Merging the four Founding Church Settlements

The developments, that started at the end of the 19th century, were interrupted by the First World War (1914-1918). After the war, wages and prices rose, an agriculture crisis broke out, and industrialization continued. Shortly after the war, many municipalities in the province of North Brabant were merged or annexed to control the costs of the municipal apparatus. The merger of the villages of Oerle, Meerveldhoven, Veldhoven and Zeelst did not inspire much discussion. The new municipality of Veldhoven became official on May 1, 1921 and had over 4900 inhabitants. The number of inhabitants grew very quickly, to a population of 10,877 by 1950.

This map from 1921 not only shows the association of the municipality of Veldhoven, Zeelst and Oerle, but also the almost simultaneous establishment of the new municipalities of Eindhoven and Geldrop.

Rich Roman Life
The Catholic Church experienced a period of prosperity during this period, characterized by the concept of Rich Roman Life. New churches were built in Veldhoven, Oerle, Meerveldhoven, replacing the 19th century churches.

The long building next to the church consisted of a town hall, school and schoolmaster’s house. The oldest part dates from 1844.

After the introduction of the Education Act of 1920, public education was largely taken over by the parishes. The parish boards had a great influence on the Roman Catholic education. From 1920 to 1940, the number of companies in the textile industry, shoe industry, and brickworks increased. Veldhoven was also characterized by brick factories, cigar factories and laundries. Employment increased within the municipality as a result. A number of workers were employed in the township of Strijp in the Philips factories. During the economic crisis of the 1930s, workers were kept at work by roads and cultivation of land.

Brick factory De Heibloem was located on the road from Veldhoven to Steensel. Photo dated around 1910.

A completely new undertaking that provided a new impulse for employment was the construction of the Welschap airfield, which was partly built on land belonging to Veldhoven. The importance of the airport increased after the Second World War. Unemployment further disappeared with the outbreak of the Second World War. However, the presence of an airport during the war was disadvantageous, because the site was seized by the German occupier.

During the Second World War, Welschap airfield was occupied by the Germans. It was then called Fliegenhorst Eindhoven.

During the liberation, which began with Operation Market Garden, the artillery around Welschap airfield was bombed on September 17, 1944. This was necessary to allow a safe landing of paratroopers at the bridge in the town of Son. There were 19 fatalities in Zeelst that day. Veldhoven and Eindhoven were among the first places to be liberated on September 18, 1944.

Funeral of the victims of the bombing of September 17, 1944.

Read more in the next chapter Immense Growth