Browsing History and Archaeology by Subjects
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Belgian Refugees in Cheshire: 'Place' and the Invisibility of the DisplacedThe First World War centenary has invigorated research into the Belgian refugee presence, especially at the local level. However, as this article argues, the responses which Belgians elicited locally, as well as the ‘quality’ and longevity of the memory culture surrounding them, was intimately tethered to ideas about and experiences of ‘place’ during the war and after. Exiled Belgians were almost uniquely positioned to communicate the totality of war as well as stand as silent representatives of the trauma of displacement. Yet this case study of the North West county of Cheshire demonstrates how wartime tragedy with regional consequences, as well as a preoccupation with combatant internees and casualties, eclipsed the everyday reality and the post-war memory of the Belgians.