Ossett railway station saw many comings and goings in its history and in 1914 it witnessed the arrival of Belgian refugees.
The German invasion of Belgium in 1914 led to refugees flooding out of the country. Many found shelter in the United Kingdom and Ossett was one of the towns which offered a home to them. A group of sixty-six refugees, men, women and children, arrived at Ossett station on 17 October 1914. Led by the Ossett Brass Band and followed by the Boy Scouts and the Church Lads Brigade, they were taken in procession to the Primitive Methodist Sunday School, Queen Street, which was to be their home until the following year. The refugees, most of whom were Flemish speakers, were accompanied by Father Ryan, the priest in charge at St Ignatius' Church in Ossett. Fortunately he spoke both French and Flemish, having spent eight years at a Belgian abbey. Funds to support the refugees were raised from donations and they also received gifts of food and clothing.
More refugees arrived in the following weeks. Most were housed in the Sunday School, while others were lodged with families or in rented accommodation. As there was a shortage of labour in Ossett because of the war, the men had no problems in finding work in the town. On the whole the refugees were accepted by the community, although there were grumbles that they were better fed than some of the townspeople.
At the year's end the refugees celebrated Christmas and the New Year. On Christmas Eve the Mayor, Councillor Stead, presided over a special tea at the Sunday School which was followed by singing, music and dancing while Santa Claus gave presents to the children. Christmas Day was marked by visits from the Ossett Brass Band and groups of carol singers and dinner included roast beef and plum pudding. On New Year's Eve young people from the Primitive Methodist Chapel joined in celebrations which culminated with the Belgian custom dimming and brightening the lights at midnight.