Doing genealogy can be so frustrating at times. Trying to find someone a near impossibility. And at other times people just seem to drop out of nowhere. With histories that I have never heard about. Of course the question at those times is as well: do I have the right person. Perhaps there was another person with the same name, same date of birth? Perhaps...
So, as an amateur sleuth, I do what I have done several times in the past: asked for help from others who dig into their families as well and might know where I can find certain stuff. And today they came up trumps!
The person I am talking about now is the person I had found only recently, in fact, during the Christmas holiday. A sister of my paternal grandfather married a man who had two children from an earlier marriage. The eldest of those two children was a boy and he served in the Dutch army in what was then the Dutch colony of Indonesia.
When Japan invaded, he, likely along with the rest of his outfit, was captured. Over the course of the next year, he was transferred to different camps. He became ill in October of 1943 and died on December 31st of that year of beri-beri.
It's fantastic and sad at the same time to find a story like this. On the one hand it makes a great story for the book I am planning. But on the other hand: my father didn't know anything about this person, even thinking his step-uncle had two girls. It seems as if Jan has been lost in time. Forgotten.
The only thing left to find now (apart from a few more details of course) is a photo. To make sure he will not be forgotten again!