The author

About Henk van der Linden and the Live Bait Squadron

A few words about the author- and how he came to write this book

The author

Hendrik van der Linden (“Henk”, or “Henry” in English) was born in the southern Dutch village of Oisterwijk in 1944.  He is married to Catharine (“Toos”) van der Aa; they have two children and three grandchildren.

For a period of ten years he worked as a headmaster at a school for secondary education and later became alderman in his hometown. He has been an independent entrepreneur for the last 25 years.  He is a member of a number of Charity Commissions.

After his military service he became a Royal Dutch Air Force reserve officer.

As a writer on issues of technical and vocational training he has over a hundred publications to his name, mainly on business economics and management.

For a long time his greatest pastime and interest has been the history of the Great War. Though not a historian by training, he is generally acknowledged as an expert on the subject and serves as Vice-Chairman of the Dutch Centre for Studies on World War I.

Because of his continual commitment to charity and society, he was recently knighted as a Companion of the Order of Orange-Nassau.

The book, the history

Because of his background and interests, many expected Mr van der Linden would sooner or later also publish on a World War I topic.  But actually he never intended to do so, saying, “Being neither a historian nor a soldier, how could I possibly add anything noteworthy to the overwhelming amount of existing studies and literature.” The only exception he could imagine would be for a poignant yet little known story waiting to be told to the general public. And, much to his own amazement that is exactly what he stumbled into one nice summer’s day in The Hague, a few years ago.

Looking back on that remarkable day, Henk recounts:

“ The build-up to this book is marked by a series of unlikely coincidences. Eight years ago I was on my way to a business meeting in The Hague. Being an hour early, finding the car park next to the premises fully occupied I decided to drive about in the neighbourhood in search for a free parking place. After about two hundred meters I happened to find one – next to a cemetery. Since it was a very fine day I chose not to prepare for the meeting but instead pay a visit to the cemetery. I have always loved cemeteries, perhaps for their concealed historic treasures, and this was a particularly beautiful quiet old cemetery. At the entrance a signpost attracted my attention, ‘Dutch Monument for Civilians Fallen in The Hague during World War II.’  I wanted to go there but I managed to lose my way in spite of the excellent signposting. That is how I suddenly found myself in front of a Cross of Sacrifice marking the graves of more than twenty British navy men who died in the Great War. This of course surprised me since Holland was a neutral country then and hadn’t been engaged in any hostilities. Eight of the graves bore the same date, 22 September 1914 and the names of three British cruisers. I suspected some major incident and became eager to know more about it. That is where I began the quest, which eventually resulted in the book that I am proud to present on the 22nd of September 2012. It is eight years now since I happened to find the marks of what would soon appear to be one of the most pitiful events in British –and Dutch- naval history.  This sad story kept haunting me and so I went on researching till I had a complete picture of all the events. That picture I’ve tried to paint in the book.”

A comment on the financial aspect

All of those who have participated or still participate in this project are volunteers. There is no direct profit motive.

Most of the expenses connected with issuing the first and the second edition of the book in the Netherlands as well those of the English version are borne by the author. The members of the Documentary Team worked for free and so did the translator, who will cede any proceeds to a good cause like the CWGC. The Imperial War Museum waived their rights for the use of their photographs. The out of pocket expenses made by the Documentary Team are paid for by a Dutch lottery organisation.


Henk van der Linden

Henk van der Linden

4 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Hi

    I have just stumbled upon your very interesting bulletin while trying to find the actual position of the wreck of HMS Cressy. My Grandfather, Norman Wilson, served on HMS Cressy and was lost during the action. I was interested in finding the coordinates of the wreck site as I would have liked to commemorate the Centenary of the sinkings by visting the site on September 22nd next year to hold a private memorial. However, I see that you are trying to put together a similar memorial and so would be very interested to know more details once you have anything planned.

    Kind regards

    Ian Wilson

  2. My grandfather Charles Goodey served as a gunnery rating on the Hogue and survived the sinking by being picked up by a dutch trawler.

    I would be very interested to learn more about your societys studies and activities.

  3. Dear Henk. I had an amazing experience last year when we went on a cruise to the Baltic Sea. On a tour of St. Petersburg, while the group were looking at a Cathedral, I turned around and there in front of my eyes was one of “OUR”cruisers. It was the Russian 1st World War cruiser “Aurora.” I realised that it was a smaller version as it only had 3 smokestacks, but in design it was almost identical and is now a museum. Unfortunately we did not have time to visit, It even had British Steel in it’s construction. If any L.B. Squadron members make the same journey, I think this would be a great experience for them. There is a website – Russian Cruiser Aurora – well worth looking at.
    A great Bulletin No. 6. Many thanks. Kind regards John T.

  4. This old RAF Veteran has discovered a family member was killed in action whilst serving aboard HMS Hogue…..he was Petty Officer Stoker. Henry Allen. I attended the commemoration at Chatham Dockyard on the 22nd September this year…..A very moving day indeed. I would be interested in joining the society……..I noticed camera crews at Chatham Dockyard for the commemoration……may I ask, does anyone know if a DVD was filmed on the day and is it available to buy…..When I enquired at Chatham Dockyard, I was told the main camera crew Dutch….My Regards. Don Allen.

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