14th Nov 1914. Belgian Refugees

The family of Belgian refugees who arrived at Rugby last week, and were accommodated in the house formerly used as the Girls’ Welcome Club in Newbold Road, have returned to London.

On Saturday, three more Belgian refugees, consisting of an old lady, and her daughter and grandchild arrived unexpectedly from London, and as there was accommodation available, they were taken in and will remain. There are now fifty refugees at Newton House.


Mr A Coleman presided over a well-attended meeting of the Rugby Hairdressers’ Association, held in the old Court Room on Monday night, the principal business being the work members had undertaken for wounded Belgian soldiers in the Red Cross Hospital. The sub-committee reported what had already been done, and it was decided that three member should visit the institution every Wednesday and Sunday to undertake what shaving, hair-cutting, etc, was required. Several of the assistants offered their services to the Association for Wednesday afternoons, which being their half-holiday was considered to indicate a self-sacrificing and commendable spirit.


The Rector presided at a well-attended meeting of members of the congregation of Holy Trinity Church interested in the scheme for providing hospitality for a number of Belgian refugees. A communication was read from the Belgian Relief Committee in London, stating that more fugitives were expected in a few days and advising the committee to go ahead with their scheme.—A recommendation that a house should be taken and that members of the congregation should be asked to loan or give furniture was approved, and the report presented showed that there was every indication of the project being well supported financially. It was decided to open an account with Lloyds Bank, and to ask Mr Parkinson to act as treasurer. The temporary committee was made permanent and given power to act. It consists of the following:-Mrs St Hill, Mrs McKinnell, Mrs C F Harris, Mrs J Gilbert, Miss Maude, Rev R W Dugdale, Dr Waugh, Messrs W T C Hodges, J Chappell, H E Marple, J J Gilbert, and J C Harrison, with Mr J Gilbert, jun, hon secretary.


The committee appointed by the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood, and the Adult Schools to arrange for providing hospitality in Rugby for Belgian refugees met at the Friends’ Meeting House on Tuesday night, Mr J Findlay being voted to the chair. The officers were appointed, including : Chairman, Mr C F Savage; treasurer, Mr W H Clay ; joint secretaries, Mrs Merttens and Mr John Gibson. Furnishing, catering, and finance committees were appointed, and the result of the appeal for funds indicated that many people were willing to contribute weekly sums, supply furniture, and assist in other ways ; and it was agreed to offer hospitality at 39 Albert Street (a house nearly opposite the Grand Hotel, which is being rented by Mr and Mrs Merttens) for 10 or 12 fugitives. The Chester Street Mission having expressed a wish to co-operate, the committee willingly gave their consent, and invited them to elect representatives on the committee. Other business of a routine character was transacted.


At the weekly parade on the 2nd inst, Capt Wood made an appeal to his boys to subscribe something in the nature of fruit or vegetables for the refugees at 17 Hillmorton Road, and announced that a special parade would take place the following Friday night to receive the articles. Upwards of 105 paraded, every boy with his haversack well filled, many carrying parcels in addition. Headed by the band, the Company marched to Hillmorton Road, and were met at the entrance to No 17 by the refugees. An interpreter explained who the donors of the gifts were. The gifts included apples, pears, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, various kinds of greens, cauliflowers, marrows, etc, several clothes’ baskets being well filled. One boy sacrificed his two white rabbits, these, with fancy ribbon around their necks, greatly pleased adults and children alike. The refugees heartily cheered the Company as they were marching away. A large number of relatives and friends of the boys witnessed the ceremony.

1 thought on “14th Nov 1914. Belgian Refugees

  1. Pingback: Parkinson, Horace James Ankers. Died 1st Jul 1917 | Rugby Remembers

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