Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Sijbren Schuil, Honorary Corporal

The Vliehors is an extensive nature reserve on the Dutch Wadden island of Vlieland.

Vliehors is a widened beach of approximately 24 square kilometers, which is now largely used as a military training ground for the Royal Netherlands Air Force, the only one in the Netherlands where air force pilots and NATO partners are allowed to practice with ammunition and explosive charges.

From 1955 to April 2004, a cavalry shooting camp (CSK) was also located on the Vliehors. This was the only location in the Netherlands where live ammunition could be fired through the Leopard tanks of the Dutch cavalry, the tank unit of the Royal Netherlands Army.

Siep (Sijbren) Schuil (1907), a.k.a. the  "Vlielandse Hermit", first came to the island as a conscript soldier, went into hiding in the dunes during the German occupation and afterwards remained on the island as a carpenter. He was often employed by the military for a variety of odd jobs.

Over time he acquired the rank of "Honorary Corporal of the Cavalry".

Sieb was a very friendly eccentric with an extensive knowledge of the birds and the beasts of the field (and a dedicated beret wearer!).

Sieb was once in prison for rabbit poaching.

Evidence of release from prison; 14 days for rabbit poaching in 1952. 

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