The Solihull Parish Magazine of October 1914 contains an appeal for people to loan furniture or “articles for domestic comfort, or to give food of any kind” to help the Belgian refugees now housed within the district. Gifts or promises of money were also sought and “suitable books in French for men, women and children” would also be acceptable.
The magazine refers to the “honour and privilege of welcoming in our midst some of the sorrowful Belgians who have not only lost their ‘all’ but have been ruthlessly driven out of the land they love.” It promised that the community would do “all we can to cheer them in their exile”.
By October 1919, the parish magazine reported that during the four and a half years of war, Solihull had the privilege of providing refuge for 45 Belgian men, women and children who had been compelled to leave their country and their homes.
If you have any information about Belgian refugees in Solihull, please let us know (email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0121 704 6934).
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian