Between the church and the Koepoort in Woudrichem is the statue of the much-sung trumpeter Jan Claesen. Jan Claesen himself is buried in the cemetery of Andel, a part of Woudrichem. With the music of Boudewijn de Groot and the lyrics of Lennaert Nijghen, Rob de Nijs and Boudewijn de Groot made Jan Claesen known again in the Low Countries: 'Jan Claesen was a trumpeter in the prince's army. He marched from Den Helder to Den Briel. And he wasn't a hero and he didn't have money and he didn't like the violence of war. But he was a trumpeter in heart and soul.'
Jan Claesen was murdered on 8 October 1634. On the zerk it can be found that 'A murderer of Bredae killed him with his own pertye. Jan Claesen has deposited his bloet innocence after those stabbings'.
The statue in Woudrichem was kidnapped on New Year's Eve 1980. The municipality of Woudrichem did receive a letter with the message that Jan Claesen belongs in Andel. And on the old church tower near the cemetery of Andel came a sign with the slogan: 'Jan belongs here'. The perpetrator was never found. Meanwhile, the statue is back in place.


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Translated by Azure

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