Bridget Geoghegan nudged at her research on graves of soldiers from the first world war in Wales on a tombstone for a thirteen year old Belgian.
The Raes family flees to Zeeland and afterwards to England. The best friend of their oldest son, an alleged ‘half-brother’, accompanies them on the trip and marries one of the Raes daughters during the war.
Only days before Storytelling Day (15 November 2015) at the Red Star Line Museum Marthe Hens and Karel Vangenechten found evidence of other relatives who had stayed in England during World War One. Still, many questions about their family history remain unanswered.
The Kampen grandparents fled to England in December 1914. They ended up in Swansea, where they stayed until 1926, possibly because my father attended a secondary school there.
Adolphine De Gezelle, together with her mother and her brother Albert, fled to England in 1914. She was seven and her brother was nine. Her mother, Louise-Marie Hermans, worked as a housemaid for the Ghent public prosecutor. When he fled to England, she went with him.
The Ostend Dover ferry service, or the mailboat, commonly known as the ‘moale’, played an important role in bringing refugees to England.
Thirty-two soldiers from the Belgian Congo served in the Belgian army during World War One. One of them was Jean-Jacques M’Bondo. Eventually, he too ended up in England.
Gustaaf De Guchtenaere was a telegraph operator in England during the war. His children went to school in Tottenham (London).
Leonardus Lodewyckx and Joanna Mensch lived at Jan Breydel Street in Berchem(Antwerp), where the premises of SAVA(Société Anversoise pour la fabrication de Voitures Automobiles) were situated. Leonardus Lodewyckx worked for SAVA. His professional skills and work experience were useful in England during the war.
When war broke out in August 1914, Mr and Mrs Collart-Le Corbesier fled to England with their five children. Having lost his wife during childbirth, Mr Henri Collart returned home alone with eight children in 1922..
Hélène Govers (born in Ostend in 1876, died in Brugge in 1965) wrote her memories of the First World War in a school notebook under the title 'Souvenir de la Guerre Européenne 1914-1915-1916-1917-1918. Mes Mémoires'. This 109-page notebook is now in the possession of her granddaughter Rosane Vermeirsch.
Helena Verbrugghe(born in Gullegem in 1881) , living in Westkapelle, fled to England via Kortemark with four-year-old Paula, two-year-old Godelieve and one-year-old Jozef in September 1914.