It was the German invasion of Belgium which eventually drew Britain into the war. Many civilians were killed and thousands were displaced. The plight of Belgian refugees was widely reported in the press and there was great sympathy for the Belgian people. Shropshire raised funds to support and find accommodation for Belgian refugees. This photograph shows Belgian families who were being looked after in the Wellington area. The Wellington Journal reported on 24 October 1914 that
The sufferings of the Belgians is more fully realised when one has the privilege of chatting with some of the refugees… The hardest case seems to be that of a family named Francis of Wespelain situate on the main road to Louvain. Out of this one family there are four children missing, and it is a cause of great distress to Francis and his wife that no news is as yet to hand concerning their whereabouts. When the Germans arrived at their small holding they confiscated the whole homestead, including the cattle. By this blow the family lost their all, and can only find consolation in the fact of their present personal safety in England with their two little boys, aged six and four.