Thursday, 12 March 2015

calendar of events 2015 - updated 12 March

February 2015
17 - exhibition Valentines Mansion opens (Redbridge). This runs until 31 May 2015.

2 - Belgian refugees in Twickenham in the First World War. Talk by Helen Baker.

13 - In Flanders Fields Museum supports exhibition in the education museum of Ypres on education in wartime for Belgian refugees
14 - Conference on Belgian refugees (focus lies with NL and UK) at 50 years Familiekunde Vlaanderen at Felix Archives, Antwerp
19 - Forced and Coerced Labour: Comparing Colonial Spaces and Global Conflicts, one day conference at Ceges/Soma (Brussels).

2 - Belgische vluchtelingen in het Verenigd Koninkrijk gedurende de eerste wereldoorlog, talk at Familiekunde Aalst (Erembodegem)

31 May - exhibition at Valentines Mansion ends (Redbridge)
21 July, 7pm, Amgueddfa Ceredigion/Ceredigion Museum, Terrace Rd, Aberystwyth

Belgians and Leeds, a story

In 1992, Family Tree magazine, the July issue, printed an article by Linda Williams, then Carshalton, Surrey, in which the author was looking for people with information on Belgian refugees in Britain. You can find the article here.

Linda Williams own family story triggered her interest. The family of her grandmother were called Schippers and they spent the entire war in Leeds. Mrs. Williams recorded a figure of 1600 Belgians in Leeds. As a token of appreciation, the Belgians presented the city with a silver tea and coffee set before they were repatriated in 1919. Linda's grandmother returned to Belgium and used her English to cheer the British troops billeted in her village in 1944 and eventually her elder daughter married one of them, Leslie White, the father of Linda.

More about Belgians in Leeds via the Wartime Leeds project or the Legacies of War project.