Oranges and Sunshine: Empty Cradles

Oranges and Sunshine: Empty Cradles

Book rating: 05 Paperback

By (author) Margaret Humphreys

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  • Publisher: Corgi Books
  • Format: Paperback | 384 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 28mm | 299g
  • Publication date: 1 December 2011
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 055216335X
  • ISBN 13: 9780552163354
  • Illustrations note: 2x8pp
  • Sales rank: 4,935

Product description

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.

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Author information

Margaret Humphreys is the Director and founder of the Child Migrants Trust, supported by Nottinghamshire County Council. For her services on behalf of the child migrants, she was awarded the Order of Australia - one of only a few Britons ever to have been so honoured, and she was appointed CBE in the 2011 New Year Honours list . She lives in Nottingham with her husband and two children.

Customer reviews

By Margaret Johnston 22 Jul 2011 5

This is one of the most thought provocking books I have read in a long time. It is written with such compassion and understanding I am amazed. Margaret Humphreys is a wonderful woman. This type of treatment should never have happened to children. The Governments and supposed welfare angencies have a lot to answer for, the total lack of assistance and care these children were given is a disgrace. I came out to Australia with my parents when I was eight years old and I can remember b3eing homesick and was bullied at school because I was different (Scots accent) but these children (a lot of them) did not even get a decent education or care and compassion to help them through a time when their whole world was turned upside down and they arrived in a country so very different from where they were born
I strongly recommend this book but be prepared to be shocked and horrified by what these children endured in the so called 'lucky country'

Review quote

"It is a story that defies belief." Independent "The secrets of the lost children of Britain may never have been revealed if it had not been for [the actions of] Margaret Humphreys." Sunday Times "A modern Florence Nightingale." Sydney Morning Herald "A truly astonishing, haunting, real-life detective story." She (Australia) "Brought tears to my eyes. It is impossible to read...without thinking "These could be my parents. These could be my children."...Despite the sadness and anger at its centre, hope remains the principle message of this remarkable book." -- Terry Waite The Times