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A Belgian Refugee

Photo credit: Glasgow Life Museums

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This painting depicts an elderly refugee from Liege in Belgium. The German army invaded Belgium in August 1914 in the opening days of the First World War, and as a result 250,000 Belgians sought safety in the UK. This was the largest wave of refugees ever to come to Britain. Glasgow Corporation Belgian Refugee Committee was responsible for finding homes for the refugees across Scotland, and many were housed in Glasgow and the surrounding areas. After the war, most of the refugees returned home. Almost 100 years later, Glasgow continues to offer new homes to those who have had to leave their own countries due to war and oppression. Norah Neilson Gray (1882–1931) grew up in Helensburgh and moved to Glasgow with her family around 1901. She studied at the Glasgow School of Art and later went on to teach there.

Glasgow Museums Resource Centre (GMRC)


A Belgian Refugee




oil on canvas


H 125.7 x W 87 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

gift, 1978

Work type


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Glasgow Museums Resource Centre (GMRC)

200 Woodhead Road, South Nitshill Industrial Estate, Glasgow G53 7NN Scotland

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