Château after World War I
The château was requisitioned by the military in the 1914-1918 war but returned to her completely after cessation of hostilities. It was sold in the 1920s to a hotel group and her nephew, Fernand, was given the opportunity to become a trainee but he declined. Her lawyer lived in the village and it is believed that she was godmother to one of his children. The reason why the château was sold is probably as follows. The inheritance and possession laws of the time meant that on marriage, her assets became those of her husband. He pre-deceased her and left 'his' money to his mistress.
What happened to “Tante Riche”?
After the château was sold, "Tante Riche" became rather 'pauvre'. She returned to Belgium in obscurity but there is another twist to the story.
The English newspaper, The Sunday Times, featured the château in their holiday section. Now known as the Hotel Château de la Corniche, the descriptive copy incorrectly referred to the chateau as having been built by King Leopold II Tante Riche's great nephew, John Berbuto, challenged the attribution. This resulted in his receiving a letter from a retired actuary who had grown up in the seaside town of Eastbourne, Sussex. He used to deliver meat to Baronne De Wulf for his father who was a butcher. This was pre-World War II by which time she would have been very elderly. It has not yet been possible to establish her birth date but there is plenty of information about her antecedents (which see). It is possible that the lady in Eastbourne was indeed "Tante Riche" and that she died there. Investigation will continue.
Here are some of the De Wulf family as related to Bibi.
Father - Pierre Jacques De Wulf. Born Zerkegem, West Flanders, 9 June 1821, Photographer of rue de Barrière, Liege (1873) Died 1973. Buried Cimetière du Pêre Lachaise.
Grandfather - Cornel François De Wulf. Born Ettelgem, West Flanders 22 June 1793. Baptised 23 June 1793
Great-grandfather - François Johannes De Wulf. Born Jabeke, 11 October 1740. Married first, Anne Marie De Bats 7 Jan 1772 at Jabeke (she died 28 December 1777). Died Ettelgem 18 March 1794
Great-great-grandfather - Pieter De Wulf. Born 1708. Married Amelbergha van Hantsaema (born Kochelaere 1708, died Jabeke 3 May 1790) Died Jabeke December 1774.
Great-great-great-grandfather - Jan De Wulf.
Mother - Marie Elisabeth Morren. Born Aerschott, Province de Brabant. Buried: Cimetière du Pêre Lachaise.
Her Sister (eldest daughter)- Marie Colette De Wulf. Born Aerschot, Province de Brabant 24 April 1851. Died Juzier, Seine et Oise, France 15 August 1896. Buried in Cimetière du Pêre Lachaise.
This sister, Marie Colette De Wulf married on 29 March 1873 in Liege to Jean Baptiste Berbuto, born 1st March 1850, ouvrier brossier (1873) then photographer at Huy (1875)
Son of Marie Colette De Wulf and Jean Baptiste Berbuto was Pierre Berbuto born Huy 1 May 1875. Electrical engineer. Died 1 June 1941 17 Brentfield Gardens, Hendon Middlesex England. He had two sisters, one of whom went to live in Birmingham, England and the other married an architect in Liege. He married Elise Henriette Werts 24 December 1897 in Bruges. Two daughters, Juliette and Marion (see home page) and one son, Pierre Charles Fernand Berbuto. Court Hairdresser. Born Bruges 8 July 1903, died 28 September 2002. Married Hilda Gladys May Witte 5th March 1927. They were succeeded by two daughters, Jan and Elise and one son, John Fernand Berbuto who is the author of this site!