On their own - Britain's child migrants

Jim Reardon – lumberjack to Little Brother

young man standing in front of a liner
Jim alongside Orient liner 'SS Orcades' in Melbourne 1949. Lent by Jim Reardon.

"I wanted to go to Canada to be a lumberjack but I was too small. A relative showed me an article about a Little Brother going over to Australia to be a farmer. And I thought, ‘I’ll be in that’."

Jim Reardon saved for 12 months for the £10 ticket to Australia. In 1949 the 17-year-old coal worker departed Liverpool with dreams of adventure and horse riding until sunset.

Jim completed 12 days of training at the Big Brother Movement’s Karmsley Hills farm and was sent to Young, where he worked from sunrise to sunset. Like many youth migrants from urban backgrounds, Jim found it difficult to adjust to the isolation. Nevertheless he believes the Big Brother experience made him a stronger person.

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