Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Calendar of selected Centenary events - updated 21.05.14

Below you can find an overview of selected 2014 events. These concern cultural impressions, language/literature themes, civilian histories mainly. Obviously, the war itself is always very much present. If you have events to add that follow the spirit of what is below, please send us an email. We will update the calendar and subsequently tweet about it to our followers @belgianrefugees.


  • 20: In Antwerp, in the fabulous MAS museum, an exhibition opens on the 1.5 million Belgians who sought refuge abroad in the autumn weeks of 1914. The exhibition runs until April 2015. The exhibition will be more of an evocation using pictures mainly than a proper exhibition.
  • 22: An exhibition at the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow will showcase the lives of the Belgian refugees in England through a series of rare paintings and illustrations, some of which are by Frank Brangwyn.



  • 2,3: Events marking the Centenary in Liège include a son-et-lumière show which will be open to the public on August 2nd and 3rd 2014.
  • 4: More than fifty heads of state will be invited to a ceremony in the Belgian city of Liège on August 4th 2014, at the start of a series of events in Belgium marking the Centenary of the First World War.
  • 4: The United Kingdom’s entry into the war in response to the violation of Belgian neutrality. The British government has decided to commemorate this event on 4 August 2014 with ceremonies in the UK and in Mons (late afternoon), at the site where the first British soldier fell.
  • 21: Libby Horner talks about Frank Brangwyn’s work during the First World War, looking for example at his Westminster Palace scheme as well as his posters. William Morris Gallery and Vestry House Museum.


  • 1: In Antwerp, the Eugeen Van Mieghem Museum highlights artistic impressions of the Great War. The exhibition ends on 30 November 2014.
  • 2: Responses to Belgian refugees in Britain during the First World War: a Symposium. University of Stirling.  
  • 3: Preston Remembers celebrates the arrival of the first Belgian refugees (4 September 1914). Paper Christophe Declercq on Belgian refugees at 2pm.
  • 9: The strange case of the image of Belgium by the Belgians in Britain, seminar at Oxford Brookes University ‘’Alternate Spaces of the Great War: Voices’.
  • 14: De Groote Oorlog in ons hoofd, filosofieproject (Brussels): Monika Van Paemel over Paul Van Ostaijen, Emile Verhaeren en Stefan Zweig.
  • 17: Leicester and World War I, 1.30pm – 4.30pm at Belgrave Hall & Gardens. A talk looking at Leicester during the Great War exploring a range of themes including Belgian refugees, conscientious objectors and war work in the Belgrave area. Free. To book call 0116 251 9740 or email More information on  
  • 20: In Antwerp, the Museum of Fine Arts collaborates with the Letterenhuis and hosts an exhibition which offers an overview and insight into how the modernists artists, especially authors such as Emile Verhaeren, experienced the Great War. The exhibition, Jezusstraat 28, runs until 11 January 2015.
  • 28: Antwerp had been a hub for migration to the United States for decades when the First World War suddenly ended all that. An exhibition in the Red Star Line Museum aims to offer a further insight into how people related to their migrant families, from whom they were cut off because of the war. The exhibition runs until 6 April 2015.


  • 2: The Museum of Modern Art in Antwerp hosts Panamarenko Universum, an exhibition which offers an overview of the work of Panamarenko, including a daring Zeppelin flight.
  • 3,4,5: The city of Antwerp commemorates the fact that 100 years ago the temporary pontoon bridge across the river Scheldt provided a lifeline for British support troops entering the city and relieving Belgian and British troops in the immediate environment and for Belgian civilians escaping the besieged city.
  • 15: De Groote Oorlog in ons hoofd, filosofieproject (Brussels): Matthijs de Ridder over Henri Barbusse, Käthe Kollwitz, Frans Masereel en Yvan Goll.

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