This is a continuation of the Lowick and District’s Response to the Belgian Refugees 1914 – 1915 - part 9.
Alternatively, see all the previous parts of the Lowick and District’s Response to the Belgian Refugees 1914 – 1915, together.
Official letters confirm the presence of the De Roover family in Lowick between July and November 1915. PC Henderson, the Lowick Constable, and the Chief Constable, who you have already met, will explain further.
PC Henderson and Chief Constable (one on either side of the stage)
John Henderson, Lowick Constable
I have a very difficult problem to solve. I have been asked by one of the refugee families in Lowick if a brother currently serving in France can visit them for a few days.
I wrote to my superior, Inspector Bell at Wooler Police Station, on the 6th July 1915, as follows
I beg to report that, a Belgian soldier somewhere in France, wishes to visit his brother, Joannes Baptista De Roover, at Lowick.
Mr De Roover wants to know the procedure to enable him to acquaint his brother in France.
I am sir,
your Obedient Servant
I handed the letter in, on Tuesday, when I went to get paid. Inspector Bell forwarded it to Thomas Bolton, Superintendent, Alnwick, who returned it to me, noted ‘Apply to Chief Constable of Morpeth for permission’.
This is all very well, but how do I explain this to the refugees ? I don’t speak Flemish and they don’t seem to understand me. It’s one thing trying to remove the unauthorised hawkers camping on the common, but communicating with the Flemish speakers is nigh impossible. I may not like what the hawkers say when asked for their names and addresses but at least I can understand them!
I’ve had a good idea, I’ll pass the letter to Rev Wishart; he’s very good with the refugees.
Unbeknown to me this decision set off a chain of letters.