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A Dunedin lady, who has just returned to the Dominion after a visit to tho Homeland, saw, during the last three weeks of her visit to London hundreds of Belgian women and children refugees arriving in a pitiable state of exhaustion, having fled in panic iri many instances before tho invadin" German hosts. ■ ®

“ Really,” she declared in tho course of an interview with a 1 Star 1 reporter “I inclined to think that what vmi have read in tho newspapers of German atrocities is no exaggeration, for wo saw much and hoard a great deal more from reputable witnesses of tho nameless horrors which were inflicted upon the poor Belgians. On ono occasion we saw about 500 refugees bound for Alexandra Palace, and, candidly, tho pitiable sight of the poor unfortunate women and children made mo feel miserable for days. One old man, too, was out of his mind by sheer exhaustion. I never wish to see such a sight again.

“ During the closing days of our holiday in London I was visiting a friend, and staying in the house nest door was a little Belgian girl who had had both hands cut oil' by some brutal Gorman soldiers. She was only seven years old. There were other cases of equally as bad a nature, and one quite frequently heard of cases where Belgian boys had had ono of their arms severed in order that they should not have a chance to use a rifle in defence of their country, or rather to strike a blow later on by way of avenging their outraged land. Another instance of brutal cruelty came under my notice, tho story being related to mo by a British veterinary officer, concerning one of onsoldiers who had gone to the front. While lying wounded near a trench ho saw someone whom ho believed to be an officer approaching, and being in pain ho called out. Ho was apparently m a comatose state. When the figure came nearer he recognised it as that of a German officer, who, instead of rendering assistance, deliberately plunged his sword through tho wounded Britisher, who was picked up some time later and sent over to Folkestone. He died 16 hours after arrival. Wo were also told of a case of a British officer who, besides having his arms cut off, had had his eyes gouged out. That is a perfectly true story, for when we left the officer was recovering, hut had not been told that the loss of his sight was permanent.

“ Tho manner in which tho London people received tho poor Belgian refugees was splendid. They did everything possible to make them comfortable. As I have already stated, Alexandra Palace .was fitted up to accommodate a great many of them, while individuals worked strenuously to do whatever they could. A doctor’s wife canvassed strenuously, and with generous assistance from willing helpers managed at tho end of three days to secure a ten-roomed house, rent free, and completely furnish it in order to accommodate refugees. It was just great to see everyone so willing to assist those who were destitute.”

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Bibliographic details

BELGIAN REFUGEES., Issue 15664, 1 December 1914

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BELGIAN REFUGEES. Issue 15664, 1 December 1914

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