AsstRegtlAdjt
23/09/2018

On 1st September 18, Major F Howell IG, OC Rear Operations Group (ROG), RQMS J Owen, 1st Battalion and RQMS D Davies 03 from Regimental Headquarters, attended the annual commemoration ceremony at the memorial plaque for the victims of World War 2 in Hondzocht, just outside the town of Halle in Belgium.  Hondzocht was the first Flemish village to be liberated in World War 2.

Hondzocht

The Welsh Guards had liberated Honzdocht/Halle in 1944 taking on a German column that was on its way to Brussels.  What followed was a fierce fight in which four people were killed.  

Hondzocht

The tribute was attended by a large gathering of the town and the family of a German soldier, Rudolf Kirchhausen who was killed in Hondzocht.   Rudolf Kirchhausen’s 82-year-old Son read out a very emotional speech in memory of his late Father.

Hondzocht
Major F Howell OC ROG 1WG speaking to the son of German soldier, Rudolf Kirchhausen who was killed in Hondzocht

Hondzocht

Hondzocht

In 2017, in recognition of the links between the town and the Regiment, the Welsh Guards Association sponsored the restoration of a 17th century "Miracle Painting", whilst the family of Rudolf Kirchhausen sponsored the restoration of another.  These both now hang in the Basilica Halle, either side of the 15th century madonna in the tower and this was to be the first viewing since being re-hung.  The Welsh Guards sponsored painting depicts "A woman of Lobbes in Hainaut who fell under the wheel of a water mill being saved from a disastrous death".  The painting is part of a collection that hangs for locals and tourists to admire.  

Painting

The following coverage of the event appeared on Belgian television: