Belgians housed in South Ulverston
World War 2 was not the first occasion on which Ulverston took in refugees or evacuees, nor was it the last.
In 1914 and 1915, hundreds of thousands of refugees fled Belgium as the German army advanced into their country. Those who were taken in by Britain were dispersed around the country, and one might wonder what the people who were sent to this small South Cumbrian town knew of where they were going.
One thing they may have had in common with some people in their host town was a culture of lace-making by hand:
Picture by Ulverston photographer Groocock, 1914
A number were taken in at Lund Hall, and most of the young men and some of the women commuted by train from Ulverston to Barrow to work on munitions production in the shipyard. There were even enough of them to form their own brass band.
One of the refugees who was billeted in Coniston but attended Ulverston Grammar School was Oscar Van Boxel. When in Form IIa, he wrote in the school magazine: