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LOOKING BACK: Wartime British Schoolchildren Come To Nova Scotia

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Between July and September, 1940, Britain evacuated 2,664 children so that they might escape the horrors of war and a threat of invasion by German forces. Bombing had already begun and English cities were feeling the stress of nightly raids. Canada took a total of 1,532 of the evacuated children, Nova Scotia 149 of these. They all have vivid memories of crossing the Atlantic, witnessing ships being torpedoed and some being sunk. There is also the excitement of landing in Halifax and their first impressions of Nova Scotia. All came through the Port of Halifax and Pier 21. They were selected by families from Yarmouth to Sydney.

Most of them stayed for five years but after returning to England, some came back to Nova Scotia, to be with their host families, to further their education or to pursue a career. I have interviewed many of these men and women, who are now of course in their 80s. Almost all of the young evacuees had good experiences here, but several were abused verbally or physically. Their stories are varied but interesting.

Millard Wright was born and brought up in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley. Following service in the United States Army has attended the Montana School of Mines and then graduated from Acadia University. He had a successful business career, becoming a vice-president of L.E.Shaw Ltd. and president of Clayton Developments Ltd. He is past-President of the Halifax Board of Trade, a past director of the Atlantic Provinces Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce as well as the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council. He was chairman of the Board of Stewards of St Andrews United Church in Halifax. He was president and owner of ATA Textiles of Lunenburg, NS. In 1972 he formed Colonial Scientific and retired in 1992. he has produced nin previous books, the most recent being “Otto Strasser in Paradise“, published by Pottersfield Press.

 


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