Oranges and Sunshine

Oranges and Sunshine

Book - 2011
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Also published as Empty Cradles.

In 1986 Margaret Humphreys, a Nottingham social worker, investigated a woman's claim that, aged four, she had been put on a boat to Australia by the British government. At first incredulous, Margaret discovered that this was just the tip of an enormous iceberg. Up to 150,000 children, some as young as three years old, had been deported from children's homes in Britain and shipped off to a 'new life' in distant parts of the Empire, right up until as recently as 1970.

Many were told that their parents were dead, and parents often believed that their children had been adopted in Britain. In fact, for many children it was to be a life of horrendous physical and sexual abuse far away from everything they knew. Margaret reveals how she unravelled this shocking secret and how it became her mission to reunite these innocent and unwilling exiles with their families in Britain before it was too late.

Publisher: London : 2011. Corgi
ISBN: 9780552163354
055216335X
Branch Call Number: ANF 304.894041 HUMP
Characteristics: 383 p. : ill. ; 20 cm

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ba_library
Jul 01, 2017

I recently borrowed the DVD with the same title and thought I really need to read the book! There wasn’t much detail in the film about why the British government deported children to Commonwealth countries often without the knowledge or permission of their parents. The book does give more detail and it comes across in a very tragic manner. The child migration scheme sent British children to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) without telling parents that they would be housed in religious or charitable institutions where most of the children were physically, sexually and emotionally abused. They shipped off children as young as 3 years old and basically sent them into modern day slavery. “Child migration had operated periodically since the seventeenth century. The first shipment involved 100 children sent to colonize Virginia in 1618. Most of them were the equivalent of today’s street kids” (p. 60). “Paternalism, racism, religious fanaticism and bureaucracy all formed an unholy alliance and this was the result” (p. 373). Margaret Humphreys, the author of the book, was a social worker in Nottingham, England who got involved with some migrant children looking for their families. She set up the Child Migrants Trust to help these people. The book is very interesting (so is the DVD). Australia solicited child migrants after WWII when they lost many young men due to the war. 10,000 children were shipped to Australia, often told their parents were dead, leaving the children to feel abandoned by family and country. Not sure geographically as to the extent of the scheme, she makes brief reference to Kenya and South Africa as well. The deportation scheme lasted until 1967! Overall, an interesting, disturbing read.

i
IV27HUjg
Dec 18, 2015

Outstanding true life film & book that really makes one question humanity. This casting away of children is as old as dirt and continues today.

Many countries did this in one way or another, many with the hopes of a better life, a chance for the children to survive & thrive. Sometimes it was accomplished, less than more often. All of Europa & UK were in such devastated circumstances, economic straits, thousands of lost people displaced, lack of communication, on & on. In the US life was very different, recovery was swifter. Sadly, I fully agree with the other reviews.

soblessed59 Nov 03, 2012

More Proof That There Is No Such Being As An All-Powerful,All-Loving God! Devasting story about how the so-called "Christian" charities in cahoots with the UK government dumped their children of the poor and orphanges like garbage,by sending them many only toddlers.... 12,000 miles away to be slave labor in Austrailia, New Zealand, Canada,ect! I was a Christian for decades,but after the daily stories of babies and children being molested,beaten and killed while this so-called God sat on his butt and did nothing to protect them,made me realize that there is absolutely no excuse whatsoever that is acceptable for that,therefore the only plausible explanation is that there is no God. The bible is nothing more than mythology,and not one iota any more believable with it's floating axe-head,a talking donkey,a talking snake,a man swallowed by a large fish,and manages to survive 3 days inside of it,two of every species of wildlife,plus 8 people inside an ark for 40 days/nights while the entire earth is flooded,than all the myths of greek gods,Pegasus,Cyclops,Clash Of The Titans or Jason and the Argonauts!Nor Leprechauns,Goblins,Trolls,Fairies,Wizards,Witches,Magicians,Magic Potions/Spells or GHOSTS,Bigfoot,Werewolves,Vampires or Aliens,either!

Oranges and Sunshine is a hard book to read a definite tear-jerker,also an eye-opener into the inhumanity of man to the weakest,even by those professing to be Christians!

s
skylark36
Jan 08, 2012

Both the book and the DVD are a ‘must see/read’. This is a well written and documented account of a, hopefully never to be repeated, real account of the enforced child migrant scheme implemented by the pre and post world war British Empire. All those interested in social sciences, welfare, history and searching for British ancestry will want to see this DVD and read the book. Forced child migration was only stopped here in 1970, some as young as three. Children were sometimes given different names and birthdates to prevent them from tracing their families. Many were told their parents were dead. Fortunately many have been able to trace their families here and in the UK, NZ, Canada and South Africa.

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