Confectionary and restrictions
On 17 April 1945, Ede was liberated by British and Canadian troops. They brought all kinds of tasty treats with them, as well as real cigarettes. This proved very attractive to the youth of Ede. The Ede authorities were not happy with this development and, concerned, they issued some rules. A 9 pm curfew was imposed for young people up the age of 16, while young men aged up to 18 and young women aged up to 21 were not allowed on the streets after 10 pm. This was also because contacts between the soldiers and the young female population were regarded with suspicion.
At the start of May, the liberators moved on, but the sense of relief didn’t last long: in June 1945, other Canadian troops arrived in Ede. These soldiers were still unable to return to Canada because not enough ships were available, so they remained in Ede for the whole summer.
School children scattered
This meant that the problem remained for the Ede administrators. ‘The youth is running wild’, people said. They had too much free time, because primary and secondary education was still in a desolate state. Many school buildings had been damaged and the Roman-Catholic school on Padberglaan, the Neutral (primary) School on Noordelijke Spoorstraat and the Christian Advanced Primary school on Beukenlaan had actually been devastated in September 1944, and were nowhere close to being rebuilt.
Other school buildings were being used by Canadian troops as billets: on Telefoonweg (Cavaljé School), on Schoolstraat (Paasberg School) and on Maandereind (Public Primary School).
So the youth of Ede received lessons in churches, vestries and nursery schools. The secondary school and the grammar school were accommodated in private houses around the junction of Brouwerstraat and Molenstraat. This physical dispersal disrupted the sense of school community and it became hard to supervise the children. The teachers did their best, but they often only managed to teach half-days at school because buildings had to be shared.
The municipal council couldn’t persuade the Canadians to move out of the schools. The Canadian commanders wanted to keep the soldiers together because they had nothing to do apart from wait for transport home, and discipline was fraying. Some of the Canadian soldiers lived in the barracks of Ede, but many of these were uninhabitable due to war damage.
Then, finally, in November 1945, the Canadians departed. But it wasn’t until early 1946 that education in Ede more or less returned to normal.
Do you want to experience this story on its original location? Visit the information panel at the intersection Telefoonweg/Veenderweg in Ede.