Wim van Esch

Summer excavation 2017

Wim has been married for 42 years, and has two sons and five grandchildren. He served in the army for 36 years. After leaving the army in 2010, he is now regional coordinator education of a group of veterans who teach classes from primary school up to university level. He also gives guest lessons to higher vocational education and the university about international security, the source of conflicts, the holocaust, Geopolitics, etc. Wim is also a volunteer at the Dutch Institute for war, holocaust and Genocide studies.
He is trained and certified to visit veterans with mental and physical problems and help them and the families wherever he can, and has founded a veteran cafe to bring old and young veterans together to bridge the gap.
In his free time, he says, “I love music, playing the guitar, supporting UK bands to have success in the Netherlands, making sculptures or paintings when I have nasty thoughts about experiences in Afghanistan.”

Wim joined the Waterloo Uncovered excavation in 2017, not only as a veteran participant, but also as a representative of the Dutch Veteran institute, to assess “whether the Dutch will participate in this (great) project”. His thoughts on the excavation were that “the Waterloo Uncovered dig is a great way to achieve a lot of goals. It brings old and young people (veterans) (of other countries) closer to each other. Through the joint work and the character of the work (military history) the participants are pleasantly distracted.”

Wim also enjoyed the project because of his long-standing interest in the Napoleonic Wars — he is one of the founders of the Dutch Napoleonic foundation. He hopes that “if the excavation brings new information about the battle, it will be just like 1815: a Dutch input in the history of Waterloo”. Not only was he part of the history of Waterloo, but also the history of Waterloo Uncovered, bringing to the 2017 team great energy, wonderful enthusiasm and a unique sense of humour!

Rachel in 2017