Grandpa Jack: The British Home Children

On Monday evening, the OGS Toronto Branch monthly meeting features a presentation from Ottawa by Emma Kent — a personal story.

“This lecture will explore the history of British Home Children through the memories of one particular child. Between 1869 and 1932, over 100,000 children were sent from Britain to Canada to be placed with rural families. These children were often used as a source of labour and rarely fit into their new families. Emma Kent’s grandfather Jack came to Canada in 1927 as a Home Child and, in 2006, he recorded those memories on tape.”

I hope the presentation recognizes that “the past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” At this time, the young people who came to Canada were required to be beyond school-leaving age in the UK and expected to enter the workforce. Although there were many hardship cases in Canada, there were also similar cases for those who remained in the UK without a parent. There were also many happy cases in Canada where the home child prospered; some went on to inherit the farm on which they were placed.

The evening will begin with a mini-presentation by Beth Adams: Sometimes “Home” is a Cottage Instead of a House.

If you are in Toronto, you can attend in person. To find out where and more, and to register for the virtual event, go to:

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