From ‘half-brother’ to husband

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.

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Four families in England

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.

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Kampen family stays in Swansea

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.

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Small buttons and socks

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.

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'The Moale'

The Ostend Dover ferry service, or the mailboat, commonly known as the ‘moale’, played an important role in bringing refugees to England.

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From Ouaka to Birtley

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.

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Good manners

Gustaaf De Guchtenaere was a telegraph operator in England during the war. His children went to school in Tottenham (London).

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A mobile family

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. 

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A great loss

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..

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Eternal torment?

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.

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Living at Father Jules’ place (our uncle)

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. 

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Pound gold coins

When the German troops were about to take control of Ostend, the Ostend shipping company H.P. Aspeslagh sent its sea trawlers to Milford Haven. 

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