History of the city of Sint-Oedenrode
First records of the settlement called Rhode date from the year 500. Sint-Oedenrode was a small settlement on an elevated place near the river Dommel. The settlements on both riverbanks (Rhode and Eerschot) merged into one larger settlement.
In the 11th century the Lords of Rhode build a castle on the elevated area (during excavations in 2005 remains of the castle were uncovered, proving the early records to be valid). The Eerschot part of the settlement constructed the first church (the church has been rebuild many times over the centuries, the early base can still be seen in the church which is nowadays named 'Knoptoren').
The settlement thrived and became an important place in the region. Sint-Oedenrode was granted city status in 1232 by the Duke of Brabant (at that time Hendrik I of Brabant). This promoted Sint-Oedenrode to the capital of Peelland (the name of the region in North Brabant).
In the 14th century a small castle was built named 'Strijpe', it was later expanded in the 19th century and renamed 'Henkeshage'.
During the Second World War Sint-Oedenrode suffered tremendously. In May 1940 the Germans invaded the Low Countries and France, and due to the retreat from the Peel-Raam Line by the Dutch Armed Forces skirmishes arouse in Sint-Oedenrode in an attempt to keep the enemy at bay. After the capitulation (15 May 1940, in Zeeland 2 days later) Sint-Oedenrode found itself under German occupation. There was a small Luftwaffe detachment providing a manned look-out (just like the Royal Observer Corps) for Allied planes which were undertaking operations against the Air Bases of Volkel and Eindhoven.
During the final months of occupation the mayor (appointed by the Queen) was sacked and replaced by a pro-German mayor. The reasons for the sacking were that the central Distribution Office was plundered from blank distribution cards that were necessary to get coupons for males who were hiding from the Arbeitseinsatz (Compulsory labour in the German war industry) and were using fake names. Also the mayor tried to sabotage the Arbeitseinsatz.
The British left 150 comrades behind, the Americans 125. Twenty-two British soldiers are buried at the General Cemetery in Sint-Oedenrode. Most of the British are reburied at the Uden War Cemetery and some did find their final resting place in Mierlo. The Americans who were originally buried in Wolfswinkel (Son en Breugel) are reburied in Margraten or the US.
On September 16, 1994 101st Airborne veterans revealed a war monument 'Monument for the Dutch'. The monument is a gift from the veterans to the civilians who fought alongside of the US troops, much to surprise and relief of the US soldiers. The inscription on the monument is in English and reads "Dedicated to the people of the Corridor by the veterans of the 101st Airborne Division, in grateful appreciation of their courage, compassion and friendship". The monument can be found alongside the road 'Corridor' which was constructed after the war between key points of the actual Corridor, the allied supply route from Eindhoven to Nijmegen.