Up until the late 1960s the UK sent children living in care homes to new lives in Australia and other countries. It was a brutal experience for many, writes Kirstie Brewer.
In the winter of 1949, 13-year-old Pamela Smedley boarded a ship to Australia with 27 other girls. She had been told by the nuns from the Catholic home she lived in that she was going on a day-trip. In reality, she was being shipped out to an orphanage in Adelaide and wouldn’t see England again for more than three decades.
“We thought it would be like going to Scarborough for the day because we were so innocent and naive,” says Pamela, who is now in her 70s and still lives in Adelaide.
“The nuns said that in Australia you could pick the oranges off the trees, and I was very excited because I loved oranges.”
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