Mayor's Belgian Refugee Fund

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United Kingdom

ARTICLE IN LUTON NEWS FEBRUARY 1915.  The fund has been rather hard hit recently by the furnishing of houses for the wives and families of a few Belgians who have secured work in the town and district and at the present time, the committee have scope for further work if the income permitted. It is however, deplored that some places of worship are sending contributions to the central fund in London and in this way it has been pointed out they are depriving the local committee of considerable monies.

Altogether nearly 120 Belgian refugees representing some 48 families are being housed and maintained in different parts of the town by the organisation while, in addition, refugees from other colonies have come to work in Luton.  The cost per head per week is estimated at 7s and less in the case of big families. One of the families is now self supporting, the father and some other members having obtained good employment. Work has also been found for a diamond cutter at the Chocolate Works and a trained nurse who is among the refugees at 75 Ashburnham Road, is nursing a compatriot who is laid up with pneumonia.

Mons. Wets, the stationmaster of Ostend, has just left Dallow Road where, with his wife and child, he has stayed under the care of the Adult School Committee. He was rendered deaf by the noise of the bombardment of Ostend and another Belgian in Luton says his cousin was blown in two by a bomb as he was running away.  One of the Belgian ladies in Luton has recently had the happiness of a reunion with her soldier son. He did not know where she was and his postcard to her followed her all over Belgium, finally reaching her at Luton in December. It had been written in a hospital in Scotland and after several enquiries at different hospitals in Scotland and England, the committee traced him to a London nursing home, where his mother afterwards visited him.

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Author: Diane Cullen

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