Peters “nun” Maria Clothilda, Lies Elisabeth.

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Peters “nun” Maria Clothilda, Lies Elisabeth, born 01-03-1900 in Sterkrade Germany, from the young couple Harry Peters and Koos Suppers both born in Veldhoven moved to Sterkrade, Germany, as Harry couldn’t find work in Holland anymore. The Peters couple got their daughter Lies Elisabeth on 01-03-1900 and my wife’s father Theodore Anton Peters on 15-12-1908, they were two of ten children. Shortly before the outbreak of the first war and afraid of what was coming in Hitler’s Germany, the couple moved back to Holland and took seat again in Veldhoven, where the rest of the large family lived. Lies, born 01-03-1900, my wife’s aunt, Lies Peters, became a nun in the nunnery of Veghel, 

   like her younger sister Anna Peters ” nun Marie Justiniana”, here with my wife Mieke and her brother Paul, visiting the nunnery, died old age 94 on 17-01-1996.

    and Lies got the nun’s name “Maria Clotilda”. World War II broke out and she lived quiet with more as 100 other nuns in the nunnery until the liberation battles on September 19th 1944. The South of Holland was liberated during Operation Market Garden, as the 101st Airborne’s under General Maxwell Davenport Taylor  and Veghel, specific by the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment Unit

 of then Colonel Harry Kinnard  a 29-year-old assistant Chief of Staff to General Anthony McAuliffe   Commander of the 101st Airborne “Screaming Eagle” Division.  The 101 Airborne Division had the next losses during their campaign in Europe; In Normandy, killed/died of wounds 868, wounded in action 2.303, missing/captured 665. In Holland killed 752, wounded 2.151 and missing 398. In the battle of the Bulge in Belgium, killed 482, wounded 2.449 and missing 527, in total killed 2.043, wounded 2.782 and missed 1590. 


The famous father Francis Leon Sampson   ,  who brought Frederick “Fritz” Niland “Private Ryan” back home, was driving on his motorbike around in this area.

Death and burial ground of Peters “nun” Maria Clothilda, Lies Elisabeth.

The nuns were very happy and invited the 101 Airborne warriors in the nunnery, for good food and drinks and of course for remembrance pictures, Lies joined them of course. On September 23rd the German launched a counter attack on Veghel with 200 German troops and 4 tanks assaulted Veghel under the cover of fog and mortar fire, with Friedrich von der Heydte‘s 6th Fallschirmjaeger Regiment attacking Eerde from the sand dunes. with many grenades.

The 6th Parachute Division was formed in June 1944 from the 16th, 17th and 18th paratrooper regiments and the 6th paratrooper artillery regiment. The 16th Regiment fought on the Eastern Front before being withdrawn and attached to the newly formed division. Later it was detached from the division and was incorporated into the Parachute-Armorgrenadier Division 2 Hermann Göring. The majority of the division was deployed as Kampfgruppe in Normandy in July 1944. There she suffered heavy losses. The remnants of the division retreated via Paris, but ended up in the encirclement near Mons. The division was essentially destroyed.The remains of the division were then transferred to the Netherlands and in October 1944 the division was re-established at Kleve and in the Northern Netherlands. In November 1944 the division came into action again, in the eastern Betuwe and later along the Waal and Maas west of Tiel. In February 1945, the 6th Parachute Division took part in the Battle of the Reichswald. The remnants of the division surrendered near Amersfoort in May 1945.

The nuns and some 101 Airborne soldiers soldiers hided in the basement under the chapell of the nunnery for shelter. Aunt Maria had a phobia for small spaces and sat down, with two other nuns, close behind the door of the basement, which was to reach with a small stairs, ten steps, see picture. One of the grenades bounced down the steps and exploded in front of the basement door, the splinters came through the door  and killed three nuns immediately. Many sisters and laymen were injured. Four sisters and two employees were killed. They were Sister Clotilda Peters (44) from Sterkrade, Sister Symphorosa Pennings (47) from Schaijk, Sister Gaudiosa van Berkel (34) from Dinther, Novice Sister Clotilde Jonkers (28) from Erp,

employee Miet van de Brand who always groceries for the training school did and the oldest servant employed by the Bert Langens sisters. Lies sister survived but her sister Nun Maria Clotilda, was killed and all are buried on the cemetery of the nunnery. My wife is number thirteen of fourteen children of Theo Peters, called after his father and Anne Peters-Habraken. Sister Anne Marie Smits “Smitje” showed us the basement a fifteen years ago and this sunday 22-09-2019, during the 75 remembrance day, she was still alive and will be 100 next year.

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