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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shocking, moving and essential reading, Empty Cradles defies belief
This book made me angry and made me cry, it never failed to elicit an emotion. It is a powerful and moving story that defies belief. The hidden history of child migration is from another time, but living in the here and now. It is totally inconceivable that a government can send its most vulnerable, children in care, thousands of miles away ripping them from their...
Published on 15 Mar. 2010 by Mrs. S. Biddulph

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Shocking
I am glad that I read the book as it is important to know what happened and how it was covered up but I actually didn't enjoy the book as a good read. It was informative but I felt that the author was listing case after case, many of which were distressing. It was factual rather than literary. It certainly was emotive and tugged at my heartstrings. I felt sorry for...
Published on 13 Jan. 2013 by B. Fitzhugh


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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shocking, moving and essential reading, Empty Cradles defies belief, 15 Mar. 2010
By 
Mrs. S. Biddulph (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Empty Cradles (Paperback)
This book made me angry and made me cry, it never failed to elicit an emotion. It is a powerful and moving story that defies belief. The hidden history of child migration is from another time, but living in the here and now. It is totally inconceivable that a government can send its most vulnerable, children in care, thousands of miles away ripping them from their homeland, some as young as three. The deceit and cruelty ring out from the pages not only for what Britain did, but also for how Australia treated the "lost innocents", many of whom suffered appalling abuse. The poor mites didn't stand a chance. It is a testament to their courage that they managed to live adult lives after such desperate childhoods. They have incredible hope and determination matched only by the truly remarkable Margaret Humphreys. She is an amazing woman. The way she followed her instincts to help people, do good and bring the hidden secret of child migration to the forefront of a nation's conscience. The sacrifices she made, giving her time freely and courageously are incredible. Throughout she never judges or apportions blame, instead she focuses on what really counts, reuniting families. She is a humbling human being. I met her shortly before the British government formally apologised for the part it played in child migration. Another milestone in her extraordinary journey. I wanted to know more after that meeting so I bought this book. It has gripped me from the first page. Although the writing isn't brilliant, the content is among the most compelling and moving I've ever read. Everyone should know about it and read it.
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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Biggest Government Blunder Ever Uncovered, 24 Jan. 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Empty Cradles (Paperback)
I too have been shocked by this story. I cannot believe that our Government farmed our children out like this, it beggars belief and the attitude of the agencies concerned is shameful. What is alarming is the timespan involved. I thank Margaret Humphreys for uncovering this horrendous fiasco and hope that her book has brought shame on anyone who played any part in the child migration schemes. I commend Margaret, her attitude and tireless efforts to do so much in challenging the relevant bodies and more importantly giving children their families back. The memories of this book will live with me forever.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Woman's Fight to Right a Terrible Wrong, 7 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Empty Cradles (Hardcover)
When, in the course of her work as a social worker, Margaret Humphreys uncovered the heartbreaking truth about the hundreds of child migrants sent from England to Australia and Canada, she was appalled.
Determined to help the men and women who had been led to believe they were orphans or were unwanted, she embarked on a one woman campaign assist them in finding out about their parents and where possible enabling them to be reunited with family members. Sadly for many their parents were no longer alive.

It was clear a double deception had taken place, for their parents had often been given the impression their children were going to good, caring homes.

At great personal expense she travelled to meet them and hear their stories. A charity was set up with its headquarters in Nottingham where a small team work tirelessly to deal with people desperate to find out about their family backgrounds and to gain a sense of true belonging.

A film is being made about Margaret Humphreys and her work on behalf of child migrants, work which last year earned her official recognition and an award.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EMPTY CRADELS by Margaret Humphries, 3 Jan. 2010
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This review is from: Empty Cradles (Paperback)
This real-life account is absolutely essential reading for anyone concerned or interested in the welfare of children. What Margaret Humpries uncovered in the early 90s about child migration between the 1940s into the 1960s is almost incredible & something I consider akin to the holocaust! These children, many of whom are now in their 40s & 50s had no-one to speak for them until she began her campaign to discover the truth. They nmmber thousands who were sent to Australia & Canada, from various children's homes & respecatable charity institutions, some as young as 3 & 4 years old, often without parental consent, who experienced the most horrific physical, mental & sexual abuse fromt their new carers, with no adult voice to speak for them or to turn to in their trauma. Recently, as a result of Australia's public apology for their country's treatment of these children & for the regognition of the work of Margaret Humphries in the uncovering of the atrocities, there has been media coverage concerning the subject & some distressing interviews with people who experienced it.
Faith Garrison
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oranges and Sunshine: Empty Cradles, 2 May 2011
A friend recommended this story on Facebook. I was intrigued by the title and was totally surprised. Unfortunately, it's not in the U.S. yet. I ordered the book through Amazon.co.uk. and received it within a couple of days and read it in just as many. Your heart breaks to read of the hurt children go through and endure throughout their lives. All it takes is ONE person to try to mend the hurt and seek justice for the children, now adults. It's a very good read. You won't be disappointed, maybe only with the human condition.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am shocked by this story. How could this have happened?, 8 Aug. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Empty Cradles (Paperback)
This story is so troublesome and intense that you cannot put it down for a minute. This story bothers me to think that the British Government was so cruel to these children. I am from the USA and you cannot obtain this book here and I really don't know why. Saw the story on 60 minutes and called them in New York and they gave me the telephone no. of The Child Migrants Trust in UK and that is how I was able to obtain the book. From this story, I plan to make a donation to them. I would hope that others who have read the story would feel the same way.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Hearbreaking tale of Seperation, 21 Aug. 2011
Empty Cradles by Margaret Humphreys (also a film known as Oranges and Sunshine)
In 1986 a social worker from Nottingham, Margaret Humphreys, investigated a case of a woman who claimed that at the age of four she had been put on a boat and taken to Australia. The people that took her ? The British Government. Margaret soon discovered that as many as 150,000 children had been deported from children's homes in Britain. They were shipped off to a "new life" in distant parts of the Empire. The last time this happened was as recently as 1967. For the numerous children it was a life of horrendous physical and sexual abuse in institutions in Western Australia and elsewhere. Margaret tells us how she managed to gradually unravel this shocking secret. Margaret tell how she became drawn into the lives of some of these innocent and unwilling exiles, and how it became her mission to reunite them with their families.
Excellent book apparently brought out as a film with film tie in book called Oranges and Sunshine. I hope this is one book to movie transfer that really works as it is a serious truth that needs to be told. The child migrants were offered "Oranges & Sunshine" what they actually got was something totally different and not in a good way! Heartbreaking stories of families torn apart and kept apart for years with a few heart warming reunions along the way. Will definitely watch the film when I have chance, I hope it sticks to the book storyline closely as I have said this book and now film has an important message to relay and I hope it isn't lost in the dramatisation of the book to film. Its just a sad shame that possibly families are still not reunited or it is too late to do so even now. What a brilliant woman Margaret Humphreys is to continue this work under extremely difficult circumstances, with her charity lacking funds, threats on her life and threats to her family a true heroine of our time. This book literally makes your heart ache for these people, the ones that have been reunited trying to catch up on lost years, the ones that have missed their chance because of deaths,and finally the ones that are yet to be brought back together. A fantastic book even though its such a sad subject. Margaret Humphrey's is not just a social worker she is a miracle worker the amount of people she has reunited, and how she fought all the way to be able to do so. That lady deserves recognition from the Queen for what she has done. This book will appeal to anyone with a heart and a conscience. I cannot praise it enough. My mother also read the book and felt the same way about it as I did, she said it was a heartbreaking tale. This book is worth every penny!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Shocking, 13 Jan. 2013
By 
B. Fitzhugh "BF" (scotland) - See all my reviews
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I am glad that I read the book as it is important to know what happened and how it was covered up but I actually didn't enjoy the book as a good read. It was informative but I felt that the author was listing case after case, many of which were distressing. It was factual rather than literary. It certainly was emotive and tugged at my heartstrings. I felt sorry for Margaret and her own family, let alone the poor individuals who had suffered.
One to read if you want to find out more about the child migration situation but it is a difficult read in many ways.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding and heartbreaking, 18 Aug. 2011
By 
A. Bradley (Wales) - See all my reviews
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Having already seen the film, I ordered the book. It is wonderfully written and really evokes the fight Margaret had to get the situation acknowledged. You will need tissues - the story is heartbreaking and the behaviour of the governments and 'charities' involved absolutely appalling. I do not understand how they thought they might get away with removing children to another country to suffer abuse and hardship at the hands of the people who were charged with their care. I am also appalled at the covering up of these events by both governments and organisations. I cannot recall hearing anything on the news or in papers in the 80's when it was all exposed - how dare they not make a proper apology to the people affected! I am astounded that such events took place so recently - those responsible should be charged with and prosecuted for child abuse, neglect and dereliction of duty.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lost children and parents, 14 April 2009
By 
Mrs. Lorna A. Hooper (Erskine, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Empty Cradles (Paperback)
Excellent book. Sad, factual and sensitvely written.
Hopefully nothing like this will ever happen again.
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