England Farers became the name for all men and women who, during the Second World War (1940-1945), after the capitulation of the Dutch struggle forces and before the Allied invasion in Normandy on 6 June 1944 (D-day) from occupied territory knew escaping with the intention of joining the Allied forces in England or other Allied territories to actively participate in the fight against the enemy (Germany, Italy, Japan).
Over 1700 Dutch men and women have, after many difficulties, won in England or other allied territory. A large number of men and women died on their way to England or were arrested. Some were fused, most of them were taken to a concentration camp. Many died in a camp, only a few times after liberation from captivity back to the Netherlands. All these men and women are referred to as England hunters. (see below Failed escapees).
Some figures are especially noteworthy: Siebren Erik Hazelhoff Roelfzema on the right whose life was described in his book and made into a film and a musical Soldaat van Oranje, At the end of the war he became the adjutant of Queen Wilhelmina.
Peter Tazelaar Peter Tazelaar left on the photo above, survived the war and died the historical day of 06-06-1993 in Hindelopen, Nijefurd, Netherlands and “Bob” or Bram van der Stok , who became a squadron leader in No. 322 Squadron RAF. Van der Stok was one of only three successful survivors of ‘the Great Escape’ from Stalag Luft III. The men and women overcame many difficulties to travel to England or another allied territory; 332 of them joined the Army, 118 the Air Force, 397 the Navy, 176 the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL), 164 the merchant navy, 111 were secret agents and 129 served with the Dutch government-in-exile in London. “Bob”van der Stok also survived the war and died in 08-02-1993, age 77 in Virginia, USA.