HomePastBlack and White Images Show The ‘White Windrush’: Britons Packing Up and...
Black and White Images Show The ‘White Windrush’: Britons Packing Up and Starting a Fresh in Australia
By Rebecca Drew
BLACK AND WHITE images show how hundreds of Brits packed up their lives in post-World War Two Britain for a fresh start in Australia as part of the assisted emigration scheme.
Like black families who moved from the Caribbean to the UK, these British families travelled mostly by ship to start a new and uncertain life in a foreign land after being invited there by the host government.
Incredible pictures show the excited faces of the Kemp family of Gravesend, Kent, at St Pancras Station, London, ready to leave for Queensland, Australia in 1955 as part of the free and assisted passage scheme.
Another family of six can be seen aboard a train heading to Liverpool from London Euston to make their journey by sea in 1949 and a little girl sits patiently on her suitcase on the S.S. Ormonde to join the rest of her family who have already made the journey.
Other monochrome shots show children at a farewell tea party in London looking at a map of their future home country and a group of 12 boys and girls preparing to start a new life at Fairbridge Farm School at Molong, New South Wales.
A Scottish family are pictured at a special reception they were given when they arrived in Australia in 1951.
The Assisted Passage Migration Scheme, or ‘Ten Pound Poms’, was created in 1945 by the Chifley Government as part of the ‘Populate or Perish’ policy to increase the population of Australia and to supply workers for its booming industry.
Migrants were charged just ten pounds sterling as travel costs were subsidised and children travelled for free.
The Australian government promised affordable housing and great job prospects, but upon arrival, many migrants were placed into hostels as expected opportunities weren’t always available.
The scheme attracted over one million migrants from the British Isles between 1945 and 1972. In 1957, more Brits were encouraged to make the move as with the governments ‘Bring Out a Briton’ campaign which came to an end in 1982.
The scheme reached its peak in 1969 when more than 80,000 migrants took advantage of the offer of a new life Down Under.
Well known participants of the scheme include the Bee Gees’ Gibb brothers who moved to Redcliffe, Queensland in the late 1950s, where they begun their musical careers.