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Joël Stoppels
Founder Battlefield Tours

Joël Stoppels is a battlefield guide and founder of the Battlefield Tours. He did research in different allied operations during the Second World War in Holland and is now an expert. By means of the Battlefield Tours he shares his knowledge with other people who are interested in the Second World War. “The battle to liberate Holland was so severe and heavy, it took so many lives, that it should not be forgotten”, is Joëls conviction.  In the summer of 2012 he started with guided tours under the name ‘Battlefield Tours Groningen’.  The young historian has a mission: he believes it is very important to keep the memories of the war alive. Every year there are less people who actually experienced the war. Young people should be aware that freedom is the most important condition for individuals and for a country. It can be lost very quickly, but you do not get it back easily. In the Second World War soldiers form other countries helped us, they did fight for our freedom and many died for it. Let us never forget and be grateful that we live in freedom in this country until today.  Joël Stoppels is member van The International Guild of Battlefield Guides, badgenumber 70.

Wybo Boersma

Wybo was born just before the Second World War and still have some memories of that time; Jewish people being hidden by his parents, his farther coming back from a concentration camp and the fighting and liberation in April 1945 of his native town in the North part of Holland by the Canadian Army. He believe that his interest in the history of the Second World War started in his youth when collecting documents and material of that period. In 1974 he became a member of the Board of the Airborne Museum in Oosterbeek and was responsible for the organisation of the museum and its dioramas following the move from its original location at Doorwerth Castle, to the Hartenstein Hotel in 1978. He was also involved in a number of other military museums, including the Museum of Royal Signals, Dutch Commandos and the Harskamp Training Ground Museum, besides guiding battlefield tours of Arnhem for the Army and the Airborne Museum. Wybo Boersma is a member from The International Guild of Battlefield Guides, badgenummer 30.

Luuk Buist

The memory of the Second World War in general and that of the Battle of Arnhem in particular should not be forgotten. I was born and raised in Oosterbeek and started my career in the Dutch Army where I served for nine years as an NCO in the Signals Corps. As co-author I was involved in two books on the Battle of Arnhem and have contributed to more than 35 publications. For over 30 years, I have organized tours for groups in various compositions. I was awarded the AAC Association Bronze Medal and made an honorary member in recognition of my role educating today’s AAC soldiers about the battle of Arnhem. I am specialised in customised battlefield tours of the Battle of Arnhem. In addition to the strategic part of the battle, many personal stories are told. Luuk Buist is a member from The International Guild of Battlefield Guides, badgenummer 85.

Edwin Popken

History, especially militairy history has always been a major interest of Edwin. For more than 25 years he has read, studied and visited different locations both well know and lesser known, related to both world wars and other conflicts. His main interest is World War 2 operations in North Western Europe, but the history of the holocaust and concentration camps never cease the grab of him. Living in the area where a part of Market Garden took place, visiting these battlefields became more than just a spare time hobby for Edwin.There is always more to know and understand on these militairy operations and battles, this is why on some days he can be found exploring battlefield locations to examine what the surroundings look or looked like. For several years now he have shared his knowledge with different groups of people taking them to those locations and sharing the stories.   Edwin is a member of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides.

Erik Jellema

Erik Jellema (1961) spent 40 years in the Dutch Royal Army as an infantryman, mainly fulfilling functions in the so-called “forest edge”. His interest in the Second World War started at the age of 13 because of a booklet about the Battle of Arnhem. Throughout his career he has been able to use military history as a teaching resource to help soldiers better understand the military profession. Following the mission to Srebrenica (1994) he wrote the book “First In”. With two colleagues he published the book Tactics to Understand (and the translation “Tactics made Easy”). Over the past 20 years, he has developed and carried out Battlefieldtours in syndicate form with a group of former military personnel. Erik is also a guide at the VVAM (Friends of the Airborne Museum). If possible, he takes special guests and/or veterans’ relatives in his 1944 Willy’s jeep. This gives an extra dimension to following in the footsteps of units or individuals.

Harold de Jong

Harold de Jong is an active serving soldier of the Royal Netherlands Army and is commander of the Royal School (KMS). Because of his research into the death of soldiers in combat areas, he is very aware of the importance of recording the stories of the fallen soldiers. The combination with his predilection for military history and in particular the Second World War in combination with capturing the stories have resulted in the book ‘Franse Para’s in Drenthe’. The underlying idea is to give a face to a fallen soldier who fought for our freedom. Through his research into the liberation in the Northern Netherlands, he has over the years immersed himself in the roles of the Canadians, Poles, French and Belgians. He prefers to carry out his reconnaissance for the tours in his 1942 Willys Jeep.