The plate has a cream ground which features decoration painted in blue. We see pictures of tulips, a windmill and a sailing barge – images associated with the Netherlands. Around the rim of the plate is the Latin inscription: “Qui Susceperit puerulum talem unum in nomine meo, me suscipit. Matth. 18:5” This passage is a saying of Jesus taken from the New Testament. It translates as: “Whoever receives one such child in my name, receives me. Matthew 18:5.” Painted onto the centre of the design is 1945, the date this plate was created. Below this are the words “Van Dankbaar Nederland” which means “In Gratitude, Netherlands.” The maker’s mark was also painted onto the back of the plate: “Koninklyk Gaerdewaagen GoudaHolland 1561.”
The date is central to the history of this plate; 1945 marked the end of the Second World War in Europe. During the last years of this war, railway workers in Holland had gone on strike to hinder the occupying German troops. To thank the Dutch for their solidarity, the UK National Railwaymen’s Union offered all the children of these Dutch railway workers a holiday, recognising the hardship they had undergone through the strike. Dutch children stayed with families all over Exeter between January and March 1946. After the holiday a thank you plate like this one was sent to every home where a child had been received. In Exeter the children’s holiday was organised by the NUR Branch Secretary, Harry Gould. Harry’s daughter Shelagh, who helped him with his Union work, kept their family’s plate safely and in 2016 her son passed it to RAMM.
“Qui Susceperit puerulum talem unum in nomine meo, me suscipit. Matth. 18:5”
(translates as: ‘Whoever receives one such child in my name, receives me. Matthew 18:5’)
This object is not on display.