Resistance Commemorative Cross 1940-1945 : Mr C de Bakker

Place Europe: Netherlands
Accession Number REL39736.002
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Award
Physical description Silver
Maker Koninklijke Begeer, Voorschoten
Place made Netherlands
Date made c 1982
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Sterling silver cross fitted with a loose ring suspender. The obverse features a flaming sword surmounted by a crown. On either side of the sword is stamped the words 'DE TYRANNY VERDRYVEN' which translates as 'To get rid of tyranny'. Beneath the sword is stamped the dates '1940' and '1945'. The reverse shows a Dutch Lion, the date of institution '1980' and the silvermark 'F.S.INV INN BEGEER VOORSCHOTEN'. The cross is accompanied by a ribbon in the shape of a bow designed to be worn on the lapel. The ribbon features narrow red white and blue bands (symbolising the flag of the Netherlands), with a broad orange band (the national colour of the Netherlands), inside two narrow black band edges. A separate piece of red, white and blue ribbon has been wrapped around the larger ribbon, and sewn into place, to create the bow shape. A safety pin is attached to the top of the ribbon.

History / Summary

Associated with the service of Mr Cornelius de Bakker. De Bakker was born in the Netherlands in 1910 and served with the Dutch Underground Movement in active resistance against the German forces during the Second World War. Wanted by the Gestapo, de Bakker helped to store and distribute weapons and ammunition needed by the resistance movement and sabotaged efforts by the Germans to transport Dutch citizens into forced labour camps. Assisted by his wife, de Bakker also hid refugees and noted enemies of the Nazi regime - downed Allied airmen and Jewish families. The latter resulting in the de Bakkers permanently adopting two children, orphaned by the war.

In 1944 de Bakker joined the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Association (UNRRA), an agency set up in 1943 to help rehabilitate the many thousands of people displaced by the war and to provide relief to areas liberated from Axis powers. Although the United Nations was not founded until 1945, the term 'United Nations' had been in use since 1942 to refer to the Allied countries of the Second World War. De Bakker worked in conjunction with the United States Army rendering aid to the displaced. In total UNRRA helped almost 8 million refugees and operated displaced persons camps in Europe until 1947, and in Asia until 1949.

In 1951 de Bakker immigrated to Australia. He was presented with the Resistance Commemorative Cross on 1 July 1982 by the Netherlands Consul 'for service to the Kingdom of The Netherlands in the resistance of the Peoples of The Netherlands against the occupying forces during World War II'. The award had been instituted by Royal Decree 104, of April 24 1980, on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of liberation from Germany. However, it was not automatically awarded, and eligible recipients were required to apply to receive the medal.