BARNARDO's

A SNIPPET

Whilst researching into the Barnardo's organisation looking for statistics on just how many boys entered the Marine Service [Royal and Mercantile] either directly from one of their establishments {homes, hospital homes, schools, and others} or via third party means e.g., Barnardo's to HMS Arethusa to HMS Ganges, during the period 1882 to 1939, I came across information I wasn't expecting!  The period 1882-1939 was chosen because in appears to have taken in more boys and girls than in any other period, and this was not surprising given the dreadful conditions of millions of people in the the Victorian period -1882 to 1901 - the deprivation which continued without abatement throughout the Edwardian period - 1901 to 1909 - followed by WW1, the depression, cross-border diseases, millions of evacuees and displaced persons, and the general unrest in Europe which led to WW2.

Whilst the 'doings' of Barnardo's here in UK are well known and I dare say well documented although I didn't go down that path, what isn't well known is what was happening in other countries in this same period to children in the care of Dr Barnardo.

Since it was incumbent upon Dr Barnardo to seek the best possible 'future' for orphaned boys specifically, and that there was a limited, almost bleak future for a finite number of them, he had to look further afield to look for opportunities. 

In 1788 began a programme of "transportation" of British convicts to Australia which lasted for eighty years until 1868.  Within that period but more particularly after the last shipment of convicts,  Europeans, and in the main British people,  had begun their long sea voyages to Australia with a view for long term [remainder of life] emigration. Dr Barnardo saw an opportunity for his boys!  Approximately ten years had elapsed since 1868, when in 1878,  Dr Barnardo approached the Australian authorities and discussed the possibility of sending boys to the Colony as migrants on the understanding that the boys would be well cared for and nurtured in the transition period of puberty to maturity.  The Australians agreed, but in return demanded that each boy should be declared fit, well and free from any deformity or disease. They also had to have certification that they were registered orphans.  To ensure that, they had to be processed by the Australasian Medical Emigration Unit which had been established in London, not far from where the boys were being accommodated and educated in Stepney, East London.  Four years later. in 1882, the Barnardo Organisation started to ship boys to Australia [and soon after to other areas of the Antipodes] and this agreement lasted for fifty seven years until 1939 when WW2 broke out. After the war, with Australia desperately wanting adults with skills and good strong muscles, the agreement was not revived and the shipping process was stopped for boys.   

 If you do your own research out of interest, and as a part of it, look at the official website of Barnardo's, you will see, under 'History' a 'Time Line' which simply states that in the period 1882 to 1939 there was child migration.

What applied to Australia applied equally to Canada and to other Colonies date-wise, although we did not send our convicts to any other colony except Australia.

What I  found was this

The_Times_1907-02-26  DR BARNARDOs  EMIGATION TO CANADA.pdf - the specifics [numbers and percentages] apply to Canada and not to Australia. As always with PDF's, remember to adjust the 'zoomer' for a better read!

P.S. Barnardo's is still going strong although it no longer looks after boys and girls in Barnardo-owned premises. They are the largest children's charity in the UK and in 2014 it was rated as the best charity in all fields for having raised the most money for those in need.