Letter statement by Capt EJ Davies MC


I, Eric John Vere-Davies of Durban, South Africa hereby make the following statement:-

I am a British subject by birth and during World War II was an officer in the 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment, 1st Airborne Division (No 207782). I fought at Arnhem in 1944, was wounded, made prisoner and later escaped from the Germans en route by train to a P.O.W. Camp in Germany, this being my second escape in this war. I jumped the train by night near Zalk, made contact with the Dutch Underground movement and was concealed by the family Scholten in Zalk until my wounds had healed.

I later underwent surgery by a brave Dutch surgeon, Dr Renking, from Zwolle in Nunspeet in the house of Mr van der Schaar and then was passed down to Apeldoorn, to the Woltman’s ‘Submarine Base’ at Jachtlaan 48, Apeldoorn. The Submarine Base, so called, was the home of Capt. Woltman of the Dutch Army who commanded the base and was actively assisted by one of his sons, Job, and his daughter, Tiny.

Apart from myself, several other airborne soldiers from Arnhem, such as Sgt. Prince [APTC att’d 156 Para Bn] and Wade and Morris [RQMS, 11 Para Bn] were sheltered and concealed at Jachtlaan 48 as were numerically even more RAF and USAAF pilots and aircrew. P.O. Duncliffe of the RAF whom I knew personally from the Nunspeet hideout was one of them.

Job and Tiny Woltman were both engaged full time at the Submarine Base and acted as guides and escorts when escapees and evaders were moved to and from the Apeldoorn base and also performed many other dangerous duties necessary for the maintenance and operation of such an underground unit for escaped and evading Allied airmen and soldiers.

All three Woltmans above mentioned lived at Jachtlaan 48 during the war together with the rest of the Woltman family and were constantly active and bold in the face of the occupying enemy and were still there on 17 April 1945, as I was, when Apeldoorn was liberated.

The son, Job, and daughter, Tiny, were particularly involved during two occasions upon which I was housed at Jachtlaan 48 and deserve our recognition and thanks for their brave and patriotic services to Allied soldiers and airmen behind enemy lines.

Any further information may be had on request to the undersigned.

Signed at Durban this 17th day of July 1985.

E. Vere-Davies.

Capt. E.J. Vere-Davies, MC.


Report kindly supplied by R Hilton

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