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LOUIS TEN WOLDE LIFE STORY



LODEWIJK GERARDUS PAULINUS TEN WOLDE  (1883 - 1919?)

       a short and dramatic life ....... 

 

 

Lodewijk Gerardus Paulinus ten Wolde  (callname : Louis) , portrayed here in around 1905 , was the second child of Maria Petronella Arnold and  Albertus Paulus Wilhelmus ten Wolde ,  my great-grandparents .  Louis was born on October 9th 1883 in the city of The Hague in the Netherlands .

We fear that Louis didn't enjoy a happy and care-free childhood .

The marriage of his parents might have been bad , possibly even disastrous , right from the beginning even .   The marriage of his parents ended  (and this was quite remarkable for a marriage in those days )  in divorce , when Louis just was a boy of 10 years of age .

By the end of the 19th century Louis , together with his mother and younger sister Lena (my grandmother) , moved from The Hague to the city of Arnhem in the province of Gelderland , the place where Louis' mother had been born and raised and had been living before her (dreadful) marriage .

In Arnhem Louis' mother , who had to raise two children all by herself now , found work as a nursery-governess (nowadays we would say as a Nannie) , employed by a rich Dutch noble family (Van Pallandt) , despite the fact that my great-grandmother can't have been able to read or write ......

Now , around the year 1900 , it appeared that some happiness and sunlight came into the lives of Louis , Lena and in the life of their mother , but alas ....nót for a very long period of time .........

One day , in the summer of the year 1901 , mother Maria Petronella Arnold  became so terribly sick , just after a trip she had made with the Van Pallandt-family to France , that the consulted doctor wasn't able to save her life anymore ....... But with medical standards of our days her life probaly could have been saved rather easily . 

My great-grandmother died that summer on July 25 at the still young age of 41 .

While sitting at his mother's death-bed , Louis should have solemnly and sincerely promised his mother to take very good care of his younger sister Lena , but already shortly after his mother's demise Louis would break this solemn pledge by starting off a brand new episode in his life , by seeking adventure and leaving his homeland for the Dutch Indies as a colonial soldier for years to come ........      

    At that time severe fighting was still going on in Atjeh in the Dutch Indies , and also for other reasons life as a young unexperienced colonial soldier could be rather dangerous in those days , but not for Louis so it seemed , since after years had gone by , Louis would , alive and well , return to his homeland Holland on long furlough , completely unaware though of what kind of terrible tragedy would be lying ahead of him ......  

In the city of The Hague there was a man named Ligtvoet (his first name is not known to us) , a somewhat vague acquaintance of Louis , a man who was locally known for his reputation of being a notorious gambler .....

One day Ligtvoet must have been só unlucky at gambling that he had even gambled away all of his pots and pans .....

When the winner of that game came to collect his property , he was confronted with the utterly stunned spouse of Ligtvoet who started making such a scene that the man , very wisely we may add , must have decided to abandon his rightful claim on all of those pots and pans ....... 

Our gambling man Ligtvoet earned his living in those days  (which he seemed to have been gambling away rather frequently...)  as a deep-water seaman .  

For whatever reason Ligtvoet decided to stay ashore for a longer period of time than he was used to , and he found Louis ten Wolde (who was on long furlough from the Dutch Indies in those days) prepared to take his place as a seaman on a ship bound for America .

Ligtvoet just might have been very lucky at gambling (for a change ...) , which allowed him to stay ashore for a while  -  we also do not know for sure what could have been the reason or reasons for Louis ten Wolde to do so .   Was Louis perhaps in such a desperate need of money or was Holland already getting a little bit too oppressive for him ???

Louis' actual motives we do not know , the final outcome of his arrangement with Ligtvoet we surely do........

   When the day of the sailing came , Louis ten Wolde embarked on the ship heading for America , a continent never to be seen by Louis .....     

Somewhere on the sea or on the ocean , this ship must have been severely damaged by , since this tragedy should have taken place shortly after the first world war , possibly a very deadly roaming drifting mine .....   

Louis ten Wolde and very likely (many) more other sailors were killed that dramatic day , and were given a sailor's grave ....

     When the news of the tragedy with the ship also reached the mainland , one could expect that Ligtvoet's wife (so the wife of the man who had so miraculously escaped certain death , one might say) , would have been very releaved that her husband hadn't been on board of the ship , but nóthing of the kind ....!  

Shortly after having received the news about the disaster Ligtvoet's wife went to the nearby house of Lena ten Wolde , sister of Louis , who still must have been mourning over the sudden and cruel loss of her only brother .

After having exchanged some consoling words , Ligtvoet's wife suddenly , in the middle of their conversation  , heaved a sigh and said to my grandmother (who was really taken aback by that remark) that she had rather prefered her own husband to have been on board of that disaster ship than Louis ten Wolde........

Without any hesitation we dare to state that the marriage of Ligtvoet and his wife had already been fár over its pinacle at that time ....

       The life of Lodewijk Gerardus Paulinus ten Wolde , born on the ninth of October in the year 1883 in the city of The Hague , had suddenly and cruely come to its final end in or around the year 1919 somewhere on the North Sea or possibly somewhere on the Atlantic Ocean , hundreds or even thousands of miles from home   -   Louis still was an unmarried man then and he can't have been much older than 36 years at the time of his death .