Dear Readers

Fear not the Darkness, But What Lies Within, The recesses of our mind, The creepy cobwebbed corners,That lingers on and tickles us,With tingle feelings of alarm, The deep in the stomach, Pain we feel when we do warn, The fear is deadly it seeks, The deepest corner of our mind, It's just a story to alarm,Educate and provide entertainment for our minds. So read on dear reader, I hope you find the stories amusing and full of charm.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Three Word Wednesday - Home Children Part one

Downhill; adverb: Toward the bottom of a slope; into a steadily worsening situation; adjective: leading down toward the bottom of a slope; leading to a steadily worsening situation; without difficulty or challenge.
Freak; noun: A very unusual and unexpected event or situation; )a person, animal, or plant with an unusual physical abnormality; a person who is obsessed with or unusually enthusiastic about a specified interest; verb: Behave or cause to behave in a wild and irrational way, typically because of the effects of extreme emotion, mental illness, or drugs.
Sliver; noun: A small, thin narrow piece of something cut or split off of a larger piece; verb: Cut or break (something) into small, thin, narrow pieces.

Three Word Wednesday - Home Children

   Tears fell like silent slivers from the Eliza’s eyes. She had been a lady but her family had disowned her when she married a soldier who was beneath her. Is this what life had come to? A few pieces of bread in her larder were all she had to keep the children crying from hunger. The landlord had said they had to be out by Friday and it was Tuesday. She had put up with much over her married life. Her husband Henry a career soldier, had seemed exciting and dashing to a young woman. Her family had warned her they would be poor but she hadn't understood it could come to this. She had never thought she would be living in Bethnal Green, in one of the poorest sections, living hand to mouth; let alone being a widow at 32 with three young children to feed. People asked her what kind of a freak dies of a war wound five years after the skirmish? Henry had lingered with his wound for five long years. Pain had etched his features drink that she had got him to dull the pain of his wound had made him surly and mean. After that everything had gone even more downhill. The children had often gone hungry for the drink he required. Should she be happy he had died a week ago? No for despite all his temper she loved him still. She had thought and thought what could they do? Henry’s acquaintance George had come by and had offered to marry her and keep the youngest a baby still in her arms as his but he had refused to take the oldest children.
She had pondered what to do for a week and yet the solution remained the same. Her former neighbour Anne had given up her children for a new life in Canada. Some other children in the neighbourhood to Australia had gone. There they could have opportunities that Anne could give them. Anne had the same woman that had come to her come by and speak with Eliza yesterday. Her name was Mrs. Louisa Birt. She was the sister of Annie MacPherson; the good lady social activist who had helped so many children. She promised to help but her solution would mean permanent separation of Eliza from her oldest children Henry who was nine years old, James his twin and Beatrice who was twelve. Mrs. Louisa Birt wanted to take the oldest children and send them to Canada, leaving only Catherine in her arms. She would send them over with the Barnardo homes on ship to Canada. In Canada just as Anne’s children did they’d have good food to eat and a roof over their heads. But it would mean she’d have to give up her children and maybe never see them again. She knew she had no choice she had little food. Peter had said he’d marry her but only if she had one child not four. The baby could stay the others could not. She had no choice for the children’s sake she must let them go but how to tell them?
Eliza sat them down and told them to tears and recriminations. She had bade Bea whom she had taught to write , to write letters of how she and her brothers would be faring with their new family. Tomorrow she would say goodbye. 
To be continued next Wednesday
"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.

© Sheilagh Lee January 18,2012


  1. I think you may have posted an earlier reference to this family history before. It is so important to record such events not only for your own family's information but also to recall the terrible times of poverty and separation that for some was never redressed. We think we live in a fairly charitable and caring society now but wonder what future generations may think of our present times. Looking forward to next week.

  2. I remember reading and seeing stories about these children. Most were shipped off to Canada or Australia and were abused in many, many ways. Badly treated and treated as if they were slaves. It was shameful what they did with these kids and a sorry time for the UK and the other countries that were party to it all. I'm sure there were some that went to a good home but, even so, a dreadful thing to do to them all.

  3. Sad story, I think the children must have gone through so much troubles than the mother. We can judge from outside what is fair and what is not fair but I think it is difficult when one has to face these decisions. Poverty is a terrible crime to face.

  4. thanks you oldegg. I don't know a lot about his family in England i do know whaqt happened to him here becasue he told his wife my grandmother what had happened to him.and yes it is important to presrve any family history you can.

  5. Daydreamertoo you are correct I'm sure some of thses people thought they were jsut doing good but there was no chaecks and balances and those vulernerable children were torn from their families and sent to hell in some cases.

  6. poverty is a terrible thing to face unfortuantely it is still happening today. to bad we can't find the solution to save the children and their families from such troubles.

  7. A very powerful and insightful write..your end line was ending in itself..Jae

  8. Yes I can't imagine the choice my great grandmother must have had to make Alice Audrey but she was a very brave caring woman in my book.

    Thank you Jaerose.

  9. a long read.....however a very good read..nicely done and thanks for sharing all your words

  10. Thank you for your share!

  11. Such a horrible choice. I have never heard of this. Thanks for sharing this.

  12. thank you Wander

    Thanks Denise people have been pretty closemouthed about this. They suffered so much some were very reluctant to talk about it.It's like a skeleton in the closet in some families.

  13. Thanks for sharing this painful history. Your great garndmother was put in a terrible situation and I can't begin to imagine what she went through. I also can't imagine nor would I want to what the children went through. Getting the story out is important and again I say thanks for doing that tough chore.