In the years between 1910 and 1912, a family of 5 was thrown from their home, the children sat upon the mattresses in the back lane contemplating their new state of homelessness.
Their father, a man with a weakness for drink, leave them to return to his family who are well off, with a dairy, lands and money.
The mother and children are unwelcome by his family, and end up in a workhouse.
In the years between 1910 and 1912 the middle daughter (my grandmother) and her 3 year old brother, were sent to Canada by Dr Barnardo’s to…a new family.
They did not wish to go, after all the mother and older sister were still with them even if the father and his family wished them to go. Even with tales of fruit you could pick off the trees on the side of the road and gold findable in the streams they still did not wish to go.
Their arrival to the “new world” was met with much disillusionment and for the girl age 12 it was more the life of a slave to do chores, sleep in the barn and grow up without knowing the family she loved.
My grandmother lived to be 105 years old, through some of the hardest times possible, and she herself went through something akin to what I am…twice.
My grandmother never forgave the people that sent her to the “new world” and would spend a lot of time listening to the audio book “Little Immigrants” whispering that it was worse than that but…”listen to it and you will understand a little”.
To the day she died she wondered what became of her mother, older sister (who she never heard from again) and younger brother, who she lost track of during the war.
I imagine what she would tell me today, if we could talk.
She would not be happy to know that there is just me left, but then perhaps her going before the rest was a kindness.
She deserved a lot of those.