Home Children of Flamborough

The Government of Canada designated 2010 as the Year of the ‘Home Child’ in recognition of the contributions made by the more than 100,000 children who were sent from Great Britain between 1869 and 1948 to work mainly on farms in the rapidly growing rural communities across Canada. While this scheme, administered by groups with the approval of the British and Canadian governments, was created with good intentions and the promise of a better life, its results were often tragic, with children as young as eight years old being shipped to Canada.

Between 1885 and 1925, a number of farmers in East and West Flamborough received ‘Home Children’ from the Doctor Barnado Homes and the National Children’s Home in London.

This little known part of Flamborough’s history came to light when research on the area residents who served in World War I was initiated and it was discovered that several of these young men were among the early enlistments in local regiments sent overseas to fight. Since the initial discovery through the Archives’ World War I Veterans project, examination of the 1901 and 1911 Census Returns for East and West Flamborough Townships has revealed names of many English and Scottish farm labourers who emigrated between 1885 and 1910 that, pending further research, might be confirmed as additional Flamborough ‘Home Children’.

Several of the World War I veterans who were ‘Home Children’ are known to have returned to the area, married, and are buried in local cemeteries, so it is hoped that as brief biographies are added to this web page, it may connect with some of their descendants.

For more information on Home Children visit the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa website

Private Max Arthur Buczeg (1897-?)

  • Son of Max Arthur Buczeg (c.1878-1904) and Florence Maud Grafton  (c.1879-?) of the Borough of Battersea, London, England.
  • Born 29 February 1897 in the Borough of Hoxton, London.
  • In 1913, Max Buczeg, aged 16 years, was sent to Canada as a ‘Home Child’ on the passenger ship ‘Canada’. He arrived in Halifax on 17 March 1913 with his final destination listed as Hamilton, Ontario to work as a farm labourer.
  • He enlisted in Dundas on 1 February 1916 and was assigned to the C.E.F. 129th Wentworth Battalion.
  • He was shipped to England for training August 1916. Married Margaret Morgan in Llanelly, Wales in 1925 and appears to have remained in the United Kingdom.

 

Private Stephen Duckhouse (1897-1917)

  • Son of Thomas Duckhouse (c.1872-?) and Ellen Pardoe (c.1871-?) of the Town of Yardley, Worcestershire, England.
  • Born 27 March 1897 in the Solihull District of the City of Birmingham.
  • In 1910, Stephen Duckhouse, aged 11 years, and his brother, Alfred, aged 8 years, were members of a Doctor Barnardo’s party of 395 ‘Home Children’ sent to Canada on the passenger ship ‘Tunisian’. He arrived in Halifax on 18 March 1910 with his final destination as Toronto, Canada.
  • On the 1911 Census Returns for the Township of Beverly, Stephen Duckhouse is a servant in the household of Edgar and Ada McPhail.
  • He enlisted in Freelton on 4 July 1916 and was assigned to the C.E.F. 129th Wentworth Battalion.
  • He was shipped to England for training August 1916.
  • Declared missing and killed on 14 August 1917, aged 20 years. The story surrounding his death recounts that he was taken prisoner along with others near Levis, Belgium, forced to dig a trench and was then was shot and buried in it.
  • Commemorated at Vimy Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.

 

Private Thomas Francis English (1866-1932)

  • Son of Francis B. English of London, England.
  • Born 1 May 1866 in London.
  • In 1885, Francis B. English, aged 16 years, was sent to Canada as a member of a party of 31 boys from the Shaftesbury Boys Home in London. Travelling on the steam ship ‘Corean’, this party of ‘Home Children’ landed at Quebec City on 14 May 1885 and was dispersed to work on farms in Ontario and Quebec.
  • By 1911, Francis English had married and moved to Aldershot, where he was working as a Market Gardener.
  • He enlisted in Dundas on 29 January 1916 and was assigned to the C.E.F. 129th Wentworth Battalion.
  • He was shipped to England for training August 1916.
  • Died in Hamilton on 14 July 1932, aged 66 years. Buried in Woodland Cemetery, Hamilton.

 

Lance Corporal Harry Samuel Green (1893-1918)

  • Son of Frank Green (c.1869-?) of the Town of Aldershot, Hampshire, England.
  • Born 20 October 1893 in the Town of Aldershot, Hampshire.
  • In 1910, Harry S. Green, aged 17 years, was a member of a group of ‘Home Children’ brought to Canada by the National Children’s Home and Orphanage. He arrived in Quebec on 17 October 1910 with his final destination as Hamilton, Ontario.
  • On the 1911 Census Returns for East Flamborough Township, he is listed as a farm labourer employed by Market Gardener, John Rendel Job of Aldershot.
  • He enlisted in Waterdown on 25 February 1916 and was assigned to the C.E.F. 129th Wentworth Battalion.
  • He was shipped to England for training August 1916.
  • Killed in action on 6 September 1918, leaving his wife, Winifred Mitchel of Carlisle, a widow, aged 20 years.
  • Buried in Dominion Cemetery, Hendecourt-les-Casnicourt, Pas de Calais, France.

 

Private Richard James Harbottle (1893-?)

  • Son of George Harbottle (c.1860-1894) and Agnes M. Ehm (c.1866-?) of the Parish of Stoke Newington, London, England.
  • Born 30 November 1895 in the Parish of Stoke Newington.
  • The 1901 Census Return for Stoke Newington records Agnes Harbottle as a widow with two young sons.
  • Between 1901 and 1903 Richard James Harbottle became a ‘Home Child’ in the Dr. Stevenson Home, London and was sent to Canada, aged 10 years, in a party of boys from the home, landing in Halifax on 28 March 1903 and proceeding to Hamilton.
  • He enlisted at Camp Borden on 15 August 1916 and was assigned to the C.E.F.

 

Private William Francis Mason (1894-1977)

  • Son of Henry William Mason (c.1848-?) and Emma Reynolds (c.1854-1896) of the Borough of Islington, Middlesex, England.
  • Born April 1894 in Emmanuel, Hornsey Road, Islington.
  • After his mother’s death in 1896, he and several of his siblings were placed in a children’s home.
  • In 1908, William Francis Mason was among a party of boys from the National Children’s home in London who were sent to Canada.
  • On the 1911 Census Returns for the Township of West Flamborough, he was listed as Frank Mason and recorded as a hired man on the farm of William Henry Tricker.
  • He enlisted in Niagara on 22 September 1915 and was assigned to the C.E.F. 86th Machine Gun Battalion.
  • He saw action at Ypres, Vimy Ridge, and Passchendaele where he was severely wounded. He was hospitalized, first in France, then England, and finally at the Military Hospital in Burlington, before he returned to Millgrove, West Flamborough Township.
  • Married Ellen Estelle Mitchell in 1926.
  • Died 17 November 1977 at the Joseph Brant Hospital, Burlington, aged 83 years. Buried in Millgrove Cemetery, West Flamborough Township.

 

Private Arthur John Penfold (1898-1969)

  • Son of William Thomas Penfold (1866-1899) and Jane Wiltshire (1867-?) of the County of Middlesex, England.
  • Born 23 October 1898 in Holborn, Middlesex.
  • W. T. Penfold died in 1899 and the younger boys in the family were placed in a London Dr. Barnardo’s Home, while Arthur John Penfold was brieflyboarded out in the household of Mr. Joseph March and then later placed in a Barnardo Home.
  • On 23 March 1908, A. J. Penfold, aged 9 years, was in a party of Barnardo children disembarking at Portland, Maine and proceeding to Ontario.
  • On the 1911 Census Returns for Strabane, West Flamborough Township, he is listed as a lodger, aged 12 years, in the household of Joseph Bogle, a farmer.
  • He enlisted in Dundas on 29 January 1916 and was assigned to the C.E.F. 129th Wentworth Battalion.
  • Married Marion Elizabeth Smith on 30 June 1923.
  • Died 15 September 1969 in Hamilton. Buried in Woodland Cemetery, Hamilton.

 

Private Augustus George Penfold (1895-?)

  • Son of William Thomas Penfold (1866-1899) and Jane Wiltshire (1867-?) of the County of Middlesex, England.
  • Born 17 November 1895 on Cassland Road, Hackney, Middlesex.
  • W. T. Penfold died in 1899 and the young boys in the family, including Augustus George Penfold were placed in a London Dr. Barnardo’s Home.
  • On 11 April 1905, Augustus George Penfold, aged 8 years, was among a party of 269 boys which included his older brother Sidney C. Penfold, aged 10 years, from a Dr. Barnardo Home, disembarked at Portland, Maine and preceded to Southern Ontario.
  • On the 1911 Census Return for Pelham Township, Lincoln County, A. G. Penfold is listed as a farm labourer, aged 14 years, on the farm of Wesley Harris.
  • He was drafted in Toronto on 19 October 1917.
  • Listed Sidney C. Penfold of Signals, 15th Canadian Battery, Bramshott Camp, Hampshire, England as his next-of-kin.
  • Married Vera May Wallington on 22 October 1919.

 

Private Sidney/Sydney Cecil Penfold (1894-?)

  • Son of William Thomas Penfold (1866-1899) and Jane Wiltshire (1867-?) of the County of Middlesex, England.
  • Born 28 January 1894 on Dunlace Road, Clapton, Middlesex.
  • W. T. Penfold died in 1899 and the young boys in the family, including Sidney C. Penfold were placed in a London Dr. Barnardo’s Home.
  • On 11 April 1905, Sidney C. Penfold, aged 10 years, was among a party of 269 boys which included his younger brother Augustus George Penfold, aged 8 years, from a Dr. Barnardo Home, disembarked at Portland, Maine and preceded to Southern Ontario.
  • He enlisted in Toronto on 10 July 1915 and was assigned to the C.E.F. 74th Battalion.
  • Listed George Penfold of Carlisle as his next-of-kin.
  • Married Jean Christina Hepworth on 5 November 1921.

 

Private Charles Ernest Powell (1898-1918)

  • Son of Charles James and Laura Blanche Powell of Hyde Park, Headingley Leeds, Yorkshire, England.
  • Born 25 April 1898 in the City of Leeds, Yorkshire.
  • Despite being born into a middle-class family (his father was recorded on the 1901 Census Returns for the city of Leeds as an artist and owner of a Stained Glass Works), Charles E. Powell was placed in a home.
  • On 13 May 1912, Charles E. Powell, aged 14 years, was one of 22 children from the Macpherson Home travelling on the ‘Corsican’ who landed at Quebec City with their final destination listed as Hamilton, Ontario.
  • He enlisted in Galt on 25 May 1916 and was assigned to the C.E.F. 111th South Waterloo Battalion.
  • He was shipped to England for training October 1916.
  • He died from wounds suffered on 11 August 1918 while serving with the 4th Battalion Central Ontario Regiment
  • Buried in Crouy British Cemetery, Crouy-sur-Somme, France.

 

Private William Alfred Risby (1894-1917)

  • The parents of William A. Risby have not been identified to date. He is listed as the grandson of Alfred Risby (c.1840-?) and Ellen (c.1833-?) on the 1901 Census Returns for Aston Avening, Gloucestershire, England.
  • Born 20 October 1894 in the village of Avening, Gloucestershire.
  • In 1910, William Risby, aged 15 years, was among a group of ‘Home Children’ sent to Canada on the passenger ship ‘Canada’. He arrived in Halifax on 3 March 1910 with his final destination as Hamilton.
  • On the 1911 Census Returns for the Township of West Flamborough,  William Risby is recorded as a hired man / gardener in the household of Joseph Hounsome.
  • He enlisted in Dundas on 17 March 1916 and was assigned to the C.E.F. 129th Wentworth Battalion.
  • He was shipped to England for training August 1916.
  • Killed in action on 30 October 1917 while a member of the Canadian Mounted Rifles (Quebec Regiment) during the defence of the Ypres Salient.
  • Commemorated at Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium.

 

Private Charles Henry Tabram/Tabrum (c.1873-1956)

  • Son of Henry Tabrum and Martha White (c.1851-?) of the Parish of St. Saviour, Southwark, London, Surrey, England.
  • British Birth Registration suggests Charles Tabrum was born about 1973 in Southwark.
  • On the 1881 Census Returns for Tower Hamlets, London, Charles, his mother, listed as a Flower Hawker, and a younger brother are living in the Whitechapel Workhouse.
  • In 1887, Charles Henry Tabrum was a member of a part of ‘Home Children’ from the National Boys Refuge, Great Queen Street, London, sent to the Shaftesbury Boys Home in Hamilton, Ontario.
  • He enlisted in Hamilton on 28 July 1915 and was assigned to the C.E.F. 76th Battalion.
  • He was sent to England May 1916 and to France before the end of the year.
  • On his return, Charles Tabrum married a widow, Berta Seifert-Wilson of Hamilton and became a well-known city gardener.
  • Died on 18 October 1956, aged 83 years. Buried in the Veterans Section, Woodland Cemetery, Hamilton.

 

Private Charles Woolley (1892-1968)

  • Son of Joseph Woolley (c.1849-?) and Sarah Fisher (c.1864-?) of Staffordshire, England.
  • Born 15 September 1892 in the village of Hamstall-Ridware, Staffordshire.
  • Listed as a ‘Home Child’, Charles Woolley was 19 years old when sent to Canada in 1911, a member of a party of labourers and domestics arriving in Halifax on 22 December 1911.
  • He enlisted in Hamilton on 27 July 1915 and was assigned to the C.E.F. 76th Battalion.
  • He was shipped to England May 1916 where his unit was broken up for reinforcements.
  • Died in Hamilton in 1968. Buried in White Chapel, Memorial Gardens,
    Hamilton.