Studiegroep Luchtoorlog 1939-1945


Evader chart: E0134
SGLO Date crash Aircraft
T2886 16-09-43 Lancaster
MilRank First Name(s) Name
P/O. Harold Sydney Hobday
Milregnr. Nationality Born
119291 British
Returned Y/N Evader Fate Date Captured/Liberated Place Captured/Liberated Escape Line
Yes EVD 6 Dec 43 Portreath, England Chemin de la Liberté
Evader Story
						P/O. Harold Sydney Hobday was the navigator of Lancaster JB144. After bailing out he landed in a high tree in the Eerder forest near Eerde Castle. After he had climbed out of the tree he removed his badges and distinctive Ps. With the help of his compass he started walking in southerly direction. Soon he arrived at a little river and decided to walk in westerly direction until there would be a possibility to cross the water. After walking for another while, he hid in a little bush along the road from Lemele to Hellendoorn in the morning. Near Hellendoorn he then met two laborers, who first thought he was a 'Russisky'. As soon as they had found out that he was a 'Tommy' they gave him half their lunch. In Hellendoorn he contacted other Dutchmen, one of them being Gerard Nijenhuis, a young pupil. Here he also received civilian clothes: a suit from the grocer Van der Worp. 

In Hellendoorn Hobday also got in touch with Jo Mollink and it was probably also around this time that he met up with his front gunner, F/Sgt. Frederick Edward (Fred) Sutherland (E0137). Both men subsequently made contact with members of the Dutch Resistance. Soon after, still on 16 September, Bert Kleisen ('Rudi') in Baarn received a phone call from a contact in Hellendoorn with the request to hide Sutherland and Hobday. Kleisen affirmed that they were welcome. First Hobday was put on the train. This was done by Miss M. de Heer from Nijverdal at the station of Raalte in the afternoon of 16 September. He carried a little note that he was deaf mute. In Baarn Hobday was picked up by Emmy Poldervaart ('Ries') and brought to Kleisen outside the station. After being questioned Hobday was escorted by bicycle to the woods of Lage Vuursche, where the resistance had constructed an underground hiding place near the St. Elisabeth-hospital which they had name 'Het Duikje'. The next day Sutherland followed the same route. 

They hid for three weeks in the woods of Lage Vuursche. On 17 October 1943 they left by train. First it went to Scheveningen. Both airmen were escorted by Miss Poldervaart. After spending the night here, they were picked up the following day by two men who guided them to Rotterdam. These two men were brothers: Henk and Christiaan Lindemans. The latter one was also known as ‘King Kong’, because of his fearlessness and daring character. Hobday and Sutherland hid several days in Rotterdam with the brothers Lindemans. Issued with false identity papers stating the two airmen were laborers of Organization Todt, they were put on the Chemin de la Liberté escape route. Christiaan Lindemans brought them personally to Paris. From the French capital they travelled by train to Toulouse. From there they left on 1 November 1943 to Lourdes. In a larger group and with the help of guides they crossed in two days the Pyrenees and managed to reach Spain. In the neutral country the two airmen travelled on to Gibraltar. Following two months of evasion Sutherland and Hobday arrived back in the United Kingdom on December 6, 1943.

* Eddie de Paepe, 'Ondergronds in Het Duikje' in De Gooi en Eemlander/Dagblad van Almere, 4 maart 1995
* H.W. Poorterman, Van bezetting naar bevrijding. 1940-1945 in Nijverdal, Hellendoorn, Marle, Haarle, Daarle, Hulsen Eversberg (Enschede 1978), page 41-42
* P.C. Meijer, Luchtoorlog rondom Den Ham (Den Ham 1995)