Lier, van, Theo Jan Antoine Marie

    Date of birth:
    May 11th, 1916 (Heerlen, the Netherlands)
    Date of death:
    June 6th, 1992 (The Hague, the Netherlands)
    Nationality:
    Dutch (1815-present, Kingdom)

    Biography

    Theo van Lier was born in Heerlen, but grew up in The Hague. He was the son of a civil worker. During the Second World War he was involved with the resistance. Between 1st April 1941 and 15th december 1944 he was deputy director of the Gewestelijke Arbeidsbureau (Employment office) in Nijmegen. In the end of 1943 he was given charge of the spying and intelligence group : Albrecht". After several attempts to flee to England he was taken prisoner by the Germans and sentenced to life imprisonment. The rest of the war he was imprisoned. After the war, van Lier became director of the employment offices in Apeldoorn, Dordrecht and again in Nijmegen. In 1949 and 1950 he was for a short period the territorial officer of social service in Western-Java and Northern-Sumatra. from 15th July 1952 until 1st September 1973 he was a member of parliament for the PvdA (Dutch Labour Party) and from 1st September 1973 until 1st June 1986 a member of the Raad van State (government advising committee).
    During his membership of the Raad van State, van Lier led the organisation Operations and Intelligence, an organisation which was functional until 1992 and was to coördinate resistance and intelligence activities when the Netherlands were ever occupied again and the government was in exile.
    In 1973 Theo van Lier was candidate minister of Defence, but the job went to Vredeling.

    Theo van Lier followed his military education at the School Reserve Officieren Artillerie te Ede.

    Promotions:
    1938 - 1940: Enlisted with coastal artillery- stationed at Hoek van Holland;
    4th January 1951: reserve-tweede luitenant, Wapen der Artillerie;
    28th January 1951: reserve-eerste luitenant der Artillerie.
    26th August 1961: honorable discharge from military service.

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    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Kornet van het Wapen der Arillerie (Artilley Cadet)
    Unit:
    Verzetsgroep Albrecht, Nederlands Verzet
    Awarded on:
    December 14th, 1949
    “For having distinguished himself in wartime by extraordinary acts of heroism, tact and loyalty by:

    1) having co-operated from March 1943 until April 1944 with one of the largest intelligence groups on military matters, thereby having reconnoitered large parts of Noord-Brabant and Zuid-Holland, showing himself to be an astute scout and a capable reporter; as a result of which after only a year of work and thanks to his capacity to combine a general overview of the military situation had been acquired;

    2) having audaciously captured on September 17th, 1943, together with the leader of his group and some others a German Schnellboot in Scheveningen Harbor in order to cross over to England, said vessel having had to be abandoned however due to engine failure;

    3) having acted as temporary groupsleader, when the leader of the group had been captured by the enemy, bringing order into the procedures, organizing the sending by courier of the microfilms taken by the group, establishing radiocommunication between the group and Londen resulting in an increase in the volume of intelligence; furthermore by attempting to cross over to England in Janaury and February of 1944 which effort failed although he managed to escape himself, furthermore by making a fourth attempt in April 1944 thereby attempting to take two important persons with him to England;

    4) finally, by his stiff perseverance in a critical period in intelligencework in which the leadership had been lost twice, having laid the foundation for a later period of prosperity despite the early termination of his work due to his having been sentenced to life imprisonment from which he returned after the capitulation of Germany.”
    Ridder vierde klasse der Militaire Willems Orde (MWO.4)
    Awarded on:
    April 29th, 1980
    For services during his lifetime.
    Commandeur in de Orde van Oranje Nassau (ON.3)
    Awarded on:
    April 29th, 1980
    For services during his lifetime.
    Ridder in de Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw (NL.3)

    Sources

    • Photo 1: Migiel van Lier
    • Photo: Migiel van Lier
    • - Heuvel C.C. van den, Gedenkboek Verzetsherdenkingskruis, Samsom Uitgeverij, 1985
      - Maalderink P.G.H., De Militaire Wilemsorde sedert 1940, Sijthoff Pers, Rijswijk, 1982

    Photo