Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Information about Belgian refugees in Britain

The main purpose of this blog is to offer a platform on Belgian refugees in Britain. This can happen in several ways.

We hope that information cascade here is relevant. However, one of the earlier mentioned reasons is that several blog posts that had been produced have been valued as publishable and have made their way into the world as such. We aim to publish more blog posts soon.

We would like to publish anecdotal stories and or requests for information by other, interested parties. So feel free to contact us and we'll publish your story and/or request.

In the past years that the Belgian refugees has been a topic of research many requests were sent, usually via email, about family members at various locations and whether we could help out. Sadly enough, however, tracing ancestors for over 250,000 Belgians at the time (imagine how many family members that would be now) is impossible and needs a more coordinated effort for which there is currently no funding.

The renowned and wonderful In Flanders Fields Museum issued a request to submit the last witness testimonies and further archive material about a decade ago. A lot of that was used for the seminal exhibition Vluchten Voor de Oorlog / Strangers in a Strange Land. This is now aimed for by the Europeana project. As such the In Flanders Fields Museum in Ieper/Ypres dealt with the digitisation of family history material at a Collection Day in December 2012.


  1. The British Government acknowledged the obligation regarding the gathering, support and enlistment of Belgian evacuees, while in the meantime searched out help with lodging the displaced people with nearby powers. The Belgian evacuees stayed in Britain until after the end of the First World War, when most came back to Belgium.
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  2. Belgian Relief Fund soccer match;