Library talks about prisoners, ‘aliens’ and Belgian refugees during World War One

1 July 2015

Lancashire County Council's community heritage team is helping people to discover how the outbreak of World War One altered British people's attitudes to those who were not UK nationals.

Staff from the county council's community heritage team will hold a couple of interesting talks across the county in July.

The lives and experiences of the imprisoned, the dispossessed and enemy 'aliens' will be considered.

Fiona McIntyre, community heritage manager, said: "The First World War radically changed people's attitude to other nationalities.

"Over one million Prisoners of War were taken in the first months of the war which caused problems and accusations of brutal treatment on both sides.

"Germans living in the country became categorised as 'enemy aliens'. Government legislation was even brought in, requiring all foreign visitors to register with their local police station.

"Military prisoners of war were held captive on the grounds of national security.

"Many Belgians were left homeless and penniless by the outbreak, resulting in many of them leaving their own country and fleeing to Britain.

"We'll look at original documentary evidence, photographs, newspapers, censuses and military records and build a picture of the real impact the war had on them."

The 'Prisoners, Aliens and Belgian Refugees' talks are free to attend but booking is required as places are limited.

The talks will take place as follows:

Monday 6 July, 2pm, Poulton Library
Monday 13 July, 1pm, Judges Lodgings Museum, Lancaster

To book a place at the Judges Lodgings Museum talk, call 01524 32808, email or call in at the museum.

To book a place at the Poulton Library talk, call 0300 123 6703, email or call in at the library.

For more information, go to or

Alternatively call 0300 123 6703.

Notes for Editors: Picture Caption: A postcard of Belgian refugees on 1 October 1914 staying in Burnley and Colne

For further information please contact: Julie Dobson on 01772 536616

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