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War brides' mothers come to Canada

Surrounded by falling bombs, strict rationing and nightly blackouts, a generation of young women found love. They were the war brides: British and European women who married Canadian servicemen in the Second World War. After tearful goodbyes to their families, they embarked on a grueling journey by ship and train to join their husbands and in-laws in a new country. Once they arrived, many war brides had to confront culture shock and desperate homesickness before embracing their new lives in Canada.

After a year of holding dances, concerts, raffles and rummage sales to raise money, an adventurous group of Liverpudlians has finally reached Halifax. The 14 women are the mothers and sisters of war brides who left Liverpool during and after the war to join their Canadian husbands. After a rough sea crossing they're glad to have landed, and they're planning to stay a while -- two, three, even six months. CBC News greets the mothers on the pier. 
• For many war brides the hardest thing about their journey to Canada was leaving their families behind. Many boarded a ship believing they would never see England or their families again.
• In the postwar years, commercial transatlantic air travel was nonexistent and voyage by ship was expensive.
• Some war brides' family members back in England took advantage of having a Canadian relative and immigrated to Canada after the war.

• The group of mothers discussed in this clip were part of a larger group called the Canadian-American G.I. Brides Parents Association – Merseyside. Some of them, mothers of war brides who married Americans, were continuing on the ship to New York to visit their daughters in the United States.
• War brides in the United States were usually known as "G.I. Brides."

• Some Canadian women became war brides of a different kind when they married men from other parts of the Commonwealth. Their husbands were airmen from Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom who came to Canada during the war for the British Commonwealth Air Training Program.
Medium: Radio
Program: CBC Radio News
Broadcast Date: March 21, 1950
Guest(s): Mrs. Oliver
Reporter: Stewart Grafton
Duration: 2:50
Photo: Library and Archives Canada / PA-022743

Last updated: May 14, 2012

Page consulted on January 29, 2014

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