Belgian Refugees

As the history of the war tells us, the first country to fall to Germany was Belgium on the route into France. During 1914-15 160,000 Belgians became displaced within the United Kingdom. Wing was one of the refugee areas for a small group and a committee was formed, one of the 2,500 founded around the country. The magazines tell us a little bit about the Belgians in March 1915 and December 1916. There is very little in between, whether it is covered by missing editions or it was widely accepted it is hard to tell. It is a very sad occasion in March 1915 when the magazine tells us of the death of a 10 year old boy, Joseph Weyn. His father, M. Weyn, was a military tailor and would have held an important position within the Belgian Army cavalcade. The Chestnuts and 1a Littleworth were used, both of which were Rothschild houses. It would have been a shock to the village for such a disaster to occur, but very little detail is given as to the nature of his death.

By November 1916 both families had moved to Glasgow for munitions work. Glasgow had 8,000 Belgian refugees working in the factories between 1914 and 1920. After they left it was decided to give the money still in hand to the Belgian Red Cross Society which amounted to £9 7s. 2d.. Since their arrival in November 1914 many donations were given to help them, including Burcott Chapel, Wing Football Club as well as many Parishioners. The total raised was £196 18s. 1d..


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