Thousend times thanks!

To all the followers of the blog, to anyone who has been supportive of Frank or us in the last months and especially after his untimely death we want to say thanks from the bottom of our hearts. In the week after his passing we received so much warmth, stories, care and love, hardly describable. To us it was a very precious and valuable week and it was so good to have Frank at home where so many of his friends could visit him. And all the help, stories and info shared in that week led to a beautiful goodbye ceremony on a beautiful sunny autumn day. For those of you who could not attend, or those of you who wish to reread the funeral speeches, we publice them here (in dutch and english) with some pictures in grateful memory of, and tributed to Frank.We will miss him dearly, thanks for being with him and with us, one way or another,

On behalf of my family and his closest friends, Esther

Foto's Frank

vrijdag 28 oktober 2011

Guild of the Battlefield guides in english

Frank first came to the attention of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides in 2008. By then he had spent years doing battlefield tours for the National Liberation Museum 1944-1945 of the battlefields of Nijmegen, Arnhem and the Reichswald, to name a few. So membership of the Guild was a logical step in his long career as a battlefield guide.

When he participated in the Nijmegen Four Day Marches in the eighties, Frank had met the British Para’s, amongst whom were Captain Tony Dogeet, Ron Glancy en Mike Pety. They kept in touch for the rest of their lives and Mike Pety of 10 Para became somewhat of a Guru in Frank’s eyes. They welcomed him into their group and made him feel like he belonged. Frank completed the civilian parachutist training and was awarded the much coveted parachutist wings and red beret by the Para’s, which he wore with pride. Ron Clancy then introduced him to the Air Dispatchers. As a result of his contact with Arnhem veterans, Frank became a member of the Friends of the Airborne Museum at Oosterbeek and a much appreciated participant in their meetings.

As I’ve mentioned, Frank was a guide on battlefield tours, and he preferred military groups, which allowed him to display his ability to the fullest. When I pointed out the Guild of Battlefield Guides to him in 2008, he immediately wanted to become a member and accompany me to their meetings in England. There he met a great many like-minded battlefield guilds and felt right at home.

Every guide in the Guild is an expert in his own field, from the War of Roses in England to the Second World War and beyond. Frank’s diverse interests helped him in exchanging views about everything and getting along swimmingly with everyone. His background as a passionate war gamer helped him to gain an insight into almost every battle. His high-level and demonstrable knowledge was respected by all.

Last year, as part of the Guild weekend in England, we were given a tour of the RAF training centre at Carnwell College and came across a painting of what I think was an 18th century battle scene. The curator didn’t know much about the painting, which prompted Frank to improvise a 15 minute lecture about the painting, the scene depicted, the uniforms and the battle. Had he seen the painting before? No. He hadn’t even know it existed until that day.

British always have a quiz as a part of such meetings. On the first meeting in Woolwich the Dutch had their own team. With Frank’s help, it was a splendid victory for the Dutch. As a result of which the Dutch were no longer allowed to have a team of their own the next year and all the teams started competing to get Frank on their team. Frank also enjoyed himself immensely when the Dutch were asked to prepare the quiz. The questions he came up with, as it turned out, were a bit too difficult for the British.
Frank also joined the Guild on their battlefield tour of the Zulu- and Boer War in South Africa last year. To no ones surprise but his own, he defeated a range of international contesters and won the South African quiz. Despite the usual mass of books and presents he bought for his family, his suitcase was allowed on the plane during the return journey without paying extra. For Frank, this tour was the zenith of his membership of the Guild.
Frank was working hard on the assignments required to receive a Guild badge, but he never had the chance to complete them. He had a stroke only days after his return from the RAF Guild weekend. In the days that followed, emails from all over the World demonstrated how in a short period of time Frank had become a highly appreciated Guild member to many.
Last week, after our Guild weekend in France, we received news that Frank had passed away.

Frank, on behalf of the Guild, Thanks

Wybo Boersma

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