Tuesday, 30 September 2014

‘On their own: Britain's child migrants’

Back in 2010 the Together Trust was contacted by the Merseyside Maritime Museum in Liverpool. Their query was for images and information about the charity and its involvement in child emigration for a new project between the museum and the Australian National Maritime Museum. The result was a website and exhibition, bringing to life the stories of those sent out to Canada and Australia during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. After its recent tour of Australia the exhibition, ‘On their own: Britain's child migrants’ is now coming to Liverpool on the 17th October to engage the British public with this poignant part of English history.

Emigration party outside Manchester Town Hall, 1897

Of course along with other known children’s charities like Barnardo’s, Action for Children and Quarriers, the Together Trust emigrated some of its children across to Canada. Consequently we merge into this history and the stories being told. For many it is still an unknown period of history. In fact until the work of the Child Migrants Trust back in the 1980s it was almost an untold secret. Today however, many interested groups work to keep the memory of those emigrated to Canada and Australia alive and work to help those with descendents who were home children, find more information about their families. 

Letter in 1888 describing life in Canada
For the Manchester Refuges, 2129 children went out to Canada. Within our archive collection 2129 files survive of these children providing family information, living conditions leading up to their admittance to the charity and personal letters written home. The charity works to provide information to any individuals who believe their descents may have been emigrated by us.

The exhibition will be an intriguing insight into the history of child emigration as a whole, from the city which saw the departure of all of our children. What we discover will be shared with our readers in a few months. Or of course if you can, get across to Liverpool to see it for yourselves.

1 comment:

  1. A recent blog at the Maritime Museum has details of the lifesaving skills of a former Manchester Refuge boy http://blog.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/2014/09/150th-anniversary-of-the-training-ship-indefatigable/


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