Did you know that East Twickenham was home to a communikty of Belgian refugees during the First World War. We didn't. We knew that the Ice Rink was taken over by a Monsieur Pelabon for use as a munitions factory, but we didn't know that its staff were all Belgian refugees: mostly women, with some wounded ex-soldiers as well. We can see from old photos that East Twickenham clearly developed a very Belgian atmosphere, as all the shops along the high street seem to have had Belgian names. We now learn that, across the water, our neighbourhood became known as un village belge sur la Tamise.

Can you help us find out more? Are any of your relatives Belgian? Or would you like to help us look deeper into this? Please let us know on focg.auth@gmail.com




27 January 2013