In Pilsen, Liege and Holýšov we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of our friend, liberator, veteran and member of the 17th Rifle Battalion, Louis Gihoul.
Louis Gihoul was attending the Liberation Festival Pilsen on a regular basis. Together with two other Belgian veterans Albért Gelis and Arthur Otto, he was named the honorary citizen of the city of Holýšov in 2008.
The memoirs of Louis were published in the book Reminiscences of Belgian Veterans, from which we quote:
“… the 17th rifle battalion was largely made up of volunteers who had come from the resistance. I met more than a dozen friends from our resistance movement in the battalion. In my company, and in the 5th company, there were six friends coming from the resistance movement. During the campaign, our companies were scattered in different parts of the front, so it was mainly within our 5th company that we really formed a strong bond of friendship. We were the ones who participated in the liberation of two Czech cities – Holýšov and Pilsen. We managed to cover more than 2,000 kilometers, and took 11,000 prisoners. The battalion received 95 commendations, including 42 of the US Army Order of the Day.
July 13, 1945, the Battalion moved back to Belgium, to Beverloo…”
Louis Gihoul passed away June 30th 2022.
Lest we forget!!!