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A Belgian from the Scottish Borders

 
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Kenneth Morrison



Joined: 29 Sep 2008
Posts: 6668
Location: Rockcliffe Dalbeattie

PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2020 11:19 am    Post subject: A Belgian from the Scottish Borders Reply with quote

This is a first for me!
On the Selkirk Roll of Honour there is a MICHIELS, JOSEPH, GUNNER, BELGIAN F.A., 1918.

and The Southern Reporter of 24 October 1918 has

DEATH OF BELGIAN.— Many Selkirk residents will regret to learn that the greatly respected Belgian family of Michiels, who came to reside in the town as refugees shortly after the outbreak of war, have sustained a sad bereavement. Intelligence has reached Benjamin Michiels. who lives at Oxton Villa, that his eldest son Joseph has died of Spanish influenza in France. Joseph Michiels, who was one of the head boys at the High School, and most popular with his Scottish school mates, was a junior student in training as a teacher. His friends intended that he should go to the university. Three and a half months ago he answered the call of his country, and at the age of 19 left Selkirk for France in order to join the Belgian artillery. He had completed his military instruction and had gone into the fighting line. After only three weeks of active service he contracted the complaint which ended fatally. Joseph Michiels was a fine well-built young .fellow, and when bidding farewell to his school chums after the breaking-up ceremony at the High School, was in high spirits and looking forward with patriotic zeal to his life in the Army. His family, who came from Nieuport, suffered severely at the hands the German invaders and lost all their property. During their residence in Selkirk they have gained much esteem, and their two younger sons who also attend the High School are general favourites.

Thanks to a couple of pals on the Great War Forum who provided the link to the Belgian War Dead Register www.wardeadregister.be/en I've found this:

Joseph Marie Michiels – age 19 – Gendarme (168/3757/1780) Belgian Field Artillery.
Born 1899 in Lamprenisse, Diksmuide, Belgium. Son of Benjamin Serafijn Michiels and of Pharaïlde Mathilde (Osael) Michiels of Oxton Villa, Selkirk.
Joseph died of pneumonia in hospital in Guemps near Calais and was re-interred in Nieupoort after the war.
Died on Active Service on 14 October 1918 and buried in Nieuwpoort Brugsesteenweg Municipal Cemetery.
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DerekR
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Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 3005
Location: Hawick, Scotland

PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2020 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shocked
I've looked at the names at Selkirk many times but never ever noticed Joseph.
Well done on your research Ken.
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