,            16th December 1943 
310  Eng. airman Lewis,          16th December 1943
311  An American airman (?)  ??-??-1944
312  An English Marine           29th May 1944

Front row:
314  Unknown French Marrocan soldier, 2nd half 1940
315  Unknown French Marrocan soldier, 2nd half 1940
316  French/Marroc Sgt. Mohamed B'Ahmed. 29-07-1940

The American Sgt. Eldon F. Richter came from B-17F 42-5392 "Stric Nine", crew Lt. Quillen, 303 BG "the Hells Angels". They crashed 19th August 1943 in the North Sea 30 miles to the South-West of here (4 POW, 2 MIA, 4 KIA). Richter washed ashore 31 August  1943 at Wijk aan Zee km pole 30,3.

Underneath a photo of situation today. On the spot of the cleared graves stands a monument stone with inscription in gold. On it are commemorated the villagers fallen in the war and the men who were buried here as unknown soldiers.   



Grave Nr.

298  A Sailor of the 1939-1945 war, Able Seaman,
         Royal Navy, 18th September 1940 (*) 
301   Memorial stone
304  Sgt. M. Seatter,           RAF, 16th December 1943
305  Sgt. A.G.R. Cowdrey,  RAF, 16th December 1943
306  Sgt. R. Hawkins,         RAF, 16th December 1943
307  P/O E.J.H. Downs,      RAF, 16th December 1943
308  P/O N.T. Newton,   RNZAF, 16th December 1943
309  Sgt. G.A.W. Ray,         RAF, 16th December 1943
310  F/Sgt. I. Lewis.            RAF, 16th December 1943
312  A Royal Marine of the 39-'45 war, 20-05-1944 (*)

(*) date of washing ashore.


- site
- site
- info panels in front of the graves and church

- site 303BG
- site WO2VPR

The war grave in nearby Assendelft, that of 1Lt. Robert W. Hays:

© ZZairwar (Zuyder Zee Air War)