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Kate ter Horst, Angel of Arnhem

13-09-2019

Kate ter Horst, was born July 6, 1906 in Amsterdam, was a Dutch full-time housewife and mother who tended wounded and dying Allied soldiers during the Battle of Arnhem. Her British patients nicknamed her the Angel of Arnhem.

Ter Horst was born Kate Anna Arriëns, daughter of Pieter Albert Arriëns and Catharina Maingay. She married Jan ter Horst, a lawyer from Rotterdam, with whom she had six children. One of her daughters, Sophie

  , still resides in the family home in Oosterbeek.

During Operation Market Garden,  the British 1st Airborne Division undere command of Major General Robert Elliott “Roy” Urquhart   parachuted to capture the Arnhem bridge but due to a compilation of problems and delays of the relieving force soon found themselves surrounded and outnumbered by the German army. Captain Martin asked the ter Horsts permission to set up a regimental aid station in their house at the Benedendorpsweg in Oosterbeek. The family consented.   

During the eight days of fighting, ter Horst tended to about 250 wounded British paratroopers herself. Some of her most famous actions in looking after the British troops included walking around her home reading the Bible to dying soldiers ] and finding water in the most unlikely places (such as the boiler and toilet) when, due to the large concentration of British troops, the house became a target. Mrs ter Horst wrote about these experiences in a book called Cloud Over Arnhem 

In November 1947, her oldest son, Pieter Albert, was killed by a left over anti-tank mine in a meadow along the Rhine.

She starred in Theirs is the Glory, a film made directly after the war about the battle of Arnhem in which survivors were asked to re-enact the parts they played in the battle.

In 1980, the British ambassador to the Netherlands decorated Kate and her husband as Honorary Members of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire .

In 1992, Kate ter Horst died 21 02 1992, age 85, after she was struck by a car outside her home . Jan died on 1 August 2003 at the age of 98.

In the 1977 film A Bridge Too Far, she is played by Liv Ullmann . ter Horst narrated the opening montage in English.

Tony Lloyd   was wounded in the fighting at Oosterbeek, in the area near the Regimental Aid Post at Kate ter Horst’s house. Unfortunately, Tony died from his wounds and he was one of 57 parachutists given a temporary burial in mass grave in the house’s garden. Tony was only 21 years old when he died on September 26th 1944. Tony now is buried on the British war cemetery of Oosterbeek.

 

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