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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

rebuilding of Belgium


southozsue
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The images below are taken from the book 'Flor Van Reeth en zijn vrienden' published in 1997. Flor Van Reeth was the architect of the "garden city".

bert. (sorry, no scanner)

ZA_post.jpg

Zuid Australië 1922-1923

ZA_schild.jpg

Main entrance, painting by the architect ca. 1921

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Aw Gee. (That's 'Wow' in Australian.) The garden set out was very pretty, what a shame it was destroyed in WW2. Good work, again Bert. I really like those old pictures. This story has gone full circle!

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Unfortunately, the quarter was bombed during ww2. New houses were built in the period 1953-1963, and none of the original houses remains. The only thing that reminds today of this district is the street name.

Any clues to what the initial target was? Not the quarter itself, I'm sure...

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thanks soooooo much everyone

so greatly appreciated

Cheers

Sue

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The initial target was probably to just destroy the whole town, Zuid Australie garden and all.

Possible, but whether the target was the destruction of the whole town, I have no idea. I do not see what would have made Lier (strategically) so special compared to other towns in the area (Antwerp, Mechelen).

But maybe the fact that the station was close by played a part in the destruction of de Zuid-Australië quarter ?

Aurel

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Roel,

I have no idea. At first sight I would say : Germans, but then as second thoughts, it might have been the Allies (to block the German advance or retreat when they used the railroads) ?

I just don't know. Paradoxically WW2 is so far away for me (born 1945, five days before the end of the war). WW1 is so much closer. :blink:

Aurel

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  • 4 weeks later...
Hi

Foe rebuilding of Belgium aafter WW! try Larry Zuckerman 'The Rape Of Belgium@ New York Uni Press 2004

Good luck

Thanks for that Garth

I will follow that book up!!

Cheers

Sue :)

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Just as an aside, Villers-Bretonneux on the Somme was largely rebuit, especially the school, with funds from Victoria. Sheree - I was home in Perth in Feb/March. Stinking hot, eh?

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Hi guys!!!

My wife is from South Australia and she says that South Australia has a very large german, dutch and Belgian immigrant descended population. Indeed her ancestors were Prussians from Brandenburg. This could explain why the SA people gave money perhaps?

Graeme

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Mates

Thanks for all the above information. It is just fascinating.

Just to toss in a thought as to the connection between South Australia and Lier, like the twin city project, a list of names were drawn up that could do with some help and various places in the Empire were asked to choose their city or town. Andrew might have it correct by suggesting that the option of Lier was the last impression given to the SA units who passed through there on their way home. Other than that, it might have been just the luck of the draw similar to "Adopt a Road" etc or twinning with another city.

Cheers

Bill

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Only a gues...

Olympic games where held in Antwerp in 1920...

Lier only 18 km from Antwerp, smaller and damaged... Closest city, nearby to find war distruction. If Australians would have asked in Antwerp wich city could use some help...

Who in Antwerp, at that time would already have made a trip to West Flanders and visited the total destruction off Ypers...

The Olympics certainly, would have set this region on the world map

I am not in favor of wild gueses, but, for me the choise off Lier is something totaly diferent as the University library of Leuven, with books, many centuries old, who went up in flames... That would have been world news...

Australians passing by to or from Germany and returning home, the same soldiers would have seen the "total" destructian off different villages in flanders and Ypers, why would they have chosen Lier???

About the destruction of "Zuid Australië" in WW2. If somebody can put a date on it, we know who dropt the bombs.

If it was bombed... I would thinck Allies, otherwise overhere people would normally speak about V1 and V2... only one bomb at the time...

Nearly all V-bombs around Antwerp are recorded, date, place, time...

Being born just after the war, I can remember the damages done by the German V-bombs. But..to my knowledge, the V1 and V2 where aimed at Antwerp port and Lier is 18 km from Antwerp.

However, on the other hand, both sides had sometimes problems finding there targets...

Can somebody give us the date please...

Just my toughts...jan

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I think the Victoria School in VB is where my whole thought process started. I was in VB last year and visited the school....being a teacher I was even more interested. THEN I started reading Bean's official History...where the quote came from ...incidentally the Victorians raised 32000 pounds for the school which was less than SAs 38000 pounds for Lier. In those days the SA population would have only been about 300 000...so the money raised for Leir on today's terms would be millions.

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My wife is from South Australia and she says that South Australia has a very large german, dutch and Belgian immigrant descended population. Indeed her ancestors were Prussians from Brandenburg. This could explain why the SA people gave money perhaps?

True for Post WW2...even my parents were Polish / German refugess in 1948 coming to SA. The german population in SA during WW1 were migrants from 1850s ...and actually during WW1 people of german descent were placed in Internment camps......

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  • 15 years later...

Digging up this old topic ...

There is at the moment a small exhibition in the city museum on the history of social housing in Lier.

Part of it highlights the "Zuid-Australiëwijk" (South Australia quarter) as the first social housing project.

best regards,

Bert

20211106_131502.jpg

20211106_133122.jpg

20211106_133335.jpg

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13 hours ago, Interested said:

I just hope South Oz Sue is still on the Forum and reading this.  Kind of makes it all worth while.

Last visited in March, 2008, so probably not.

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