Belgian Christmas at Blantyre Lodge

This beautiful and unique Blantyre house is Blantyre Lodge which once sat where the current sand playpark is at David Livingstone Birthplace grounds in the Village.

In Winter 1914, at the start of WW1, it was home to many Belgian Refugees, who had fled the atrocities in their homeland and came to Scotland.

On the evening of Monday 7th December 1914, the Blantyre Committee who looked after the refugees met there to entertain their guests for Christmas. Rev J Brand Crombie was President of the Committee and ran through a programme of entertainment, tea and a delicious supper. Gifts were given by various Blantyre people to the Belgian children and adults, which were warmly accepted.

Short addresses were given by Rev J Burleigh, Rev TA Hugh and Father O Hanlon. A short address of thanks was given by Henri Diyboom and M. Vandikiboom in fairly good English (Belgian accent with a hint of Blantir), thanking everybody for the warm welcome they had received since coming to Scotland.

The evening was brought to a close by the teaching of Auld Lang Syne. Special thanks was given to the Calderglen household, Miss Forrest, Miss Logan and Mrs Hugh for their practical support in making the night such a festive success!

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