Members of the Braine family pictured before boarding their plane at London Airport before the start of their 6- thousand mile flight. Top to Bottom; Walter aged 42, Winifred , 42, Patricia , 15 , Anne , 13 , Barbara 6, Harold 32, Joan , 32, and little William aged 3 (November 1948). Retronaut / Topfoto / mediadrumimages.com

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.

Photo shows (left to right) Patricia Ann Hill, aged five years; Josephine Livermore (8); David Osborne (5); Robert Creighton (9); Peter Alan Hill; Clifford Whiting (17) and Bryan Hill, photographed as they studied the map of Australia at Overseas House yesterday (September 1948).
Retronaut / Topfoto / mediadrumimages.com

 

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.

Photo shows Mr and Mrs C N Hill, who are party escorts, photographed with their children (right to left) Patricia, Peter, Robin and Bryan at Overseas House yesterday (September 1948).
Retronaut / Topfoto / mediadrumimages.com

 

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.

Photo shows Stepney Ministry of Labour – seated (left) John Letton from Cardiff, who wants to go to Sydney, and Clifford Matthews who has lived in Glasgow for five years after coming from India and wants to go to Adelaide, studying a map of Australia. Behind are Australian immigration officials (left) Peter Gebbie and Bill Byrne (April 1952).
Retronaut / Topfoto / mediadrumimages.com

 

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.

Orphaned children that are to fly to Australia 1948.
Retronaut / Topfoto / mediadrumimages.com

 

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.

Southampton , Hants : The second party of boys aged 16 to 19 to leave for Australia this year under the sponsorship of the Big Brother Movement , are shown aboard the P & O Orient Liner , Canberra , before they sailed from Southampton today. The boys who are pictured with officials and Canberra’s commodore James L Dunkley ( pointing) are David Burbridge ( Stamford , Lincs) ; Anthony Burke ( Chester) ; Barry Crossley ( London ) ; Robert Johnson (Manchester) ; Carl Law ( Bristol , Somerset ) ; Richard Longman ( London ) ; Brian Mackie ( Aberdeen , Scotland ) ; Piers Mortimer ( Fleet , Hants ) ; Edward Murphy ( Belfast ) ; Jonathan Spark (St Albans ) Richard Arlen Swindells ( Hemel Hempstead ) ; Robert Thomson ( Benson , Oxon ) ; Kenneth Wilkinson (Manchester) ; Joseph Williams ( Warton , Lancs ) ; and Roland Williams of Eltham , Middx . This party of 15 brings the total to 6,167 since the movement was founded in 1925 . They are taking up urban employment (February 1965).
Retronaut / Topfoto / mediadrumimages.com

 

A Scottish family are pictured at a special reception they were given when they arrived in Australia in 1951.

These two tiny toddlers had mixed feelings on the subject of emigrating as they start on their journey to Canada, aboard the S.S. “Aquitania” from Southampton. Doreen Buxton, (left), 17 months old, gets little satisfaction from her dummy, while 13 month old Maureen Connor of Swansea, clutches her life-belt with one hand and raises the other with plea, “Please may I…..” (May 1948).
Retronaut / Topfoto / mediadrumimages.com

 

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.

The S.S. ORMONDE sets sail from Tilbury today bound for Australia with 1100 British men, women and children off to a new life ” down under ” . Boat- trains from St. Pancras were busy this morning taking them down to the all-emigrant ship (May 1948).
Retronaut / Topfoto / mediadrumimages.com

 

Migrants were charged just ten pounds sterling as travel costs were subsidised and children travelled for free.

Ex-Woolwich policeman WALTER TUCKE his wife and their six children, left Waterloo Station by ” Queen Mary 2 boat train this morning, to begin their journey to a new life on the farmlands of New Brunswick , Cananda . Here they are before the train pulled out for Southampton (May 1948).
Retronaut / Topfoto / mediadrumimages.com

 

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.

Off to Australia in the SS Ormonde , first liner-troopship to be reserved exclusively for Australia-bound migrant traffic , are forty boys and girls from Dr Barnardo’s Garden City , Woodford Bridge , Essex . The party of twenty boys and tweny girls , is the first to leave Dr Barnardo’s for a new life down under since before the war. The boys are to go to a farming school in New South Wales ; the girls to a domestic service training home near Sydney. Picture shows: Mr Norman Michell CBE , Deputy High Commissioner for Australia, explains the route to Australia to some of the child emigrants at the Dr Barnardo’s Garden City , Woodford Bridge , Essex (October 1947).
Retronaut / Topfoto / mediadrumimages.com

 

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.

While Britain shivers in the grip of a cold spell and fuel cuts, Victoria, Australia is experiencing a record fruit crop in the Goulburn Valley. The sight of this suntanned worker, standing on a sleigh laden with freshly picked peaches as he takes them to the packing sheds is enough to send anyone straight off to the Emigration Office at Australia House (February 1947) .
Retronaut / Topfoto / mediadrumimages.com

 

The scheme reached its peak in 1969 when more than 80,000 migrants took advantage of the offer of a new life Down Under.

Mass migration from Britain to Australia. A group of children at their window of a train at St Pancras station, bound for Australia. All travelling on the Free and Assisted Passages Scheme (January 1955).
Retronaut / Topfoto / mediadrumimages.com

 

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.

 

At St Pancras; on leaving to learn farming in New South Wales. Boys of the Fair Field Farm School (February 1948).
Retronaut / Topfoto / mediadrumimages.com

 

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