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Object of the Month: Belgian Refugee Plaque

Belgian Refugees Plaque

Belgian Refugees Plaque

Reading Borough Council recently agreed that our town would become a ‘City of Sanctuary’, committed to building a culture of hospitality for refugees seeking sanctuary from war and persecution. Towns and cities across the UK are signing up to this movement as the on-going refugee crisis continues. Council Leader Jo Lovelock said: "Reading has a proud history of supporting refugees, asylum seekers and other newcomers.”

The town does indeed have a long tradition of providing safe haven for people fleeing from war. For instance, during the Second World War Reading became home to over 40,000 evacuees and many Reading families today can trace their arrival to this frightful time.

November is a time of remembrance and so the object selected this month is a plaque presented to the people of Reading by the community of Belgian refugees given shelter here during the First World War. They were provided with assistance to rebuild their lives having lost homes, possessions and work. At the end of the war they presented this plaque to the Borough of Reading in appreciation of the kindness shown to them. It was made by Gilkes and Son of Reading and has inscriptions in Flemish and French.

Date published: 11 Nov 2016

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