British Home Children Genealogy

A beautiful day for Wreath Bearing.

Posting Member:  Jenn
Topic:  Remembrance Day Wreath for the British Home Children
Location:  Queen’s Park, Toronto, Ontario

We had the most beautiful day for Remembrance Day this year, everything came together to make it such a special event.  I’ll probably cherish the honour of being the British Home Children’s wreath bearer for the rest of my life.  It’s been a very busy, very challenging year in a lot of ways.  The project came to a point of completion, but it won’t ever truly be complete.  Every few days we’re taking a look at one file or another, trying constantly to go back over what we know, or locating shipping files to confirm another boy.

I’m going to repost a section of something I wrote this past weekend.

“I had to put as much work into these boys being recognized as I possibly could. I felt we, as a nation, had let them down by not remembering their stories, by not knowing their names. I refused to let the 100 year anniversary of the beginning of the war pass without knowing who these boys were. I struggled with every file I had to set aside incomplete.

Some information I’ve forgotten, and some I can’t manage to forget.
Private John Henry Jones will never be far from my mind for every 11th of November for the rest of my life. Reading his physical description was a single, defining moment in my research. It explained in one line, everything that was wrong with child migration schemes. On the back page of this boy’s attestation papers it reads under a list of scars “Deformed ears from Frost Bite”.

British Home Children Soldiers were just boys. Some signed up too young. Some had wives, children or siblings. Some had absolutely nothing, not even their native land.
What all of these boys did was something so outrageously courageous that I stand in awe of them all the time, every day. They strapped on Canadian uniforms and they went back to the country that had sent them away. Then went home to defend the land and the freedom of the very people that used them as slaves. They gave everything when they were given nothing. They had no reason to fight, and yet they stood for us. They died for us.”

I hope all of you managed to find the time yesterday to take a moment, to pay your respects to those who sacrificed so much for us in the past, who continue to do so today.
We will Remember them.
Always one for making things pretty, Jenn is our resident artist. Métis, British Home Child Descendant, family historian and genealogist, she is always looking into some new branch of research and encourages historical preservation and education.

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