van Beveren was born on 19/05/1916 at Loosduinen, The Hague. He grew up learning
about horticulture from his father. In the spring of 1939, Arend read an article
in a newspaper which was about the Land Settlement Association in England. This
Assosiation needed people to help and to teach horticulture to unemployed coal
miners and other unfortunate people in different parts of England. Arend applied
for such a teaching position and came to work on a farm near Goole in Yorkshire
in the summer of 1939.
Also working on the farm with the Land Settlement Association was George and
Lilian Firby and thier daughter Mary. Arend and Mary became good friends in a
short time and by the end of 1939 they became engaged to be married.
Some letters from Arend to Mary were from August 1940. He had joined the Royal
Dutch Army and was posted at Dan-Y-Graig Camp, Newton, nr Porthcawl, South
Wales. He explained about life in the camp, described the food and his comrades,
getting his kit and undergoing basic training. After a few weeks he was
transferred to Ruperra Castle, Lower Machen, Newport, South Wales.
is thought that Arend was transferred to Wrottesley Park Camp around September
1941. His address was I Batt. H.Q. Coy. 3 Platoon. Hut 77. He later stayed in
hut 98. Several of his letters were written on letter headed paper, at the top
of each page was printed in red lettering...... Royal Dutch Brigade (Prinses
Irene) Arend trained as a gunner, his number was 2023. Often he described having to go
out to do Bren Gun practice and riding on Bren Gun carriers. He mentioned a
friend called Gerrit and that quite often, Gerrit was on guard duty. On 13th
March 1942, Arend was sent on a ship from Gourock, Scotland. After 12 days at
sea, the convoy reached New York. Then on Friday 27th March they set sail again
At some point, unknown date, Arend had been given the opportunity to go to the
Dutch East Indies. He had turned down this offer because he wanted to return
home on leave as often as possible to spend time with Mary.
Mary and Arend had had a daughter, born in January 1942, she died at six weeks
the following months, the ship Arend sailed on was called the Tjileboet. He
sailed on several convoys across the Atlantic to Canada and New York. Its
thought he stayed at the Prinses Juliana Barracks at some point while he did
further training in Stratford, Canada.
The final voyage of Arends ship
the Tjileboet was CONVOY ON 145. They sailed from Swansea, South Wales, 7th
November 1942. Arrived at Belfast Lough, Ireland, 10th November 1942,
then arrived at New York City, U.S.A, 25th November 1942. Set sail
from New York City heading for Bahia, Cape Town and The Middle East, but was
torpedoed on 28th November 1942 by
the U 161.
All crew lost.
Mary was unaware of Arends death for several weeks. She recieved a telegram in
January 1943. In March 1943, four months after his death, Arends son was born,
Arend John, my Father.
Carla van Beveren (grandchild of Arend)