About us

For_Freedom_museum-43

Our Mission

No inhabitant of the Zwinstreek and West Zeeland Flanders was spared repression and hardship between 1940 and 1944. This dark period in our history is the museum’s main theme. It is precisely this phase of our local past that we want to pass on to our children and grandchildren, in the hope that such war violence will not be repeated. Young people need to know that freedom has a price, a price our ancestors paid with hard currency. We must cherish freedom. This important message of peace and tolerance is given daily in the For Freedom Museum.

History

“Send it to Belgium, To Fred Jones. One day he’s going to start a museum, to tell our story. Why we came, why we bled and sacrificed our young lives!”
These were the words of many Canadian veterans who helped build up our collection.

1947

Dennis Jones, Normandy veteran from Crewe/Cheshire (UK) marries a girl from Knokke-Heist. The military uniform that father Jones wore during his marriage will later form the first uniform of the collection.

1984 - 1994

Danny Jones and Freddy Jones (sons of Dennis Jones) are organising three unique exhibitions together with Patrick Tiersoonne at the Cultural Centre in Knokke-Heist.

Travels to faraway Canada were undertaken together with the late Constant Devroe (author of a.o. 'The Last White Flag') to interview the commanders of that time in order to fathom history even more deeply.

2005-2007

A location is being found for this extraordinary project. The municipal school of Ramskapelle with its town hall from 1876 is restored. The layout and structure of the various scenes is entrusted to the artist Pierre Verbreyt, an authority in the field of museum design.

25 april 2009

Opening of the For Freedom Museum by Minister of National Defense Pieter De Crem, Governor of West Flanders Paul Breyne and Mayor Count Leopold Lippens.

Making of ... faces

To present our uniforms we chose to work with mannequins. 30 years of collecting resulted in 100 of these creations. Most of the mannequins in our museum were made out of wax in the twenties and thirties. Their glass eyes and implanted hair give them a unique appearance.

Wax heads that sometimes arrive at the For Freedom Museum in a wretched state are restored with craftsmanship by curator Freddy Jones and mannequin stylist Jacqueline Bronneberg. This gives the mannequins a second life in our museum.

”Wax” is restored with ”wax”. Ears and noses are repaired by applying liquid wax drop by drop and then modelling a new ear or nose with a teaspoon, fine knives and especially the warmth of the hands.