Winterswijk (Winterswiek, Wenters) is a town with a population of some 30,000 in the Achterhoek which lies in the most eastern part of the province of Gelderland in the Netherlands. It was also known as Winethereswick, Winriswic or Wenterswic. Wic or the Anglo Saxon wich means the living place of a certain person. The person would likely have been called Wenether, Winitar or Winter.
Founded around 1000 AD it remained an isolated farming community until 1830 when the road from Borken to Zutphen via Winterswijk and Groenlo was built. Around 1840 many emigrated to America — Michigan in particular. After 1870 the town became a centre for textiles, such as spinning and weaving and indeed the Tricot fabriek employed a large proportion of the local population in its heyday. In 1878 the train line to Zutphen was built primarily for the textile industry, which was set up by Jan Willink. Some of the families such as the Willinks have lived there since 1284.
March 31st 1945 was the liberation day for Winterswijk during World War II. Before the city was liberated,there was a tank battle on 30th of March in one of the townships called:Woold, with 60 Sherman tanks. The 53td Wales-division, and the 3td British Infantry Division, were moving from Bocholt via Aalten to Winterswijk. The tank battle resulted in 16 German and 9 British soldiers losing their lives. On March 30th 1945 (Good Friday) around nine 'o clock in the evening allied forces had a struggle just over five km south of Winterswijk. On March 31st the first allied troops finally reached the Slingestream near Winterswijk. March 31st is marked as the official day to remember the liberation of Winterswijk, despite of the fact that, in the late afternoon of March 30 parts of Miste and Woold were already liberated. After the liberation of Winterswijk, they founded a Rest-Centre for British soldiers in the Sociëteit de Eendracht(Zonnebrink) where the British soldiers, who came from the front, could find some rest. The British front was moving in April 1945,in the northwest of Germany..