Skip to content

Don Cherry Honours War Service of British Home Children July 28, 2014

July 29, 2014

 On July 28, 2014, I attended the memorial ceremony at Black Creek Village to honour the British Home Children who fought and died in WWI.

Arthur Clarkson, age 11

Arthur Clarkson, age 11

To say that the event touched my heart is an understatement. I knew that many Home Boys signed up to fight for their adopted country, Canada.

What I didn’t know was that nearly every Home Boy residing in Canada of legal age (and some that weren’t), enlisted.

What other group in Canada has a record to match that?

Hockey legend, Don Cherry talked about his grandfather, a British Home Child and a veteran of WWI. He also spoke about Arthur Clarkson.  Arthur almost lost his life on an Ontario farm. His feet frozen, fevered, battered and overworked, he was finally rescued by an inspector from Barnardo’s.

His feet on the verge of amputation, Arthur bore the scars of the abusive treatment his whole life.

Who would think that a boy who came so close to being murdered by Flaherty (the farmer he was indentured to) would sign up for the Canadian military when he came of age? Arthur Clarkson was a man of incredible fortitude and integrity. Late in his life he said these words:

“Life can beat you up for sure. But, you can’t let it break you.”

I love those words from Arthur. At times in life everyone  can be inspired by them.

Two of Arthur & Lily's daughters and two granddaughters
Two of Arthur & Lily’s daughters and two granddaughters

Two of Arthur’s daughters and two granddaughters attended the event at Black Creek Pioneer Village.

Arthur’s wife, Lily, was also a Home Child. This couple’s  story is in my book, Promises of Home – Stories of Canada’s British Home Children.

I hope everyone who reads this will get their own copy of the book. It’s important to keep the stories of British Home Children circulating. Their stories carve out for them their rightful place in Canadian history.

These more than 100,000 child immigrants endured much hardship on the way to becoming grateful citizens of Canada.

Watch this stirring video highlighting Don Cherry and the life of Arthur Clarkson.

book coverThe book, Promises of Home – Stories of Canada’s British Home Children, is available here.






4 Comments leave one →
  1. Mary Arnold....proud daughter of Nellie Page a Barnardo girl.... permalink
    July 29, 2014 10:20 pm

    Rose it was so nice to finally meet!! I am sorry about missing the morning program to honor all the young BHC. boys who lost their lives in the Great War, The weather was not in our favor to leave early in order to be there. I am looking forward to seeing the video on the service. Thank you for posting what you did…..the whole day was very touching , especially the exhibition for the Home Children…….Mary Arnold

  2. July 30, 2014 12:38 am

    Mary, it was great to see you face to face after so many back and forth emails. You’re so right about the exhibition. The room was full of people who came for the grand opening. I think all of them had a connection to a Home Child.

    • Mary Arnold....proud daughter of Nellie Page a Barnardo girl.... permalink
      July 30, 2014 2:28 am

      Rose my granddaughter would like to order your book but is not on FaceBook, how does she go about it, I told her Paypal, and I am sure she knows that because of being a business woman, they own a furniture store in Toronto and live in Cookstown……Mary

  3. July 30, 2014 3:13 am

    Mary – here’s a link to my website where your granddaughter can order the book. So good for your children and grandchildren to share in your Mom’s story.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: