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C-144541 : Photo of Norman Clark, a boy from Dr. Barnardo's homes

Photo of Norman Clark, a boy from Dr. Barnardo's homes, ca. 1899.
Library and Archives Canada,

The success or lack of success in transplanting these young people to Canadian soil is best judged by an examination of the extensive records generated by Middlemore for each child taken into its custody and ultimately sent to Canada or Australia. Moreover, an overall view of Middlemore's aims, the funding and functioning of its operations, and photographs of a few children and activities may be found in Middlemore's published annual reports. These reports provide not only information on how the emigration homes operated, their funding and relationship with British authorities, but also examples of the dire circumstances of the children. In most cases, the luckless children had lost one or both parents to death, desertion or imprisonment. Where both parents were alive, at least one of them was unable to care for or support the children. It was not uncommon for a hapless parent to bring a child or children to Middlemore to plead a case for their acceptance for emigration. The 23rd annual report of Middlemore Homes, published in 1896, for instance, recorded the removal of 148 children, "saved from prison and from the streets...from the most abject poverty...and horrible neglect." Anonymized examples of the children's situations are recorded as for example, nine-year-old Beatrice. A member of a large family of boys and girls, her father had died of pneumonia and her mother was only able to earn a small wage while looking after a paralyzed child. The mother took her to Middlemore in the hopes that a better life might be found for her.

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