A quarter of a million Belgians, displaced by the conflict of the First World War, came to the UK in what proved to be the largest influx of refugees in UK history. There are several memorials throughout the UK commemorating the efforts of local people to house them. Most Belgians returned home after the end of the war.
In Wimbledon Cemetery, London, there is a memorial to Belgian Refugees that reads,
“Close to this spot rest in friendly English soil eight Belgian citizens who were driven from their homes by the German invasion in 1914 and were welcomed as guests of the people of Wimbledon and Merton and one child who was born in exile.”
In the local library in Bodmin, Cornwall there is a marble tablet with the following inscription in both English and French.
This tablet was erected by/ Belgian refugees/ as a token of their deep gratitude/ to the Mayor and town council/ Relief Committees and/ the inhabitants of Bodmin, for/ their generosity/ during the war./ 1914 – 1915.