My 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.
My Grandfather 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

Great Grandfather
Joseph Deloge

The Deloge
Family in 1913

Chateau Haversin-Seranchamps.
Farmhouse on left..

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 anger.
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.

Deloge home
in Crupet

Passport photo
of the Deloges
about 1918.

Deloge daughters
school at Cuesmes
near Mons.

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.
Sainte-Gertrude Church and Anne-Marie & Jack's Wedding in August 1929. Top row from left Yvonne Deloge ,Marceline Deloge, Yvonne Laurent (Ernest Deloge's widow)
Then probably aunt Sidonnie and schoolfriend Monee.
Bottom row from left. Probably Uncle Alphonse, Cousin Willy (Ernest Deloge's son) , Two unknowns , Cousin Nelly


Three generations - Marceline,
Anne Marie & Mary in about 1939.

In 1931 their first child Mary Jane was born, followed by Nicole two years later. At that time they lived in an apartment at 30 Rue Phillipe Baucq. Family life was good in the prosperous city, despite the economic strife of the 1930's.

Then war came again to Belgium.

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