Belgian Relief Committee

Belgian Relief Committee

On 30 November 1914, the Paisley Daily Express reported:


At (the) last fortnightly meeting of the Committee held in the Council Chambers - with Mr John McCallum in the chair - the secretary reported that the £1,000 voted by the Committee at its last meeting had been sent to the Commission for Relief in Belgium through the Belgian Consul in Glasgow and read a letter from the Belgian Consul-General in London thanking the generous donors of Paisley.

It was reported that Mr and Mrs Den Doucker who are looking after the refugees at Barshaw House had declined to accept any remuneration for their work there. Mr and Mrs Den Doucker were cordially thanked by the Committee for the splendid services they were giving at Barshaw.

The secretary further stated that the Parish Council had agreed to give the necessary accommodation at Auchentorlie House for several maternity cases

It is stated that assistance was being given by the Committee to 23 families - 97 persons - brought to Paisley by the Catholic Committee. At the date of the meeting those were being paid a weekly allowance but this week it is expected that at least eight of these families will become self-supporting, as one or other of the members of the families have secured employment.

Mr Den Doucker gave a survey of the position at Barshaw to date, stating that there were 91 refugees in Barshaw House and 28 housed elsewhere in town and that between Barshaw and the other house of the disposal of the Committee about 64 more refugees could be housed.

Considering the urgent necessity for further funds to relieve the distress of the Belgians who still remain in their own country, it was agreed to appeal at once for subscriptions for this special purpose and it was remitted to a sub-committee to attend to the matter.

Belgan Refugee Committee report in the Paisley Daily Express, November 1914
The Mansion House at Barshaw Park, Paisley, c.1920