The British Home Children: The story of Canada’s nation builders

By Taylor McClure, Special to The Record

For almost 80 years, a child migration scheme was set in place between Canada and the United Kingdom that resulted in over 100,000 children being torn from their families. They are known as The British Home Children and from the late 1860s up until around 1948 they were brought over to Canada from the United Kingdom to be used as farm labour and domestic servants. As significant contributors to Canada’s nation building and as group of individuals who had to overcome severe hardships, their story deserves to be told. And with over ten percent of the Canadian population being descendants of a British Home Child, their story needs to be remembered. The child migration scheme first emerged during the Industrial Revolution. During this period of time, traditional families started to shift. Parents in the UK were heading to cities with their children where there were more job opportunities, looking for a chance at a better life. Relatives stayed behind in the countryside.
As a result of this shift, when something happened to one or to both parents, whether they fell ill or they passed away, there were no relatives close by that could help take care of the children. Suffering financially, some British children ended up homeless and dying in the streets. See full story in the Tuesday, Aug. 20 edition of The Record.

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