Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Queens Engineering Works Support the Belgians

Thursday 2nd September 1915: Over a year into the war Bedfordshire continues to show its concern for the plight of the people of Belgium. Not only are most of the county’s towns and villages supporting refugees in their midst, but an appeal has now been launched to help those Belgians who have been driven out of their country into Holland and France where they find themselves in a state of complete destitution. A meeting was held yesterday afternoon in the yard of the Queen’s Engineering Works at Bedford presided over by the Company Chairman, Mr. W. H. Allen.

The men were addressed by Mr Hastings Pimbury of the Union des Comit├ęs who appealed to their sympathy and generosity. Mr Pimbury had lived in Belgium for twenty years and was president of three working men’s clubs in the village where he lived. He had been there when the German Army invaded the country and had seen villages burnt to the ground. The Belgians who had escaped to Holland and those still in the unconquered part of Belgium were now living as best they could in huts in miserable circumstances. He reminded them of some of the atrocities which had been committed by German soldiers and told them of orphan children living on charity. When asked who was prepared to subscribe every member of the audience raised his hand. Three cheers were given for Mr. Pimbury and for the King of the Belgians.

Source: Bedfordshire Standard, 3 September 1915

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