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Belgian refugees in Coventry, WWI

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harrie
Belgium
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1 of 4  Thu 13th Feb 2014 9:38pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2014  Total posts:3

My late grandmother, Elisa Heselmans (1898-1976) told me that during the siege and bombardement of Antwerp, in October 1914, she fled to England / Coventry. Nearly 80% of the inhabitants of Antwerp fled, in that period, to Holland, France or England. My grandmother came to Coventry with her father : Louis Petrus Heselmans (1874-1967); het mother Maria Wuyts (1872-1949) and probably her brother Eduard Heselmans (1900-1966). Problably they were sent to Coventry because my greatgrandfather Louis Heselmans, was a very good mechanic. He worked, as a workleader, in an Antwerp car-factory (Minerva). After the war he had in Antwerp his own garage. But this is all I know of their refuge in Coventry. Maybe this is the way to become more information about their stay. (Where exactly, what beginning date, how long did they stay. Was greatgrandfather working in one of de factories? etc.
Belgian refugees in Coventry, WWI
heritage
Bedworth
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2 of 4  Fri 14th Feb 2014 8:18am  
Member: Joined Sep 2011  Total posts:374

As it happens my wife was searching the Coventry Graphic last Saturday at the Coventry archives. She was looking for photographs of Bedworth Schools who had contributed to the war effort. One of the sheets she came back with was this page about Belgian children in Coventry in September 1915. As with all Graphic images it is very dark. I'll look through some log books for mention of some of the children. May take a little while as we are opening a new exhibition at Bedworth Heritage Centre tomorrow. (Spotlight on Keresley). I was going to put it in the Wheatley Street topic, but this is far better.
Belgian refugees in Coventry, WWI
harrie
Belgium
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3 of 4  Sat 15th Feb 2014 7:43pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2014  Total posts:3

Thank you for responding. My grandmother was already 16 years old when she came to Coventry. The picture was taken by Seed Bros at the Royal Studio in Coventry. I don't know the year. Probably 1916-1918?
Belgian refugees in Coventry, WWI
harrie
Belgium
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4 of 4  Thu 20th Nov 2014 4:40pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2014  Total posts:3

The Welsh town PORTHCAWL is now looking for descendants of Flemish refugees they helped during WWI. So, in that town, it seems there is a list of refugees, during that period. I can imagine that an important town like Coventry has such lists too. Can Historic Coventry help me? Thanks for your co-operation.

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Belgian refugees in Coventry, WWI

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