Source 5b



Empire Builders?


We teach the boys Trades and the girls domestic pursuits, to fit them for the Battle of Life; and we place large numbers of them in situations in England. Others we emigrate to the Colonies, chiefly to Canada. It is wise in some cases, if our training is to be permanent, to place the ocean between the child and its earlier surroundings; for having once rescued the child we do not want it to drift back to the condition from which we rescued it.


Ninety-eight percent of our Emigrants do well, thus proving that our training is on the right basis. This is Empire-Building work of the best kind.


« Return to Child migration

These are extracts from publicity material produced by the charity Dr Barnardo’s. The material covers the emigration of girls and boys to Canada, 1913, Catalogue ref: HO 144/1118 pgs. 2, 11.

  • What reason does Dr Barnardo’s give for emigrating these girls and boys?
  • How are they prepared for a life abroad?
  • Why are these children described as possible ‘Empire Builders’? [Also see image at the top of web page.]
  • Comment on the language and tone used in Sources 5a & b.
  • How different are attitudes today from this source towards:

(a) Education of girls and boys?

(b) Ideas around the term ‘Empire’?