World War II Unaccompanied British Child Evacuees to Canada
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In 1940 with Britain under attack, certain more affluent parents concerned about the safety of their children decided to evacuate them to Canada. Some were sent to relatives, others arrived in organized parties from companies and schools. Unlike the boys and girls of the earlier Home Children program, evacuee children were deemed “guests” rather than “immigrants”. The intention was that they would return to Britain when the danger had passed. Most did but many eventually decided to make Canada their home — including Nobel Prize winner John Polanyi.
This database is a transcription derived from a 20-page document held at Library and Archives Canada (Reference RG7 G26 file 2085-C-2 sub.1) It includes each unaccompanied child’s first and last name, host organization and province where hosted. To assist the researcher in locating a particular name in the LAC source document two items of information are offered. Firstly the page number (PAGE column) is presented in the form A (B). A represents the physical page in the source document. B represents the typed subpage number for provinces (such as Ontario) which received large numbers of children and whose information occupies more than a single page in the source document. Secondly the sequence number (SEQ. NO. column) gives the position of the child’s name on the page.
The source document was originally compiled in 1943 by the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General. The reference also contains additional detail on many of these children.
A separate governmental evacuation program was started under the direction of the Children's Overseas Reception Board (CORB). Canada received 1,532 of these children. Their story is told in The Absurd and the Brave: C.O.R.B. - The True Account of the British Government's World War II Evacuation of Children Overseas, Hardcover by Michael Fethney which includes a list of those evacuees.
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