Monument for the fallen English kites (1946) Willem Verbon

Otto Snoek
About the artwork

This Monument for the fallen English kites is a gift from residents of the Noordsingel. The reason was an English squadron of the British Royal Air Force (RAF) that was brought down by the Germans. This memorial commemorates the perished crew of the shot down war plane, which crashed on 16 July 1941 on the Noordsingel in front of the Courthouse. According to the residents, the pilots at that time maneuvered the crashing device in such a way that it did not end up on the buildings, which saved many civilian lives. The monument was made by sculptor Willem Verbon and consists of three sandstone slabs and a brick end wall with wooden scaffolding. In the middle a relief of a floating male figure is visible with on both sides a thank you text for the RAF, one in English and one in Dutch. The text is as follows: “In grateful memory of the men of the RAF who gave their lives for the freedom of the Netherlands. Gift from Noordsingel residents ”.

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About the artist

Willem Verbon (Rotterdam, 1921-2003) attended classes at the evening academy in the 1930s. Immediately after the war, Verbon was commissioned to create a monument in honor of the Royal Air Force. He was offered a post-graduate scholar ship by the British government and left for London for a few years. In the early years of 50, Verbon returned to Rotterdam, where he moved into a studio in the Oranjeboomstraat. Verbon sculpted various statues and monuments for important people from Rotterdam and members of the Royal Family. A lot of his work can be found in Rotterdam.

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