y grandmother, Marceline Ermeline Francoise
DELOGE was born on September 8 1876 at Yvoz-Ramet near the
city of Liege, Belgium. She was the second of the four daughters of Marcelin
HENROTIN and Marie GOFFINET. Her three sisters were Laure, Louisa and Alice
(born Harsin 11/6/1890). Marcelin Henrotin had been a train driver but his wife
Marie did not like the life and they went to live in the countryside at
CHAVANNE-HARSIN in the Belgian province of Luxembourg.
Theodore Joseph DELOGE was born on the 22nd September 1878 in the village
of Crupet, south of the city of Namur, in the French speaking part of southern
Belgium. His father was Joseph DELOGE (born Crupet 1st March 1847) a farm worker
and his mother Marie Therese WILMART (born Wierde Namur 24th July 1849). The
Deloge family had lived in Crupet for many generations. Theodore was their sixth
child in a family of two daughters (Sidonie and Anna) and seven sons (Auguste
born 1872, Joseph 1874, Calixte 1876, Theodore 1878, Alphonse 1880, Ernest 1882
and Leopold 1887). The fifth child Calixte, a priest, had died at the age of
twenty-six in 1903.
My grandparents Theodore Deloge and Marceline Henrotin were married on the 28th December 1904.
The first of their three daughters Louisa Marie Josephine was born at
Maillen, Namur, Belgium on the 25th August 1906. Their second daughter, my
mother Anne Marie, was born at Haversin/Serenchamps Namur in the farmhouse next
to the chateau on the 15th November 1908. On the birth certificate their
father's occupation is shown as a servant, presumably working in the chateau.
The youngest daughter Yvonne Jeanne was born, also at Haversin/Seranchamps,
on the 15th December 1909. I would think the couple both
continued to work in domestic service until the outbreak of the First World War
in August 1914.
Henrotin home in
Family in 1913
The First World War.
By then my grandfather was a valet to the
Belgian millionaire businessman Alfred Lowenstein
who, after the German attack
and Belgian Army retreat, came to London as a captain in the Belgian Army in
charge of army stores. My grandfather became his batman.
That August the
German army had committed terrible atrocities against the population of Belgium,
murdering civilians and sacking towns and villages. In the village called
SPONTIN neighbouring my grandfather's family's village CRUPET, hostages
including the mayor, the priest, the doctor and young boys were
slaughtered by the invaders. My grandfathers brother Joseph Deloge who worked in
the buffet in Namur railway station was hung from a gun by drunken German
soldiers and died next day age 39 from the shock. In DINANT the nearest town
hundreds of innocent people were lined up against a wall and shot. Whether this
prompted my grandmother and her daughters to leave for England I cannot be sure
but in March 1915 they crossed the border into neutral Holland with money sewn into the hem of
grandmothers dress. It was important the German soldiers on the border did not
realise they were on their way to England. Louisa age eight had already shown
her contempt of the German soldiers by spitting at one and incurring his
When they arrived in London Lowenstein had arranged for them to stay
their first night at the luxury Ritz hotel. The family then lived in a flat, 24 Palmerstone Buildings,
City Garden Row, Islington, London but
probably to avoid the bombing that was taking place they moved on the 14th September 1917 to 2 Heath View Gardens Mews,
Roehampton west of London near to Lowenstein's home, Highwood. They remained in
England for the rest of the war, the three young girls attending the Convent of
the Sacred Heart school in Roehampton. As the war ended more sadness came when
two more of my grandfathers brothers died.
Leopold Deloge on the 31st
October 1918 age 31 when his field gun was blown up by a bomb at Lotenhulle,
East Flanders during the German retreat. Then after the armistice Ernest Deloge
died aged 36 from the Spanish flu the day after returning to Belgium from Soltau
prisoner of war camp and before he could see his young son Willy who was only
two when he went away to war. You can see their names today commemorated on the
war memorial in the centre of CRUPET.
of the Deloges
school at Cuesmes
After the Great War
The family returned to Belgium on the 9th April 1919 and
as they struggled to regain what had been lost both my grandparents worked and
the three girls were put into a convent boarding school in CUESMES near
MONS. My mother had only bad memories of her years there, she found the nuns
cruel and the regime strict for a teenage girl. In 1922 my grandfather age 44
suddenly died. He was or had been working at the Chateau d'Arthey in Rhisnes
near Namur but was staying with a family member in MAILLEN where his mothers
family came from. He had gone to bed on the night of 22nd December 1922, had
some sort of heart failure and was found dead in the morning. This must have
been a sad time for the family as the three girls were devoted to their father.
Great Grandfather Joseph Deloge had now lost five of his seven sons in less
than twenty years.
Brussels between the Wars
By the mid 1920's my grandmother and her three daughters were living in Brussels, Louisa was a
milliner, Anne Marie a typist and Yvonne worked in the Bon Marche department
store. My grandmother took in lodgers. One of the lodgers was a young English
office machine engineer called Jack Clinch who was working in Belgium.
Jack and my mother , Anne Marie, fell in love, this prompted
his eviction from the house by Louisa! On the 31st August 1929 Jack and Anne
Marie were married in Brussels. They were married in the Sainte-Gertrude Church
Etterbeek Brussels and spent their honeymoon in the holiday town of Dinant on
the River Meuse.