GROESBEEK WAR CEMETERY
|Canadian - 2,331
British - 255
Belgian - 3
Australian - 2
Polish - 2
New Zealand - 1
Dutch - 1
Russian - 1
Yugoslavian - 1
Unknown - 20
Allied forces entered the Netherlands on 12 September 1944. Airborne operations later that month established a bridgehead at Nijmegen and in the following months, coastal areas and ports were cleared and secured, but it was not until the German initiated offensive in the Ardennes had been repulsed that the drive into Germany could begin. Most of those buried in Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery were Canadians, many of whom died in the Battle of the Rhineland, when the 2nd and 3rd Canadian Infantry Divisions, and the 4th Canadian Armoured Division, took part in the drive southwards from Nijmegen to clear the territory between the Maas and the Rhine in February and March 1945. Others buried here died earlier or later in the southern part of the Netherlands and in the Rhineland. The cemetery contains 2,610 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, and nine war graves of other nationalities. Within the cemetery stands the Groesbeek Memorial, which commemorates by name more than 1,000 members of the Commonwealth land forces who died during the campaign in north-west Europe between the time of crossing the Seine at the end of August 1944 and the end of the war in Europe, and whose graves are not known.
Groesbeek is located 10 kilometers south east of the town of Nijmegen and close to the German frontier. Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery is 3 kilometers north of the village and 1.5 kilometer east of the main road to Nijmegen. On leaving the A73 motorway at the junction Overasselt-Mook-Groesbeek, follow directions to Mook. Follow direction signs towards Mook War Cemetery. After passing Mook War Cemetery continue to the village of Groesbeek to a roundabout. Turn left at the roundabout onto Dorpstraat passing through Groesbeek. The road name then changes to Molenweg. A Commission direction sign indicates the right hand turning from Molenweg onto the Zeven Heuvelenweg. 1 kilometer after entering this road lies the cemetery on the right hand side of the road. There is a large parking area in front.
Sgt Aubrey Cosens VC 1st Bn Queen's Own Rifles of Canada, R.C.I.C.
- Killed 26th February 1945, age 24.
- Son of Charles E. and Yvonne Cosens, of Latchford, Ontario.
- VC citation London Gazette 18th May 1945:
In Holland, on the night 25/26th February, 1945 the 1st Battalion The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada attacked the hamlet of Mooshof. Sergeant Cosens' platoon, with tanks in support, had as their objective enemy strong-points in three farm-buildings. They were twice beaten back and were then fiercely counterattacked. Their casualties were heavy, including the platoon commander killed. Sergeant Cosens assumed command of the few survivors of the platoon, and placed them so as to give him covering fire while he crossed open ground to the one remaining tank and directed its fire. After a further counter-attack had been repulsed, Sergeant Cosens ordered the tank to attack the three farm-buildings, the remaining men of his platoon following in close support. He himself entered the three buildings in turn, alone, and killed or captured all the occupants. Immediately afterwards he was shot by a sniper, and died almost instantly. His outstanding gallantry, initiative and determined leadership resulted in the capture of a position which was vital to the success of the future operations of the Brigade.
Sgt Cosen's VC grave at Groesbeek.