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Non Fiction

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Lost Children of the Empire (Routledge Library Editions: The British Empire)

Philip Bean & Joy Melville


This is the story of an inhuman chapter in Britain's history. Between 1860 and 1930 some 130,000 children were shipped off to parts of the British Empire and forgotten. It was a cheap way of emptying homes and populating the colonies. Many were subjected to cruelty, with names changed, records withheld and brought up to believe that they were orphans. But the shocking part of the story is that it did not end in the 1930s. After World War II, some 10,000 children were transported to Australia with the last batch going as late as 1967. The book looks at the remarkable story of the Child Migrants Trust set up in 1987 to trace relations and help both sides of the family come to terms with what happened.

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