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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 July, 2003, 06:00 GMT 07:00 UK
River escape from persecution
Ingrid Wilson and her parents Molly and Leslie Lozeron
Ingrid Wilson and her parents Molly and Leslie Lozeron
There is nothing new about applications for asylum to the UK.

In 1910, Ingrid Wilson's grandmother Lena made a frightening journey from the Ukraine to British shores.

Along with Lena's father Jacob, Lena and her 17-year-old brother Harry had to be smuggled over because she had no birth certificate and he was of the age to be called up to the Russian armed forces.

The Jewish family, along with thousands of others, were fleeing persecution by Russians.

Mrs Wilson, who has lived in Newport, south Wales, since 1972, said learning about what her ancestors went through to escape persecution was an inspiration.

Asylum is not a new issue, it has been going on for generations
Ingrid Wilson

"My grandmother could never talk about all the details of what happened to her during their escape.

"It was just too painful for her to talk about it.

"She died in 1974 and took the story with her.

"We will never know exactly what happened during that time.

"But what we have learned has been totally inspiring and has brought our family so much closer together.

"Asylum is not a new issue - it has been going on for generations," she said.

Mrs Wilson, who has friends who are asylum seekers, said her story gave hope to people whose lives were in turmoil.

"When they hear about my family, it gives them hope that one day their grandchildren will be safe like I am," she said.

Her mother Molly Lozeron, 84, who now lives in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, with her husband Leslie, explained how her mother made her escape.

They had to swim across a river to get over the border
Molly Lozeron

"It was quite treacherous for them because they had to be smuggled out of the country," she said.

"I know that they had to swim across a river to get over the border as part of their journey and finally made it over here.

"They were Russian Jews and when they got to London, the family was given money from the Jewish Board of Guardians to start up a ladies' tailoring business.

"It was quite ironic that the family actually lived in Moscow Road in London.

"Since then the family has thrived and we have lived good lives," she added.


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