At age five, Ronald Chamberlain was admitted to the Barnardo Home along with his older brother, Reginald. Both boys were illegitimate. Ronald’s father, Jack Bradshaw, was expected to marry Ron’s mother, Maud, when he returned from the war. Sadly, Jack lost his life in battle. Maud Chamberlain, and her two sons, lived with her father at 13 […]
It's estimated that as many as 10,000 men who arrived in Canada as child immigrants from Britain enlisted in WWI, almost all those of eligible age, and some who weren't. With Remembrance Day around the corner, let's remember a few young immigrants who did more than their share to make Canada the great country it is today.
Margaret Roper’s soon-to-be-released book, The Wright Connection, follows the life of her grandmother from a secure family in Scotland, to a home for destitute children and, ultimately, to a new life in Canada. Margaret Roper writes: I feel a strong connection to her. In the 1990’s, one of her daughters, my Aunt Dorothy, began searching for […]
Sharon Moore of Ireland dropped in to Promises of Home to say that one of the boys in this photo that appeared with William Edwin Hunt’s story is her great grand uncle, Ernest Dixon. Ernest is believed to be the one second from right. Sharon’s family recently discovered that Ernest was a British Home Child. Sharon has found […]
I remember very little about my grandfather, James Miller Dudgeon. My earliest memory of Grandpa is him sitting peacefully on the porch of his home in a rocking chair. He had suffered a stroke, the same disease that had taken his father, Joseph Dudgeon, in 1879 in Lanarkshire, Glasgow. The death of his father set my […]
Unhappy, and suffering from homesickness, Johnny began devising a way to return to England. One morning in the summer of 1899, Johnny went early to the back pasture. Instead of bringing the cows back to the barn, he kept walking to the Don Valley and found his way to Yonge Street.
Dr. Thomas Stephenson, a Wesleyan minister founded the National Children’s Home in 1869. “They needed a friend and a home,” he said of England’s destitute children, “someone to tell them of God and to teach them a trade.” Three years later, Stephenson established a receiving home at 1080 Main Street East in Hamilton and began to send children to Canada. Over […]
Like all British Home Children, Emily May became an indentured servant. During her first year in Canada, she worked for five employers: first, with a dressmaker in Norwood, then with families in Langton, Guelph, Campbellville and Smithville.
Very few of Canada’s British Home Children wrote about their lives. Of those who did, few accounts have survived which makes this short auto-biography by David Nunn extremely precious. His great-granddaughter, Debbie Nunn Woytta, says, “My father says he (David) never talked about when he was a child and how he came to Canada. He was […]
Thanks to Verna Rigo, a friend from church, for the photo of Fred Packman and for bringing his name forward. Knowing about my book, Promises of Home – Stories of Canada’s British Home Children, Verna showed me a photo she found in an old family album. “He was a Barnardo boy who lived with my grandparents,” she said. […]