Theodorus Antonius van den Oord

There were six sons in the Van den Oord family who lived on the Frederik Hendriklaan in Oegstgeest. According to their ages, five of these young men qualified for ‘Arbeitseinsatz’, i.e., obligatory labour in Germany. According to his false identity card, Theo was only 17 years old, but in reality he was 19. However, until then, all the brothers had managed to keep themselves out of German hands. Theo was active in the resistance movement, chiefly as a courier.

On 22 January 1945, during the middle of the ‘hunger winter’ Theo was plodding through snow while wearing stolen German boots. He had come from Warmond and was on his way home via the Abtspoelweg. His family were under the assumption that he had gone to the Maredijk to get some surrogate tobacco but in truth he had carried something to Warmond in secret. At the entrance to Van Treur’s farmhouse (now the Poelgeesterweg) he saw five Germans on patrol approaching from behind him from the Kwaaklaan. Without any hesitation he ducked out of sight, running onward across Van Treur’s property on the opposite side of the road, then further along a low hedge next to the pond on the Laan van Alkemade. Today this is where the goals for hockey fields #3, #2 and #1 are located.

 

Tombstone of Theo van den Oord, on the graveyard of the 'Groene Kerkje'.

 

Theo van den Oord

Two of the Germans followed in hot pursuit. At the level of field #1, Theo cut directly across an allotment garden towards the Hofbrouckerlaan. One volley from a German rifle fired at quite a distance managed to find its target. 'That was a good shot' said one German against another one, as reported by a bystander who sheltered at the farmhouse. Theo had been fatally wounded and died soon afterwards. As soon as the town hall had been informed about his death, two employees from the community carried him away by handcart.

Because a coffin could not be found, Theo’s body was wrapped in a sheet and buried in the cemetery of the H. Willibrord church on the Rijngeesterweg. On his tombstone were written the words ‘Struck down by enemy hands’.