On their own - Britain's child migrants

Raymond Brand – a childhood lost

smiling boy

"I was transferred to Castledare Boys Home, conducted by the Christian Brothers, where I was to learn what horrors awaited me – the loss of my innocence and childhood." Raymond Brand

Raymond age 10 at Castledare in Cannington 1958

Lent by Raymond Brand

Raymond Brand was admitted to Father Hudson’s Homes in Birmingham at five months of age. Raymond’s mother agreed to pay a weekly sum towards her son’s upkeep. When the payments lapsed Father Hudson’s indicated they were not prepared to retain this child in care much longer.

Birmingham-based Father Hudson was treasurer and later secretary of the Catholic Emigration Association, formed in 1903 to offer Midlands children better opportunities in the colonies. Father Hudson personally accompanied some 30 parties of children to Canada and also to Australia until the mid-1930s.

In March 1950 Raymond's mother signed him over for adoption. Instead of being adopted in Britain he was sent to Western Australia on RMS Oronsay in 1953, aged five.

Raymond was initially placed in the St Vincent’s home in Wembley, before being moved to Castledare junior orphanage, where he was repeatedly physically and sexually abused by his carers.

He was later transferred to Bindoon Boys’ Town and subjected to further brutality and humiliating verbal abuse. Raymond left Bindoon educated only to Year Five and bearing mental scars which remain to this day.

Raymond is also featured in Meet the children today, as adults later in the exhibition.

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