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Tuesday 14 July 2015

Lowick and District’s Response to the Belgian Refugees 1914 – 1915 - part 11

This is a continuation of the Lowick and District’s Response to the Belgian Refugees 1914 – 1915 - part 10.
Alternatively, see all the previous parts of the Lowick and District’s Response to the Belgian Refugees 1914 – 1915, together.

Captain Fullarton James, Morpeth    
I’ve received a letter from Rev Wishart as follows
The Lowick Constable has just brought me his enclosed letter which he sent to his inspector, with the reply written across it. I don’t quite understand why he did not apply direct to you for the permission, but he evidently wanted me to do it for him, so I told him I would write you and I think his letter explains the whole case. Yours sincerely.
Why has Rev Wishart become involved and why hasn’t the Superintendent sorted it?
I forwarded Rev Wishart’s letter to Superintendent Bolton who replied on the 9th July:
I am in receipt of yours dated 8th inst (July), enclosing letter from Rev Wishart, Lowick, having referred to a Belgian Soldier, in France, who wishes to visit his brother at Lowick. I beg to inform you that PC Henderson handed in to the Inspector at Wooler the letter also enclosed when being paid on Tuesday 6th inst (July). I told him to inform Joannes Baptista De Roover, to apply to you for permission for his brother to visit Lowick and marked it on his letter for the Constables own information and gave it back, but did not expect he was going to give it to the Rev Wishart.’
The Rev Wishart does a good deal for the Belgians and the Constable not being able to make them understand what was wanted, took it to him in error.
I am, Sir,
Your Obedient Servant

I decided it would be best to write to Rev Wishart direct.

I am in receipt of your letter of the 6th inst, having reference to the above named person, I am assuming you are acting for his brother but he must on arrival produce his passport and register himself with Superintendent (Thomas) Bolton,  Alnwick, to whom I am sending a copy of this letter.
On hearing of De Roover’s arrival, the Superintendent will arrange the time and place of registration. There is no procedure except whatever there may be at Port of Sailing and Port of Arrival, no doubt full instructions will be given at both sides.

I thought that was settled but on the 26th October, I received another letter from Rev Wishart asking for permission for De Roover to visit his brother in this restricted area.

My Clerk replied that I had no objection to the above named soldier visiting his relatives at Lowick provided he is able to produce documentary proof of his nationality and is vouched for, by the War Refugees Committee in London.
He must also report his arrival to Supt Bolton, Alnwick, from where he will receive instructions as to registration etc.

You will be pleased to know, Ladies and Gentlemen, that August De Roover visited his family in Lowick on the 18th November 1915 and left on the 22nd en-route for Belgium. He was 18 years old.
(PC Henderson and Chief Constable sit down)

Thank you. That demonstrates the practical difficulties faced by local officials and the never ending paper work.

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