At 14:00 on 17 October 1912, the unveiling of the KXB Memorial took place at Petten, Holland.
The location is close to the beach were the dingy carrying the three surviving crew members, Sgt Alois Šiška, Sgt Pavel Sboboda and F/O Josef Ščerba had been washed ashore. Two of their comrades, F/O Josef Mohr and Sgt. Josef Tománek had died in the dinghy during its epic six days adrift in the North Sea. The aircraft’s rear gunner Sgt. Rudolf Skalický did not survive when their Wellington aircraft, of 311 Sqn, made a forced landed into the North Sea during the night of 28 December 1941 after returning damaged from a bombing raid on the docks at Wilmshaven, Germany.
The ceremony was well attended and included relatives, of these six airmen, who had travelled from England and the Czech Republic.
Also attending the ceremony was Brigadier General Jiří Verner, Commander of the Czech Air Force, Jaroslav Horák, Czech Ambassador to the Netherlands, representatives of the RAF, representatives of the Dutch Army, Mrs. Marian Dekker, Mayor of Zijpe, a Guard of Honour of 222nd Šišková’ Training Squadron pilots of the Czech Air Force, Col Oldřich Rampula, Chairman of Svazu letců ČR (Airmans Association of the Czech Republic], Thomas Zuijderland who was 11 years old when he witnessed the dingy washed ashore and Dutch well wishers and local media.
The members of the KXB Project Team, from the Czech Republic, England and Holland, whose efforts and dedication enabled this Memorial to be built, were also present.
Master of Ceremonies was Mrs. Ria Schmieder MBE, who opened the Ceremony. Speeches were made by Mrs. Marian Dekker, Major of Zijpe, Jaroslav Horák Czech Ambassador to the Netherlands, and Brigadier General Jiří Verner.
After the speeches, the Memorial was then unveiled , participating in the unveiling were two Dutch children from Petten primary school
Wreaths were laid, during which violinist Zoë Veldt and French accordionist Frans Oud played ‘Škoda Lásky’.
After the wreaths were laid, bugler Koen Schreurs played ‘The Last Post’ was followed by a minutes silence. Koen Schreurs then played “Reveille”.
Mrs. Dagmar Johnson-Šišková then made a closing speech.
The ceremony was concluded with First Lieutenant Zdeněk Nožička and Mrs Dagmar Johnson Šišková, representing the KXB Project Committee, presenting Mart Sevenhuijsen, a Director of ‘Springschans’ the Petten primary school, an adoption certificate for the Memorial as they will be looking after the Memorial for future generations.
A reception for dignitaries and invited guests followed the Ceremony, after which the place on the beach where the dingy was washed ashore was visited.</p
The KXB Project Team of Major Jaroslava Morochovičová, Major Jaroslav Morochovič, First lieutenant / nadporučík Zdeněk Nožička, First lieutenant / nadporučík Pavel Staněk – all from 222nd ‘Sisková’ Squadron – Roel Rijks, from Holland and Mrs Dagmar Johnson Šišková from England all deserve congratulations for this achievement.
More details of the Ceremony are now on the KX-B website here.
Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic: Česky and English