Milovan Milojević was born in 1889 in Azanja, a village in the Podunavlje district approximately 80 kilometres South-East of Serbia’s capital Belgrade.When the First World broke out he served his country in 4th company, 1st battalion in the 8th regiment infantry. When he left his village he would not know that he would never return and that he would die in a flat country far away. Maybe the Netherlands could remind him to Vojvodina (a province in Serbia), because there it is also flat as the Netherlands.

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Milovan Milojević (photo courtesy Žarko Talijan & Damir Živković)

He died the 21st January 1919 in Nieuw-Milligen (near Apeldoorn), the Netherlands, because of the Spanish flu. Later in 1938 his grave was exhumed and his remains were transported to the mausoleum in Jindřichovice (in nowadays the Czech Republic). On the monument in Garderen (the Netherlands) his name is written.

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Monument in Garderen (the Netherlands) with the name of Milovan Milojević written.

We discovered with the great help of Žarko Talijan &Damir Živković and Bojan Stojadinović from Azanja that there is also a monument for Milovan on the cemetery of Azanja. It is actually the first monument we discovered in Serbia where it is written that the soldier died in the Netherlands. Their family knew at least that he died in the Netherlands. We got a picture of Milovan (see above) and we are grateful for that so Milovan is not longer just a name in our excel sheet or a name on monuments in the Netherlands & Serbia, but a person with a face after 97 years.

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Monument for Milovan in Azanja (click to enlarge).

The search continues of course, because of many other Serbian WWI soldiers who died in the Netherlands we did not find a trace yet…

More information available on www.secanje.nl and the full story about Milovan can be read on: http://www.secanje.nl/en/findings/milovan-milojevic/

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