Regional police Pipes and Drums to march in Apeldoorn to celebrate the liberation and also march across “a bridge to far”.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON  April 11, 2012   The months of April through to September are particularly significant to the people of Holland – it was during that period of time that Canadian armed forces were involved in the Liberation of Apeldoorn, a city Burlington has been twinned with for some time.  The 48th Canadian Highlanders were part of the force that drove the Germans out of Apeldoorn.

A number of months later there was a ferocious battle at Arnhem which, had it been won by the Allies, would have shortened the war and perhaps ended it in 1944. That particular battle was lost – due more to serious problems getting supplies and fuel to the tanks that were leading the drive, but the war was won and Holland was liberated.

Holland and Canada have had a very special relationship ever since and Canadian troops and bands will be in Holland to celebrate that event.

Part of that celebration will involve twenty members of the Halton Regional Police Service Pipes & Drums that will  travel to Apeldoorn, Netherlands  to participate in several special events and engagements honouring the historic April 1945 liberation of the city by Canadian Troops, led in part by the 48th Highlanders of Canada.

Regional police Pipes and Drums will march across the historically significant bridge in Holland.

Besides the ceremonies in Apeldoorn there will be a march over the John Frost Bridge at Arnhem, which is just 20 km south of Apeldoorn.  That bridge was featured in the historic WWII book and movie, “A Bridge Too Far,” which recounts the Allied forces attempts to break through German lines at several bridges in the Netherlands.  The march over that bridgge is a very special part of the events that will take place during the 10 day trip.

“We expect to have a busy week, with five formal performances and several other engagements as well,” said Pipe Major Allan Eaton.

As a living tribute to the liberation of the Dutch city and the loss of Canadian lives, the 48th Highlanders of Holland Pipes & Drums was founded in 1991. Ceremonies are held each April in Apeldoorn to commemorate the liberation.


Pipes and Drums participating in the ten day tour of Holland to commemorate liberation of Holland by Canadian troops.

In November 2011, the 48th Highlanders of Holland Pipes & Drums were invited to Canada where they performed a series of concerts and Remembrance Day parades in Burlington and the surrounding area. As a token of appreciation, the 48th Highlanders Band extended an invitation to the Halton Police Pipes & Drums to participate in the annual Liberation Day ceremonies in Apeldoorn in April 2012.

“This invitation is an honour and unprecedented opportunity for the Halton Regional Police Service and its band to gain exposure on a world stage as a representative not only of policing but of all proud Canadians,” said Eaton.

The Halton Regional Police Service Pipes & Drums is comprised of civilian volunteers and serving police officers.  As ambassadors of policing and representatives of the Chief and the Service, members of the band devote countless hours of personal time to practice and perform at more than 40 local, regional and national events each year.

The band raises its operating money through fund raising initiatives as well as charging modest fees in some instances for appearances. Founded in September 1987, the Band will proudly celebrate its Silver Anniversary in 2012.

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