The Thornsche mill and its demise in 1944
After the major airborne landings on the 17th of September 1944, including in the vicinity of Groesbeek, the American 82nd Airborne Division advanced towards the Waalbrug and the low-lying area of Ooijpolder and Duffelt. For five months, the front then stagnated on the line from Groesbeek, Wylermeer, Querdamm to Erlecom. During this period, the hamlet of Thornsche mill as well as nearby villages such as Leuth and Zyfflich were the scene of great destruction.
After May 1945, during the reconstruction of the region, the hamlet of Thornsche mill was not included. Priority was given to the villages. However, the desire that many people felt to rebuild this unique mill remained. When in 2005/2006, the circumstances for monuments were favourable, also from a financial point of view, a group of people from the region set up a Foundation with the aim to rebuild the mill. Germany was also represented in the Foundation Board. Ten years after the Foundation was established, the sails of the Thornsche mill were once again turning in our beautiful landscape for the first time in 73 years.