Fauldhouse (Belgian) refugee

Fauldhouse (Belgian) refugee

In October 1914, the West Lothian Courier reported:

Through the kindness of Mr and Mrs J. Casey, Blackfaulds, a young Belgian refugee spent a pleasant week-end in the village from Friday of last week till Monday following. His name is Jules Aerts, and he is 12 years of age. He resided in Antwerp with his parents before the trouble arose, his father formerly being a blacksmith, but now a retired pensioner.

Two days before the Germans entered Antwerp, M. Aerts, with his wife and family had to flee from the city with as much of their personal belongings as possible, and with thousands of other refugees made with all haste to Ostend. Their stay there was not very long, as they knew the Germans were making for that place as fast as they could move.

They latterly arrived in London, and journeyed from there to Glasgow. After a short stay they were taken to Motherwell, where they are all being well looked after. There are two sons and one sister along with the father and mother in Motherwell. There are also three sons in the Belgian Army, one in Belgium, and two in France. The entire family speak both French and Flemish, although they are more familiar with the latter, which is their own language

Jules Aerts is a bright boy, and has seen many strange sights, which he says he will never forget. Knowing nothing of the English language, he was fairly well understood by Mr Casey's son, Hugh, who is a student at Motherwell R.C. School. Jules Aerts has now started attending this school.

The Caseys were a well-respected family in Fauldhouse. Later in the war, one of their sons, John, was killed in action.

©1914-18: Fauldhouse Remembers Group

For more information on any aspect of West Lothian and the First World War, contact localhistory@westlothian.gov.uk.

http://www.westlothian.gov.uk/article/2055/Local-History-Library

 

house and shop
Casey's shop in Blackfaulds, Fauldhouse. (West Lothian Local History Library)