British Home Children Genealogy Keffer-Diceman Military

WWI and the British Home Children

Posting Member: Jake
Mood: Reflective
Listening To: Silence
Word of the Day: BHC


As you may…or may not be aware, today marks the 100th Anniversary of World War I, the supposed war to end all wars. I spent the majority of my day at an event honouring the fallen soldiers. More specifically the fallen soldiers who were also British Home Children. If you are unfamiliar with what a British Home Child is, I encourage you to do some research.

And while I have no relatives who were BHC, I had 4 Great Uncles who served in WW1. 3 of them never came home. I pay tribute to them today as well.

In Memory of

Captain Benjamin McDiarmaid b.  20 Feb 1889 d. 30 Sep 1918

Private Duncan David McDiarmaid b. 31 Jul 1891 d. 10 Jul 1917

Private James McDiarmaid b. 7 Apr 1886 d. 26 Sep 1916 (no image)

May we learn peace from remembering the fallen. Lest We Forget.

As I mentioned, I spent a majority of my day at an event commemorating the
100th anniversary of the war.  The main focus was the opening of the
British Home Children exhibit, which will be going until December 2015.
The exhibit is taking place at Black Creek Pioneer Village located in the North West area of Toronto, Ontario.

Guest speakers included a 91 year old British Home Child who arrived in
Canada in 1911 at the age of 10. He shared with us some of his story.
He was one of the lucky ones, who was placed in a good home and found
happiness in his transition.  Mr. Beardshaw served in World War II

Cherry, Co-Host of Hockey Night in Canada’s Coach’s Corner.  Mr. Cherry
is a descendant of a British Home Child, and it was an honour hearing
him speak, and having him share his own views on the forced emigration
of so many children.

Something important to remember, is that even though most of these children felt,
and rightly so, that their home had abandoned them, they still stood
up, and enlisted in the CEF, and the Australian Forces to serve and

Of the 10,000 enlisted Men and Boys who were British Home Children, living or
having lived as indentured servants in Canada, 1035 died as a result of
service.  And those are just the ones that we know about.  Many who were
boys, lied either intentionally or unwittingly on their Attestation
papers so they could sign up.  Many had the hopes of being reunited with
loved ones back home.
This exhibit strives to finally give a voice to those who were forgotten.  Those who were sent over hear as scared children to be all but slaves.  Many had no family back home.
Many died without anyone to grieve for them, or waiting for news of them from the front.  Families were ripped apart.  Orphans were sent 1000’s of miles from their homes, alone, by ship across the treacherous North Atlantic.  Many never survived even that journey.  But they now have a voice.  They have people who have researched their lives.  Found missing links.  Grieved for them.  May they know peace.
Tech Geek and Adventurer, Jake spends his time on research and development to keep us in the latest and greatest of tools and equipment. Always one for traipsing off to any location, his passion for travel, photography and history pushes us to never quit. Also find Jake in his personally crafted fortress of Blogdom: Random Acts of Jake

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