top of page

Giving British Home Children a Voice

There are many people who have contributed over the years, to the work done for our British Home Children. People like John Sayers and the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa who compiled the Library and Archives Canada shipping lists and works with the Ups and Downs index. We rely heavily on their efforts, in our work today. Some of these people are still actively working, some retired, and some no longer with us. Together they have paved the road on which we travel. Without their foundations laid in this work, we could not accomplish what we are today. This is not meant to be a full listing of their accomplishments, but simply a heartfelt thank you and acknowledgment to a well-deserved group of caring people.

Above the Clouds

The Late Phyllis Harrison - for her 1979 book "The Home Children - Their Personal Stories", which started the interest and the work done to date on the Home Children. Phyllis was a social worker born in 1918. 

John Sayers - Library and Archives Canada BHC shipping records, Ups and Downs index and the Hazelbrae Barnardo Home monument. Work with the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa.


The late Brian Rolfe -  Brian wrote many historical articles the BHC,  many published through the Roots Mailing list. He also started the Ups and Downs Index. 

Irene and the late Douglas Fry - Fegan’s Canadian records and compiling “The Red Lamp” - the Fegan’s newsletter. Irene and her husband worked with many descendants over the years.

Ivy Succee - Hazelbrae Barnardo Home Memorial Group, the Hazelbrae Barnardo Home Monument and official Barnardo representative in Canada who was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee medal for her work with the BHC.


The Late David Lorente -  Home Children Canada founder, an expert on the Catholic organizations, and an official Barnardo representative in Canada. Now retired, David largely was responsible for bringing the story of the British Home Children to awareness in Canada.

Catherine Gollinger-Lorente  - for her work on the Fegan Index and for all the help given to her husband David and all the contributions she made.

Pauline and the late Sarge Bampton  - for their work with the Church of England Waif’s and Strays - the Gibbs Children.

George Beardshaw - at 96 George is still actively promoting the story of the British Home Children. He had attended any event asked, speaking at many. As a Second World War Veteran, he spoke along with Don Cherry (his Grandfather was BHC) at our First World War Commemoration Service in 2014.  George is equally as proud of being a Veteran as he is of being a Home Child. George is assisted by his good friend Judi Helle. Judi is a strong supporter of the BHC story, making sure that we are involved in any event possible.

Cyril Hewitt - At 96 Cyril, and his son Larry, strongly support the work being done for the BHC. Cyril has participated in documentaries and events, telling his story. It took him until he was in his 80's to open up and now knows that the Home Children are a respected part of our Canadian history.

The late John Vallence  - a Barnardo Boy worked fiercely in Western Canada to share his story and the story of the Home Children. He donated the funds needed to start Home Children Canada. 

Perry Snow -  as the Roots mailing list founder, he compiled information on almost 53,000 children for his database, which is now run by the BHCARA. Perry serves as an advisor to the British Home Children Advocacy & Research Association.

Marjorie Kohli - is the author of one of the most influential books  “The Golden Bridge”. Marjorie has given years of her time to ongoing work for the BHC, including many presentations, articles written and  with the service of out BHC in the Wars. Her her website “Young Immigrants to Canada” was one of the first published and is still active today. 

The Late Gail Collins - Maria Rye index 1869 - 1879 and the Ontario 2010 BHC Quilt. Gail has provided invaluable help to descendants seeking information.

Chris Sanham - Maria Rye index 1880-1896

Marion Crawford -  Middlemore Atlantic Society. Marion continues to help descendants with their research work. Catherine West - British Home Children and Descendants Association (Nova Scotia)

Hazel Perrier -  Alberta 2010 BHC Quilt and leading member and co-founder of the British Home Children Western Canada group. She works alongside Bruce Skilling and formally with the late John Vallance.

The Late John Willoughby -  Canadian Centre for Home Children, spokesperson for the BHC

Jim Brownell - MP who successfully lobbied for British Home Child Day in Ontario. A spokesperson for the BHC. 

Gerald Lee - The former Chief Executive of the William Quarrier’s Home Children Association - Quarriers Canadian Family.
Melanie Robertson-King - Author and spokesperson for Quarrier’s Canadian Family. 

Fred Wardle - Quarriers Canadian Family, spokesperson for the BHC.

Georgina Sales - Georgina is an expert in researching the British Home Children and has helped many grateful families in her over a decade of dedicated work.

The late Sandra Joyce -  Sandra wrote three books on British Home Children which were based on her British Home Child Father. She did  over two hundred presentations for the British Home Children. Sandra lobbied successfully for the placement of two historical plaques, one in the Maria Rye Park, Niagara-on-the-Lake and one at the former Marchmont Homes in Belleville, Ontario. Sandra was also instrumental in obtaining an apology from the Canadian House of Commons. 

The Late Roddy Mackay  - Fairbridge Child Migrant, President of Fairbridge Canada. Spokesperson and advocate for the Child Migrants and the BHC. Roddy recently released his story in his book “The Memoirs of a Guttersnipe”.

Sidney Baker - A former Barnardo Boy who relocated to Canada. Sidney ran the group  Home Children Canada from Western Canada. He was one of four Canadians who represented the BHC at a Buckingham Palace Royal Garden Party, a guest of Barnardo’s. 

Kenneth Bagnell - Author of “The Little Immigrants: The Orphans Who Came to Canada". Published in the early 1980 it became a best seller on all the lists for over a year. Today it is still one of the most widely read books on the British Home Children.

Dr. Patricia Roberts-Pichette - Dr. Pichette did extensive work on Middlemore, published in her book “The Middlemore Experience”.

The Late George Walter Hambleton -  A founding member, past president and director of the Ontario East British Home Child Family

Susan Hillman Brazeau - Susan has been actively researching and advocating for the Home Children for many years. She has written several well-researched papers on the Home Children, including the Journal article, "They Were But Children. The Immigration of British Home Children to Canada".

JoAnn Clark - For her collaboration and her quilting work done on our 2016 Home Child Quilt.

Judy Neville - For many years, Judy has been, and still is, one of our strongest advocates for the British Home Children. Judy lobbied successfully for our National British Home Child Day.

Norah Dennis - For her work compiling lists of children which she donated to HHC in 2014. She also started one of the first groups on Facebook for the Home Children.  

Phil McColeman - Conservative MP for Brantford - Brant, nephew of a BHC. Mr. McColeman successfully pushed through a private members’ motion that declared 2010 Year of the British Home Child. The motion unanimously passed in the House of Commons.

Lori Oschefski - Lori is the founder and CEO of the British Home Children Advocacy & Research Association and runs their Facebook group - the largest social media platform for the BHC in history. Lori is the author of one book, “Bleating of the Lambs”. She is also the president of today's "Home Children Canada". 

LeeAnn Beer -  LeeAnn, along with her husband, took over the building of the British Home Children Registry. They created a unique website that hosts the database. LeeAnn continues to work building the database and is dedicated to this work.


David Hemmings - David has done a brilliant job on compiling the new Maria Rye Database.   Maria Rye was not known for her record keeping. Tracking information on Maria Rye is somewhat difficult.

Patricia Skidmore - Pat has worked - and still does - extensively with the Fairbridge Child Migrants. Her mother, the late Marjorie Arnison - a Fairbridge child - worked with Pat on her books "Marjorie: Too Afraid to Cry" and "Marjorie: Her War Years." Pat and Marjorie represented the Fairbridge children at the English Government apology in England, 2010.

Dianna Hanson Fulton & Steve Fulton

John Reid - Canada’s Anglo-Celtic Connections   

Andrew Simpson - Andrew, located in England, has been writing blogs and articles for the HCC newsletters for almost a decade now. He also started the Facebook group "British Home Children ....... the story from Britain".  Andrew is the author of one of our most recent historical books "The Ever Open Door -  Andrew's blog, often written about the Home Children can be found at:

Carol Goddard - Carol did  an excellent job of putting information together that is accessible by family researchers, historians, educators, and students  Upper Canada Board of Education Online Library Guide - British Home Children

Penny Maj - Our BHC Burial Index admin. Her dedication to this project has resulted in the enormous growth of the index.

Ashley Harper - Index of BHC in Dundas


We also gratefully acknowledge the work done on our First World War Index by  Jennifer Layne - Head Researcher of the First World War Project, Lori Oschefski, Carol Black, Marjorie Kohli, LeeAnn Beer, Dona Crawford, Dawn Heuston,  Sharon Munro, and various members of the BHCARA. 

We have many excellent researchers working and running our BHCARA Facebook group, as well as many who continue to work to share the story of our BHC. We like to give them a shout out for their continued excellent work in giving the Home Children a voice: Carol Bateman, 
Roberta Horrox, Sarah Francis, Andrea Harris, Cookie Foster, Shannon McKnight, Shirley Taylor, Sharon Bridge, Sharon Munro, Stephen Adams, Bertha Henretty, Alison Williams, Melissa Dolan, Sherry Smith, Norma Cook, Bobby Hampton, James Buckland, Suzanne Pearson, Ralph Jackson, Donna Debiel, R. J. Huggins, Ali Thompson, Julia Walkley-Sherman, Mary Arnold & her family, John Jefkins, Marie May, Dan Oatman, Susan Hall, Ron Baker, Alison Williams, Kim Crowder, Tracy Smithers, Janice O'Halloran Mersey, MPP Guy Lauzon, Art Joyce, and Megan Hurst.


We would also like to thank our authors, who through their work, continue to share this story. Their work has ignited an interest in this story and has educated thousands throughout Canada, the United States, and the world. Three recent books,  The Forgotten Home Child (by Genevieve Graham), No Ocean Too Wide, and its sequel, "No Journey Too Far" (by Carrie Turansky) have both reached best-seller status. The Forgotten Home Child was on the Canadian best sellers list four months in 2020 - marking the first best-selling BHC book in Canada since "The Little Immigrants" by Kenneth Bagnell.  Carrie's books have marked the first best-selling BHC books in the United States. 


We would also like to acknowledge the office of Barnardo's, Quarriers and Fegan's for their generous and ongoing support over the past years. 

If we are missing a name on this list please contact us at:

When we stand together, great things happen.

bottom of page