Sussie Cretier’s Coat – Canadian War Museum


This coat was sewn in the winter of 1944 as a Christmas gift for 10-year-old
Everdina Cretier, also known as Sussie, a Dutch girl whose father Willem,
was a mechanic involved in the Dutch Resistance. After escaping German authorities
with only the clothes on their backs, Sussie’s family, her parents and brothers found work in the Allied-occupied portion of Holland
near the end of the war. They befriended many
of the Canadian soldiers stationed there, including a 19-year-old Albertan, Robert Elliott. As a Christmas surprise for Sussie, the soldiers
had sewn this winter coat and matching trousers from an army blanket
and fastened it with their own brass buttons. After the war,
Robert kept in touch with the Cretier family and in 1981,
he paid them a visit. Upon reuniting, Sussie and Robert fell in love
and were soon married. The couple later donated the coat
to the Canadian War Museum. It represents a story of friendship and love
that spans decades, and the enduring bond forged between Canada
and the Netherlands during the Second World War. 

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