'Overseas Children Scheme - Record of custodians and children' is an item from the National Archives of Australia that can be read online. It gives information about British children who were evacuated to Australia during World War II.
Open with exception.
This file refers to the Children's Overseas Reception Board Scheme (CORB), as it was called in Britain. Through this scheme, 577 British children were sent to Australia during World War II. Its purpose was to keep children safe from harm at a time when authorities thought Britain was going to be invaded. It was called the Overseas Children Scheme in WA. In this file, the names of children and their family addresses in Britain and names and addresses of their 'custodians' (the people they stayed with in WA) are listed, and there are progress reports on the children, who were all placed in family homes in WA.
Around 3,000 children were sent to Commonwealth countries and it was hoped that many more would go but the evacuations were stopped when two ships to Canada were torpedoed with 77 children's lives lost.
From the information in the file, it is possible to give some summary information about the children and young people who came to WA under this scheme.
The children came from all over England and also from Scotland, with most coming from the eastern counties of England.
Fifty six of the children had been to Western Australian schools since their arrival, and by September 1941, another 6 young people had jobs. Mostly, the children attended separate schools but there were some exceptions.
A few of the children spent time in hospital in Perth. One girl had a traffic accident, two boys had diphtheria, and there were a range of other childhood ailments.
Chapter 3 of the NAA guide Good British Stock is a good source of additional information about these records.
Sources used to compile this entry: Child migration, National Archives of Australia, https://www.naa.gov.au/explore-collection/immigration-and-citizenship/child-migration; Coldrey, Barry, 'Chapter 3', Good British Stock: Child and Youth Migration to Australia, National Archives of Australia, 1999, https://www.naa.gov.au/help-your-research/research-guides/good-british-stock-child-and-youth-migration-australia.
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 22 February 2012, Last modified: 26 November 2020