Theo's story

On this page I will tell the time-line service records of my grandfather T.J. de Wit. Besides this I will also tell more about certain units in which he served and about specific operations/ actions/ periods he experienced. First I would like to show some of his personal belongings which are supplemented by original items which are exactly the same as he owned but are no longer in possession of our family.


To the right: Y-Brigade (Demons Brigade)- shield, under which the Gadja Merah battalion of my grandfather was assigned. The name Demons Brigade referred to the island of Bali. Y-Brigade was founded on Bali, which was also called 'The Island of the Gods and Demons'. Bought original and restored.

Tribute to my grandfather T.J. 'Tek' de Wit. His original medals, Oorlogsherinneringskruis with clasp 'Nederlands-Indie 1941/1942', and Ereteken voor Orde en Vrede with clasps '1946', '1947', '1948' and '1949', and original pin 'Gadja Merah'. KNIL Inf.Bat. XII metal shield, Gadja Merah badge and KNIL sergeant insignia (all original) are all bought to complete the tribute.

Two photographs of my grandfather with his  unit - the left one on Bali 1947 and the right one in Holland 1954. He was leading both sections/platoons: to the left he stands in the upper right corner wearing the only camo-smock of the group. To the right he stands in front of the entire group as Sergeant-Major Instructor.


Theo "Tek" de Wit

My grandafther was born in the Dutch East Indies  on the main island of Java, 13th of May 1918, in the small town of Tjikambar (25km West of Garut, 25km South of Bandung). He was part of a large Dutch-Indonesian family called 'de Wit' and had several brothers and a sister. His military career, experiences and hardships are quite diverse and are impossible to tell in short. For this reason I divided his story into some main topics. I will only discuss military related stories, no personal family stories, which, as with all Dutch-Indonesian families, do also exist in large quantities!

My grandfathers thermos for soup and alarm clock.

My grandfathers original Dutch post-ww2 uniform supplemented with some insignia's and beret.

His family petrol heater used by the family during cold days.

My family's original tube radio used well before television existed. And a hand carved Gadja Merah statue, Java wood carving, antique silver budha (from Java) and Theo's personal budha necklace.