Friends of the Airborne Museum, Newsletter No. 96
December 2004, pages 5-7
Author: Robert Voskuil

"Location photograph of British patrol"

In Newsletter No.94 of June 2004 we had placed an appeal to our readers to ask if someone knew where the more-than-well-known photograph of a four man British patrol, 'somewhere in a building in Oosterbeek', was taken. At the time, we indicated that the photograph was taken by Sergeant Lewis of the Army Film and Photographic Unit. It is exposure 7 (and not 8, as mentioned erroneously) of film 4. All images of that roll were made near Hartenstein. Several of our members had responded to our appeal.
A short summary.
Mr. J. Visser from Zelhem wrote that the man with the beret is Staff Sergeant Mark Leaver, G Squadron Glider Pilot Regiment. Mark Leaver, who passed away on the 31st of October 2000, at the time told that the photograph was made at the 'Bleekweg'. He probably meant the Van Hofwegen laundry on today's Zuiderbeekweg.
Ms Betty de Roder from Renkum suggested that it could be the building of the Aits forgery on Paul Krugerstraat.
Mr. Ir. F. Oudendal from Huizen indicated that the iron rods for reinforcing concrete, were probably meant for a German construction work because in 1944, since long, material of this kind was not available for private purposes.
Mr. J.C. Bierdrager from Eelde reminded that the caption under this photograph in Stuart Eastwood's book 'When Dragons Flew, An Illustrated History of the 1st Battalion The Border Regiment 1939-1945' reads: 'The location is unknown, but may be the stableblock of the Hartenstein Hotel.'

In our opinion, this last possibility comes closest to the truth, a conclusion that is in part based upon our own research.
It is known that the Germans were busy constructing a bunker for communication purposes, East of today's Restaurant Kleyn Hartensteyn, in 1944 the (former) coach house of the Hartenstein Mansion. Unfortunately, on the RAF aerial photographs taken on the 6th and the 12th of September 1944 in preparation of the airborne drops, these structures are invisible due to the thick foliage.

Sixty years ago, on the coach house's East side, the winter garden of the estate was situated. In winter time large plants in pots were stored in it. We directed our research on this building. On March 15th 1945 No. 4 Reconnaissance Squadron RAF flew a reconnaissance mission over the South-Veluwe region. This must have been an extremely clear and sunny day because the majority of the series of aerial photographs that were taken that day are very sharp. The successive prints which feature the Hartenstein estate were placed under a powerful magnifying mirror stereoscope. Analysis of the winter garden building revealed very interesting details that led us to the conclusion that this specific photograph of the patrol was taken there.

A strongly enlarged detail from one of the aerial photographs has been attached to this article as an illustration.


(Aerial photograph, RAF-photograph, collection Robert Voskuil)
Detail from an RAF aerial photograph of March 15th 1945.
In the middle, the coach house, now restaurant Kleyn Hartensteyn. Left of it the no longer existing glass houses and far left, the gardenerís house. On the right side of the coach house is the winter garden, of which the roof has disappeared. On the top of the photograph is Utrechtseweg, with some large villas and the exit to Steijnweg just visible. The arrow indicates the spot where Sergeant Lewis stood when he took the photograph of the patrol. The detail shown here is not quite sharp, which is due to the strong enlargement. On the original photograph the dimensions of this section just measured 18 x 15 millimeter!

The aerial photograph shows that the building did not have a roof anymore at that time, revealing a sort of 'blueprint' of the structure. It is likely that the roof had a light construction with lots of glass, as is usual in buildings in which plants should 'hibernate'. This construction has probably been damaged or collapsed during or after the battle. Sergeant Lewis's photograph shows that the wall in the background edges and that on the right hand side it is positioned farther to the rear than on the left. On the aerial photograph of the winter garden this situation is clearly recognizable. Behind the wall on the upper left was a separate room that was divided from the large L-shaped main room by a wall.

From the stereoscopic image and from shadow analysis, it could be established that the center of the South wall of the main room featured a broad door, with large windows or doors on each side. Lewis stood outside, and pointed his camera towards the center doorway, behind which the patrol walks towards him. Without a doubt this situation was staged. The iron concrete rods and the pipes that were stored in the winter garden, were almost certainly intended for the construction of the German bunker mentioned earlier. The heavily damaged winter garden was demolished after the war.

At present day, this location next to Restaurant Kleyn Hartensteyn is in use as landscaping and a parking lot. Unfortunately we have not been able to find images of the winter garden so far. Should you be able to help us with that, we remain interested. We also welcome other information about this building!"

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