Friday, August 17, 2012

Queen of Children

How the Elisabeth, Queen of the Belgians, cared for hundreds of children during the upheavals of World War One.
In two little villages of wooden barracks, the Queen provided for 600 children- one group of children from 6 to 10, and the other from 11 to 16.

The barracks were placed, on soil well drained, flat thought it was, and around them bloomed the most beautiful flowers from early spring until late autumn. Between the two groups of barracks was a large vegetable garden which the older boys helped to work.

The barracks were light, well but simply furnished, and everything about them showed that somebody of taste and culture was at the head.

The Queen was fortunate in having the pick of available personnel and this made other authorities growl occasionally, but the growls were low and not very deep. Certain it is that whether we ascribe it to her brains or luck, Her Majesty made there a real school. A beautiful little chapel stood among the other buildings. The instruction was modern. The children really learned something. And the whole atmosphere of the place unquestionably lifted most of them up to a plane they never would have reached had there been no war and no school of the Queen. Twice during the war, we tried to get over from America the most modern books on education for a present to the Queen out of other than relief funds, as we knew her great desire to have them, but the shipments had not come through when the war ended. (Read entire post.)