Oomen, Adrianus Joannes.

Back to all people

Oomen, Adrianus Joannes, born 29-01-1909 in Tilburg, Netherland

  the son of Cornelis Oomen and Maria van Gorp. Adrianus lives in Molenschot in the municipality of Gilze en Rijen, where he starts working as a farmer on his ancestral farm after school. Adrianus is conscripted from 1927 to 1929 and repeats five more times in the following years. In 1939 Adrianus marries Maria Boemaars   from Gilze en Rijen. Together they have two twin sons.

When the threat of war for the Netherlands increased sharply, Adrianus was again called to arms on 11-04-1939. First in Delft, but later he is assigned as an infantryman in section Asten of the Peel Division. The Peel-Raam Line was a Dutch defence line built in 1939 and attacked and conquered on 10-05-1940 by the German forces. The defence line was behind the Maas Line (about 9 km to 21 km awau) and started at Grave, where a barrack complex was built as part of the Peel-Raam line. From there, the line passed by Mill, Peel along the Zuid-Willemsvaart until the Belgium border nearby Weert. In the north, the defence line was connected to the Grebbe Line. The line could profit from the natural protection of the swamps, rivers and canals in the area. In the north, an artificial barrier was made, the Defensiekanaal, which was a canal. The line was made of casemates (200 m apart) and barbwire obstructions. The railway bridge on the Defensiekanaal near Mill, also had a spargel-obstruction (precursor of the Rommelspargel which the German Army used from 1943 onwards). On the first day of the German invasion, 10 May 1940, a German train crashed into this spargel-obstruction.

The position had fulfilled its duties, but the human and material damage was great. Thirty Dutch soldiers had been killed, 51 farms, 33 homes and a factory in Mill had been destroyed. According to the German military reports, the number of German soldiers killed was 103 men for both regiments involved. Only for the regiment IR.456, which mainly fought at Mill, the number of wounded and missing is given: 136 men. That was a considerable toll, nevertheless in one day they succeeded in breaking through the main resistance in the south of the Netherlands.

In the Battle of the Grebbeberg, 420 Dutch and about 250 German soldiers were killed.

Adrianus first resides in Asten and later in Neerkant. On 08-05-1940, his army unit was ordered to defend part of the Peel-Raamstelling near Meijel and Neerkant.

A.J Oomen with his comrades, Adrianus second from the top left.

Death and burial ground of Adrianus Joannes Oomen.

   On 10-05-1940, the German army invaded the Netherlands. Rotterdam was subjected to heavy aerial bombardment by the Luftwaffe . The objective was to support the German troops fighting in the city, break Dutch resistance and force the Dutch army to surrender. Bombing began at the outset of hostilities on 10 May and culminated with the destruction of the entire historic city centre on 14 May, an event sometimes referred to as the Rotterdam Blitz. According to an official list published in 2022, at least 1,150 people were killed, with 711 deaths in the 14 May bombing alone, and 85,000 more were left homeless. 

Because the defense on the Peel could not be maintained, Adrianus was marched off in a westerly direction. Initially, the west bank of the Zuid-Willemsvaart was the target, but later his section was directed towards my birthtown Eindhoven. On May 12, he and some comrades arrive at a farm in the hamlet of Hout near Geldrop, where they encounter German invaders on motorcycles. Adrianus is fatally hit by a bullet from one of the Germans. Local residents still carry him to the stable of Johannus Bierings, where he dies fifteen minutes later, at the age of 31. Adrianus was killed two days after the invasion. Adrianus is buried in Geldrop at the Roman Catholic cemetery. In 1966 he was reburied at ‘t Zand cemetery, also in Geldrop. His family never asked for a grave on the Grebbeberg cemetery of honor.

His wife only hears after the funeral that Adrianus has been killed. She then has to leave the ancestral farm with her children. She remarried in 1947.

Adrianus was posthumously awarded the War Memorial Cross with the Buckle  and in Molenschot a tree remembers his name and the sacrifice he made.


Message(s), tips or interesting graves for the webmaster:    robhopmans@outlook.com

Share on :


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *