In the lead-up to Anzac Day, residents of the Dutch town of Wierden and students from its school had not forgotten the sacrifices of Matamau's Terence Murphy and other airmen from the Commonwealth.

The four killed - including Sergeant Terence Murphy, 30, the son of Patrick and Adelia Crimlin Murphy of Matamau - are buried in the town's cemetery, along with other Commonwealth war dead.

However, because Anzac Day is a school holiday, students from Immanuel School instead placed poppies sent from New Zealand on the graves in Wierden General Cemetery last Thursday, April 21.

Residents and school children in the Dutch town of Wierden laid poppies on the graves of airmen shot down over Holland. Pictured, Kees Kroon's 6-year-old granddaughter.
Residents and school children in the Dutch town of Wierden laid poppies on the graves of airmen shot down over Holland. Pictured, Kees Kroon's 6-year-old granddaughter.

"It was a special day and great to honour these pilots in this manner," said Kees Kroon, a member of the local Historical Association.

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As well as school children, members of the Wierden community council and regional media were invited to the ceremony. Mr Kees acted as master of ceremonies, and Diederick ten Brinke, of Enter, made a short presentation about Mr Murphy's Stirling bomber and its crew before poppies were placed on the graves.

"This was followed by a minute's silence for those who have fallen for our freedom and democracy," Mr Kees said.

"We wanted it to be a dignified and memorable occasion, the least we can do for those brave men."

Mr Murphy's nephew, Russell, who now lives in Brisbane, told the Dannevirke News that the special ceremony with the poppies sent from New Zealand had been heartwarming for all his family. "I guess it's what this is all about - the future," he said.

"We have a common debt [between the Murphy family and Holland] and our family holds all those involved with this ceremony and the care of our uncle's grave in the highest regard."