Three Word Wednesday - Home Children
"Thomas John Barnardo began to send children to Canada as early as 1872 through Miss Annie Macpherson's organization. In 1881, he decided that this was really helping the poor children of the slums so he visited Canada, meeting with government officials and others who were interested in the work. A home was donated in Toronto (although the location of the Toronto home changed several times). Another home was much later erected in Peterborough, Ontario, called Hazel Brae, used mainly for girls. This home would later be renamed the Margaret Cox home.Barnardo found himself in trouble with the law on a number of times. Sometimes a parent or relative who wanted a child returned .(He never did so.)and other times it was the Catholic Church who wanted Catholic children given over to them. although some believe through his efforts, some laws were changed to protect children, to this day a number of relatives of home children still curse his name as they know what their relatives went through for his relocation ideas.These children were torn away from their parent or parents who were promised good fortune for their children instead they suffered.Children lost touch with siblings and parents and were forced to work at menial labour beyond their age group. A number of children were starved,sexually abused, beaten and given no more shelter then a barn or shed to sleep in.No one really check into what happened to the children after they arrived. They were placed; a cursory check or checks were made and then the children were left to their new guardians.The truth is some people just looked at these children's as free labour for farms and factories and where ever else they could use them to work. These children bore the scars of their treatment.some never ever spoke of their experiences and their stories have disappeared.A lot of them seem detached afraid to show emotions for fer of the retaliations and beatings that they received they learned to hide them. Their relatives may have had trouble understanding them and there relationships didn't last.this was the legacy of the home children.My grandfather was one of these. I have renamed him Henry for the purposes of this story, all other names have also been changed. My great grandfather died from injuries he received in what is known as the first Boer War in 1881 but he actually died in 1886 just before my Grandfather was sent to Canada.