PERSONALIA
 
Name:  Arkema, J.
Date of birth: 1901
Nationality:  Dutch (1815-present, Kingdom)
BIOGRAPHY: 
Promotions:
February 24th, 1923: Reserve-Tweede Luitenant der infanterie;
February 24th, 1927: Reserve-Eerste Luitenant;
March 26th, 1938: Reserve-Kapitein.
     
BRONZEN LEEUW (BL)
Rank: Reserve-Kapitein (Captain of Reserves)
Unit: Compagnie Infanterie (Infantry Company)
Awarded on: August 16th, 1950
Action: Recommendation:
He has distinguished himself by having performed extremely courageous and tactful deeds in the fight against the enemy in the period between May 12th 14th , 1940 in Rotterdam as commander of a company infantry to which were added two sections of heavy machine guns, which company was given the task on May 12th , to defend the area on the River Meuse between the Haringvliet and the Schiedamse Dijk and to release three companies which had previously occupied this section.
In particular:
1) by moving from the Haringvliet in the afternoon of May 13th, 1940 - accompanied by some volunteers of whom only one accompanied him on the whole trip - and crossing the Vier Leeuwenbrug, when a Dutch clergyman and a civilian parlementary with a white flag were nearing the Willemsbrug from the direction of the Noordereiland, the part of the city laying under fire from various directions and which had previously been the scene of vicious fighting. Subsequently having led these parlementaries to the Beursstation.
2) by moving forward to the Boompjes in the morning of May 14th , 1940, in order to improve the deployment in the frontline by a section of heavy machine guns, with among others the lieutenant-sectioncommander.
Subsequently by moving to another heavy machine gun after the lieutenant had been seriously injured and having taken measures to evacuate him, discovering an enemy column being deployed on the Noordereiland and aiming the weapon himself so the gun commander could open fire.
Finally by having kept his company together as much as possible after the massive bombardment on Rotterdam although almost all dispositions of his unit had been rendered unusable and only leaving his post after having learned Rotterdam had capitulated.
Details: Royal Decree No.15, dated August 16th, 1950
 
 
 
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Information source(s):   - MEIJER, H.G., Bronzen Leeuw, Bronzen Kruis, De Bataafsche Leeuw, Amsterdam, 1990.
- The Dutch Medals Page
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