First World War Refugee Talk in Torquay

A free evening event in Torquay will the story of hundreds of refugees who found sanctuary in Devon during the First World War.

A Great And Desperate Venture: Belgian Refugees in Devon takes place at Torre Abbey on Thursday 21 September at 6.30 pm. It is estimated that a quarter of a million people fled to Britain from Belgium during the First World War and many came to towns and villages in Devon. Researcher Ciaran Stoker will explore the stories of the refugees who came here, the hosts who welcomed them into their homes, and the workers who organised the humanitarian effort across the county.

The talk has been organised by the Devon Remembers Heritage Project, which is managed by the South West Heritage Trust. It is part of a programme of research, talks, events and exhibitions across Devon to give local people an opportunity to explore the county’s First World War experience during the centenary period.  Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the project has received a grant of £267,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) with additional support from the South West Heritage Trust, Devon County Council, Torbay Council and the University of Exeter.


Tickets are free but must be booked in advance. Complimentary light refreshments. Bookings can be made at: or by calling 01392 888726.


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