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Belgium, 1899


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#1 Nanni Dietrich

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 08:21

From a Motorsport Memorial page:
http://www.motorspor...hp?db=ct&n=7716
by magazine "Waar Is De tijd? 1000 Jaar Limburgers en hun Vertier", part 12, 1999.

"The Belgian automobile clubs of Liège, Antwerp and Brussels organized an over 100 kilometre event in the Belgian province of Limburg, on 23 October 1899 . The course included the main road between Maaseik and Smeermaas, close to the Dutch border. Among the participants were petrol cars, electrical vehicles and even bicycles.
A six-year old boy, Joseph Gorissen from Rekem, was run over by a car and died the next day. It is not entirely clear whether the accident happened during or after the event, likewise is it unclear whether this was a race, regularity run or otherwise."

A motorsport race in Belgium, October 1899!

Any help from Belgian friends?

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#2 Rob Semmeling

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 09:06

Originally posted by Nanni Dietrich
A motorsport race in Belgium, October 1899!

Any help from Belgian friends?


Nanni, as I wrote to MSM, it is unclear whether this was a race, regularity run or otherwise. I asked about the event on another forum, but unfortunately no one had heard of it.

#3 fines

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 13:33

I guess this would've been an organised "auto tour", not uncommon for the times. Motorsport? Yeeeeeees, but with an asterisk.;)

What really irks me is that spectators, even a six-year-old in this case, are being named merely for being a victim of an accident! How would you feel if a relative of yours would show up in an internet search just because he was an accidental bystander in a car accident??? A whole life compressed into a silly accident????? That's really tasteless, and unfortunately it's becoming common practice on "Memorial Sites", and those names are being copied on other sites as well... :down: :down: :down: :down:

It's alright if you want to remember racing drivers who were in it for the money and the fame, but why on earth spectators who were merely there by chance???? :mad:

#4 Rob Semmeling

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 14:57

I have finally been able to check a contemporary local newspaper, although not the one I wanted.

"De Postrijder", issue 26 October 1899, reports of the accident that killed 6-year old Joseph Gorissen from Rekem. Unfortunately, the snippet is not entirely clear and furthermore was nearly illegible.

The newspaper speaks of a "wielenwedstrijd" on Sunday - which seems to suggest a cycling race rather than something motorsport related. The boy was hit by a car, driven by someone from Antwerp, when crossing the road. He passed away on Tuesday.

I found no reference in this issue or the ones immediately before about an automobile race or any other motorsport event. However, I'm sure the magazine "Waar Is De tijd" must have had a reason to link this accident with motorsport.

In other words: still not quite sure what to make of this tragic accident.


P.S. For the record, I strongly disagree with your last remark, Michael, but I really don't want to get into a discussion about that here.

#5 ensign14

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 14:59

Originally posted by fines

It's alright if you want to remember racing drivers who were in it for the money and the fame, but why on earth spectators who were merely there by chance???? :mad:

There's a memorial in Birmingham to commemorate those who died in the Blitz...