I am reading Empty Cradles!
" Margaret Humphreys with her book "Empty Cradles" bravely took on the plight of the Lost Children, those poor souls shipped from the overcrowded orphanages of Britain to all parts of the then British Empire. My own destination was Australia.
Margaret, undaunted by possible repercussions from the collusion of the governments involved, tells our story with heartbreaking compassion. Thanks to her tremendous efforts, some of us now will meet family we never knew we had.
For all who are concerned with humanity, with simple human dignity, this book should not be omitted from your reading list."
I've hardly been able to put this down since I started reading it and I'm reading it with a tear in my eye - such an emotional saga that it is. I was brought up to believe that the migrant children from the UK were war orphans who came out here with the assistance of children's charities to find new homes in Australia.
I did not realise that the UK had been snatching children from impoverished families and orphanages and 'exporting' them to colonies like Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand since the 1880's!
It cost £12 a year to keep a child in an orphanage in the UK! For a ‘one-off’ cost of £18 to send them overseas to one of the colonies the problem was solved!
Told they were 'orphans', denied their family roots even though many of their families were still alive, many of them were shoved into cruel institutions and used as child labour - physically and sexually abused - and the real pity is that this continued right up until the mid 1960's. It was only when Margaret Humphreys, a Nottingham social worker, was requested by one child to see if she could trace her family that the dam burst and the floodgates of decades of systematic abuse were exposed.
No white colony of the British Empire gets away unscathed! A tragic event that is a blot on British and colonial social history.“I read this book when it seemed like everything was going wrong in my world. ”
10 reviewers made a similar statement“This is one of the most emotional books I have everread. ”
3 reviewers made a similar statement“Their harrowing and incredible stories deeply touched me - this book angered me and moved me to tears. ”
6 reviewers made a similar statement