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WIJSBEK, Wilhelmus

Born: 1863 08 22
Died: 1948 07 29


Born at Uden, Netherlands. He was a pupil of the Dutch architect Carl Weber (1820-1908). He worked consecutively in Cromvoirt, Best, Raamsdonk and Uden, all towns where Carl Weber had designed churches.

He married Maria Gertrudis Troupin (b. 1863 06 26 at Sittard – d. 1889 08 17 at Raamsdonk). They had three sons, Hendrik Wilhelmus Josephus Maria Wijsbek (b. 1886 09 04 at Cromvoirt – d. 1941 01 17), Jacques Henri Joseph Wijsbek (b. 1888 05 12 at BEST - ?) and Pierre Wijsbek (b. 1889 06 28 at Raamsdonk – d. 1890 04 29 at Uden).

His wife Maria died in 1889 and his son Pierre in 1890. As it was not possible for him to take care of his two young sons, they stayed with his father and mother in Uden who took care of them. After his second marriage in Vlissingen on 1894 08 24 to Hendrika Wilhelmina van der Loos (b. 1876 06 20 at ’s-Gravenhage), they departed the following day for the South African Republic (ZAR). His two sons stayed in an orphanage at Grave.

In Pretoria they had two daughters Wilhelmina Kristina Wijsbek (b. 1896 05 19) and Maria Hendrika Wijsbek (b. 1898 01 28).

Wijsbek is recorded by Rex (1974: 375) as being part of the ZAR PWD personnel. It seems that Wilhelmus was associated with J.B. WIJERS as he is recorded in his papers as serving the course of the Anglo-Boer War with the Hollander-Corps in the Veld Service Unit (Buitengewone Staatscoerant 18 November 1899) therefore not a participant in the decimating engagement of this Corps at the Battle of Elandslaagte (1899). Of the earliest encounters in the South African War (1899 - 1902) of the ZAR forces with the British in the then Natal Colony. It is likely that after the fall of Pretoria and the end of the conventional period of the War in 1901 he was repatriated to the Netherlands. It would appear that, around 1901, he returned to the Netherlands for he is again recorded as working in Heerlen as self-supporting architect for the emergent mining industry there.

In the beginning he lived there with his wife and two daughters, while after a few years his two sons from his first marriage then came to live with them as well at Heerlen. There they then had two more children, a daughter, Emma Pascal (b. 1904 05 24 at Heerlen), and a son Wilhelmus Martinus Maria (b. 1907 03 14 at Heerlen).

Wilhelmus lived in Heerlen with his wife Hendrika and six children until 1908 09 26.

[Information supplied by: Ing. Gerard van Asperen, architect, the Netherlands.]

Books citing WIJSBEK

Rex, Hermann Moritz. 1974. Die Lewe en Werk van Sytze Wierda in Nederland met verwysing na sy betekenis vir die Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek. Pretoria: Unpublished Ph.D. pp 375