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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Dutch Veterans' Day

Since 2005, Dutch Veterans' Day (Veteranendag) has been observed on the last Saturday in June. The date was chosen in honor of Prince Bernhard, who was born on June 29. Veterans who served the Netherlands in wars or international peacekeeping operations are honored on this day. A parade takes place at The Hague, and the Royal Netherlands Air Force performs a flyby. Local events are also organized in other cities.

On 29 October 1932 in Bowling Green, Wood County, Ohio, my great-grandfather's sister Anna Elizabeth Gatlin (Anna E. Morrison at the time of her marriage) married Cornelius Thomas de Kam. Both were living in Detroit, Michigan. They divorced in Wayne County, Michigan on 26 November 1935, and Cornelius remarried his second wife, also named Anna.

Cornelius (Cornelis) was born on 15 August 1873 in Wissenkerke, Noord-Beveland, Zeeland, Netherlands. He immigrated to Canada, and then to the United States. According to his attestation paper for the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force, he had served in the Dutch army for six years. I searched, which contains militia records from seventeen Dutch archives, and I found that a record is available for Cornelis Thomas de Kam. Unfortunately, payment for the image must be made by bank transfer, and with added bank fees, it would be expensive to purchase the document.

Screen shot from, showing that a record is available for Cornelis Thomas de Kam.

Cornelius continued his military service after he immigrated to Canada. He agreed to serve in the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force on 22 September 1914.

Attestation paper, Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force. Cornelius Thomas de Kam. 22 September 1914. Available from Library and Archives Canada.

Cornelius was a major in the Calgary Cycle Corps. He was also director of the provincial military school in Alberta, Canada. The infantry school was conducted in one of the city schools, but moved to Camp Sarcee in Calgary, Alberta in 1916.

Dutch Veterans' Day: last Saturday of June
Netherlands Veterans Institute

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