On Thursday 20th April, as part of Royal Tunbridge Wells Belgian Refugees 1914 a group of us went to The National Archives . The day started with a selection of documents relating to World War One, brought to us in a private room by our guide Louise Bell . Then after lunch we were able to carry on, working through the database list, for the refugees who were in Tunbridge Wells.
These boxes (above) are full of the double sided cards (top photos) with information about location, names, and also payment details (not all refugees were as wealthy and self supporting as the Tunbridge Wells ones). The card I have featured isn’t a family from the Tunbridge Wells list, but for a time they were at Lullingstone Castle . While we were looking for information on the Tunbridge Wells families, it was hard to not be sidetracked by such things as a ‘Merry Go Round Operator’ or of all the families that spent their five years here, at Blackpool, or whose husbands were ‘in Congo’.
And is it an error that the Van Dam family were at a place “Previously Tunbridge Wells Bromyard”?
During the nine hours there, we didn’t get through all the boxes of cards… Hopefully we can go back, and find out more about Jose: