1910 photo of Wubbina Engellina Johanna Petronella Swalve

Wubbina Engellina Johanna Petronella Swalve

Wubbina Engellina Johanna Petronella Swalve in Beverwijk, Noord-Holland, Netherlands, in 1910.

This is probably my favorite photo of Wubbina Engellina Johanna Petronella Swalve. Some others I have look like they are from while she’s pregnant or after giving birth, or after her husband died and she was confined to a wheelchair. In this one, she’s dressed all fancy with her big hat and umbrella.

Since it was my favorite, I edited back in the detail in the photo editing app Snapseed. Previously, it was too washed out from age to really see. It’s grainy, but at least you can see it now.


#tbt photo: Brother Morris Kool and sister Christina Kool

Morris Kool and Christina Kool

In this early 1930s photo, a young Maurice “Morris” Kool is pictured with big sister Christina “Tineke” Kool. Morris was born on Nov. 9, 1929 in Eindhoven in Noord-Brabant, Netherlands, and Tineke was born two years earlier to Louise Lopes-Cardozo and Cornelis Kool.





#tbt photo: Christina Siersema (n. Kool) and Joy-Anne Siersema

Christina Siersema (n. Kool) with daughter Joy-Anne Siersema.

In this photo (circa 1960s), Christina “Tineke” Siersema (n. Kool) plays with daughter Joy-Anne Siersema at brother Maurice “Morris” Kool’s home in Scarborough, Ontario. Christina was born in Eindhoven, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands, on Aug, 2, 1927. She and Johan Siersema eloped in or around North London right around the end of WWII and were later married in front of family and friends on July 29, 1950. They had three children: Nick, Michael and Joy-Anne. Joy-Anne, shown here in Canada where the family immigrated to after the war, was the youngest.

I’ve decided to adopt the ongoing Throwback Thursday (#tbt) social media trend of folks posting old pictures on this blog. I have to have about a couple thousand that I’m afraid will never see the light of day unless I share them out, so I plan to highlight one a week with an extended cutline.


WWII Photo: Crowd celebrates as armored car drives down street in Netherlands

An armored car rolls down the street a s a crowd celebrates in the Netherlands during WWII. (Philip Siersema/Contributed)

An armored car rolls down the street as a crowd celebrates in the Netherlands during WWII. (Philip Siersema/Contributed)

This photo was in a box that belonged to my grandfather Johan Nico Siersema, so I could infer that it was taken in the Netherlands during WWII — likely by one of his relatives. But, since I didn’t know much else about it, I posted on the military history sub-Reddit to see if anyone might know more.

Alex Clumpkens identified the car as being of the Canadian Corps’ 49th (West Riding) Infantry Division, aka “the Polar Bears,” and suggesting Utretch as a location:

“It is probably a candadian Humber Armoured car. As far as I can make out it belonged to the British 49th(West Riding) Infantry division, nick named the Polar bear division. It was attached to the Canadian 1 Corps during the later stages of World war 2

This Unit was heavily involved in the liberation of Utrecht! Hm saw that city mentioned in your blog. For pictures see

Redditor hydrogenjoule also responded, but with an alternative location:

“Because your grandfather was Dutch, and there seems to be a Dutch flag in the photo, I’m going to say that this was at Arnhem in April 1945, during I Canadian Corps liberation of the city. This was, as far as I know, the only major action in the Netherlands that the 49th took part in, and would certainly have merited a celebration.

After the failed Operation Market-Garden in ’44, Arnhem was the front line of the German resistance in the Netherlands until I Canadian Corps secured it during Operation Anger.”

So! We know who is in the photo now, just not the when and where. If anyone has any ideas, let me know!