Photograph of Belgian Refugee Family

Photograph of a Belgian refugee family, c.1914-1918.

The photograph depicts a family of four Belgian refugees who were harboured by the Lyttelton family. In 1914 Belgium asserted its neutrality under international treaty and Britain promised to defend this. However, after refusing to give permission to Germany to cross Belgian territory in order to reach France, Germany declared war on Belgium and invaded the country. Over 1 million refugees fled the country over the coming weeks, mostly to the Netherlands but also to France and Britain.

Image Courtesy of Queen Mary University of London Archives.

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