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Empty Cradles Paperback – February 1, 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 383 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Publishers (February 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055214164X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552141642
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #935,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'The secrets of the lost children of Britain may never have been revealed if it had not been for [the actions of] Margaret Humphreys.', Sunday Times .'It is a story that defies belief.', Independent .'A truly astonishing, haunting, real-life detective story.', She .'Brought tears to my eyes. It is impossible to read Empty Cradles without thinking "These could be my parents. These could be my children."...Despite the sadness and anger at its centre, hope remains the principal message of this remarkable book.', Terry Waite, The Times .'A modern Florence Nightingale.', Sydney Morning Herald

From the Publisher

'Brought tears to my eyes. It is impossible to read Empty Cradles without thinking "These could be my parents. These could be my children."... Despite the sadness and anger at its centre, hope remains the principal message of this remarkable book' - TERRY WAITE, THE TIMES

'A TRULY ASTONISHING, HAUNTING, REAL-LIFE DETECTIVE STORY' - She (Australia)

'THE SECRETS OF THE LOST CHILDREN OF BRITAIN MAY NEVER HAVE BEEN REVEALED IF IT HAD NOT BEEN FOR [THE ACTIONS OF] MARGARET HUMPHREYS' - Sunday Times

'IT IS A STORY THAT DEFIES BELIEF' - Independent

'A MODERN FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE' - Sydney Morning Herald


More About the Author

Margaret Humphreys (born 1944) is a British Social Worker who exposed the scandal of Britain's child migration schemes. She founded the Child Migrants Trust (CMT) in 1987 and has worked tirelessly to promote public awareness of the needs of former child migrants- to reclaim their identity and reunite with their families.Indeed, well over 1,000 families have been reunited after decades of separation thanks to the Child Migrants Trust.
Her campaigning was recognised by Australia's Prime Minister,Kevin Rudd, in
his public apology to former child migrants in November,2009 and Gordon Brown who delivered the UK apology in February,2010.Margaret has been awarded a CBE
and honorary degrees from three Universities in recognition of her work.
Margaret's book Empty Cradles was written to raise funds for CMT and to increase public awareness of this dark episode in recent history.It became a best seller and fulfilled both of these vital objectives.
It has been made into a full length feature film (Emily Watson plays Margaret) called 'Oranges and Sunshine' - that's what the children were promised when they left their homeland.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 124 customer reviews
Very good book, well written.
Sue Ryan
Margaret Humphreys tells of children who were migrated from Great Britain to Australia.
Patricia
To know that this happened while I was living and in a loving family made me very sad.
Jean Fleming

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By saliero on March 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is a piece of social history which , along with the recording of the experiences of the Aboriginal stolen generation, should be read widely. It is a part of the history of two countries that needs to have the torch shone on it. Margaret Humphreys manages to convey the story with poignance and dignity. That officials REFUSED to acknowledge for so long (and during Humphrey's quest) that any such thing as the forcible 'transportation' of children from the UK to Australia up to the second half of the 20th century, is damning.
Should be on history curricula in both countries. politicians should be required to read it before they can represent their constituents. It should be read alongside 'Bringing Them Home' about the Aboriginal stolen children, forecably removed from their families also well in to the 20th century. As a nation we will reach genuine maturity when we acknowledge and take on board some of the more unpleasant aspects of our shared history.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By JohnT on August 3, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very moving account of the trauma suffered by thousands of children sent from the UK to institutions in Australia, Canada and Rhodesia, often without the knowledge of their parents, and the extent to which the UK and Australian governments and so-called welfare organisations colluded in this practice for decades. The persistence and compassion of UK social worker Margaret Humphries led to many of these children being reunited with close relatives who they had been told had died or abandoned them. The book provides a lot more detail about the callous disregard of these children's interests, the efforts of governments and welfare organisations to conceal what had happened, their attempts to justify it and their reluctance to apologise to or compensate the victims. The book provided the background for a sensitive film with the same title, depicting the plight of these children and Margaret Humphries' campaign to stir the public conscience on their behalf. It is essential reading for anyone caring for childen, their own or other people's.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Amphlett on February 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
Margaret Humphreys with her book "Empty Cradles" bravely took on the plight of the Lost Children, those poor souls shipped from the overcrowded orphanages of Britain to all parts of the then British Empire. My own destination was Australia.
Margaret, undaunted by possible repercussions from the collusion of the governments involved, tells our story with heartbreaking compassion. Thanks to her tremendous efforts, some of us now will meet family we never knew we had.
For all who are concerned with humanity, with simple human dignity, this book should not be omitted from your reading list.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 3, 1998
Format: Paperback
Margaret Humphreys absorbingly relates how thousands of British children were forcibly migrated overseas into institutions where the nightmares took place during the day. Through a chance encounter, she progressively comes into contact with hundreds of these children, now adults, who are desperate to learn of their backgrounds. As each individual story of pain and suffering unfolds, the enormity of the horror is almost unbearable. Many children suffered mental and physical abuse, and all were told their parents were dead. Simply one of many lies. The Australian Government has made some admissions. Other individuals, Christian authorities and the British Government refuse to make any acknowledgements. Even the BBC unaccountably delayed transmission of the programme which so deservedly needed to be shown. This story, lying concealed for so many years, demonstates clearly how a great evil can be perpetrated silently, its victims those who need our protection the most. But the true heroine is Margaret Humphreys, who battled against ignorance, bigotry and even threats against her life. It is due to her this appalling story has been told. Perhaps with this knowledge and a refusal to allow certain authorities to be unaccountable, we can prevent such disasters happening again. If this were depicted in movie form it would be decried as being too unrealistic and far-fetched. If you only read one book in 1999, make it this one.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By julz on July 17, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
This story was very personal for me. My husband was one of those children. It was not until 2007 that we as a broken family were able to find his sisters.
It was a closing of a chapter for me and my three adult children. My husband was killed in a mine accident in 1997. So never got to know that he had family in Ireland and the U.K. It was a cruel and unforgiveable crime on both the British and Aust government. His files were stamped not to be released until 2025. By that time most would have passed on and never known about their true families. We were able to start out search in earnest in 1997.(Thanks to the freedom of information act) It took 10 years of searching for the truth. Now my children know were there father came from and to know their own roots.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Janette on February 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
I can not believe something so awful could happen to so many children. I could not put the book down, cried from cover to cover. My blood ran cold with the horror stories.
I am grateful that Margaret Humphreys found out about this and did all that she did, God Bless her. May her work still go on and be successful.
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