Aireborough Historical Society

Belgian Refugees 1914

Belgian Refugees Belgian Refugees
Belgian Refugees
Date 1914
Location Yeadon
Photo ID
B257 & B424
Top: When German troops invaded Belgium in 1914 it precipitated Britain's entry into the conflict of First World War.
Belgium was a neutral country and quickly subjugated by the German forces, many horrific tales were spread about their treatment of Belgian civilians, much of it was propaganda.
Never the less, many Belgians fled to Britain as refugees, the group seen here had first been given quarters at Alexandra Palace in London.
They came to Yeadon in October 1914, the Waggon and Horses public house on Sandy Way had closed the previous year but was used to provide the visitors with accommodation.
Local people had given furnishings and other necessities to give the Belgians a comfortable home.
When they arrived in Yeadon they were welcomed by Councillor Robert Shaw on behalf of the people.
This photo was taken outside the Waggon and Horses.

Bottom: A group of Belgian Refugees who fled to England during the 1914-18 war. The image is labelled "Belgian Guests and Committee", it is not clear what or who the committee were for.
Some of the Belgians were housed in the old Waggon and Horses Hotel on Sandy Way.




The Wagon and Horses on Sandy Way ceased trading as a Pub in 1912 and opened as a lodging house.
The Pub was run until it ceased trading by my Paternal Grand Aunt, Eliza Freeman ( ne Lee). Daughter of william Lee and Hannah Chipindale. I do not know if she ran the lodging house when the refugees were placed there.
12 May 2013
Robert Shaw came to Yeadon from Gloucester to work and he found employment at Low Hall as an outside man , later he worked for Julia Dinsdale next door.He then took tenancy at 26,Gill Lane and he worked as an agent for Low Hall collecting rents etc. Later he progressed and became a local councillor
15 September 2013
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