…to the Belgian Refugees in Rhyl project website.

We are researching the Belgians who came to the north of Wales in the early years of the First World War. If you have any stories, photographs or objects relating to the Belgian Refugees, please get in touch via the “Contact” page – we’d love to hear from you!

This project started in 2014, looking for the stories of the Belgians who came to Rhyl. Over the years it has grown to encompass a much larger area, and our list of “found” names is well over 500. If you’re researching your Belgian ancestors who were exiled here, please contact us – it may be we know a little something that could help you. 

Use the menu at the top of the page to navigate the website: there is information about the welcome given in different towns, about individual families and the people who looked after them, and the places where they stayed.

The Refugees in Rhyl Project was always two people. Michael and Toni. Without Michael, there would have been no project. We travelled through Belgium together to find the birthplaces and families of our Refugees, we scoured graveyards and archives together, and although Toni was always the “front” of the project, Michael was the driving force.

Michael died on January 21st, 2021. Suddenly and unexpectedly. He was 56.

Every word on every page of this website, every filled notebook, every success and every award is dedicated to him.

Michael Glyn Roberts
1964 – 2021

Thanks to…

Rhyl Town Council

We would like to thank Rhyl Town Council for allowing us the very great honour of presenting the Town Crest to the city council of Aarschot in 2014.

Rhyl History Club

The whole idea for this project came from a post to their blog in 2012. For more about them and the history of Rhyl, please visit http://www.rhylhistoryclub.wordpress.com

Aarschot City Council, Belgium

Who welcomed us to their city when we visited, and who are very enthusiastic about our project.


 The Ambassador Award

Awarded to Antoni by the Mayor of Rhyl in 2015 for his work on this project.


8 thoughts on “Welcome!

  1. Pingback: World War One Centenary. | Rhyl History Club

    • Thanks for your message, Mr. Lyons.
      There is no public lecture planned in the near future, but we’ll post any info about lectures or meetings which may come up on the Latest News page.
      Thanks again.


      • Mr. Lyons,
        We will be talking to a local group in September, with a focus on the Refugee Committee in Rhyl. When the group has published their new season programme, I’ll get in touch. It would be great to see you there.


  2. Interesting to see your site -well done. Way of the Wharves project (www.thewharves.org) researching the wharves at East the Water Bideford has come across WW1 newspaper reports of Belgian refugees working in Bideford at a local pottery and at the acetone production factory. Not sure if any stayed after the end of war or if they all returned to Belgium. Interesting to see Combe Martin link. Any other links or information relevant to North Devon? Thanks Mike


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