If unlucky enough to select the wrong enlistment number from the draw, Durk, like many young dutch men was required to perform military service on reaching the age of 19. In 1887 Durk's enlistment number was not selected and he was excused from military service. It appears however that Durk felt military service was not such a bad idea and on the 11th of May of that year Durk made an enlistment number exchange with a newly selected recruit Dirk Brouwer. Durk was to embark on on a military career that would span 16 years.
Initially serving 4 years on home soil in the Netherlands in the National Military from 1887 until 1891 Durk would follow this by 12 years on foreign soil in the KNIL. On the 14 june 1891 Durk signed on for a six year enlistment period in the colonial military based in the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) as a volunteer soldier in the Royal Dutch Colonial Army (known as the KNIL; Koninklijk Nederlands-Indisch Leger, and also refered to as the Royal Dutch-East India Army). On 26 September 1891 Durk boarded the steamship 'Burgermeester Den Tex' in Amsterdam and embarked for the Dutch East Indies arriving a month later on the 2nd November in Padang on the island of Sumatra. On arrival Durk was placed in the 4th Depot Battalion Infantry followed by a transfer on the 12 March 1892 to the 17th Battalion Fusiliers. On 4th May 1893 Durk was transferred to the medical services assigned to hospital duties. On the 26 September 1897 Durk re-enlisted for a further 2 years in the colonial army and re-enlisted again on the 26 September 1899 for a further 4 years. On the 27 February Durk received the bronze medal (reason unknown). On the 7 June 1901 some 10 years after enlistment a 'reorganization' of the military occured in Batavia and Durk now served as a corporal 'male-nurse' in the military Hospital. On the 24th February 1903 Durk was awarded the silver medal for services during military operations in the Aceh war. In 1903, the final year of his military service Durk was promoted to sergeant-in-charge nursing. Durk now married to an an Indonesian-Dutch intended to stay permanately in the Dutch East Indies obtaining a Netherlands-Indie passport on the 1st September 1903. In 1903, Durk travelled to Malang where he was honorably discharged from the military on the 3rd October 1903 receiving a life time annual military pension of 240 florins (including a 300 florin bonus for time in service) begining on the 3rd of November 1903.
Three months later, on the 3rd February 1904, Durk passed away at the age of 36 years and was buried in Malang on the island of Java.
Durk married Indonesian Johanna Mathilde Van Horsen on the 15th March 1899, and had two sons Jan and Jelke. Both Durk and his wife died young and their surviving son, Jelke, was placed in an orphanage in Indonesia.
Durk is buried in Malang in the Dutch Christian Cemetery, on gravestone 269 are the words "Hier rust / Durk Hartkamp / geb. te Oude Haske / (Friesland) 29-12-1867 / overl. te Malang 3-2-1904 / R. 1. P. (1119)
Durk and Johanna's son Jelke Hartkamp married Sophie de Graaff. An expulsion of people of Dutch heritage from Indonesia by president Sukarno in 1948 led to Jelke and Sophie and their family of eight children migrating to the Netherlands in search of Hartkamp relatives.
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