Child Migration, Page 3 - Kibble, A Lasting Legacy. Residential, secure, education, fostering, social enterprise, training for young people and youths.



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Another instance of child migration in Kibble’s records during this period tells the story of Maurice Magulsky, the son of a wine and cigar merchant, of ‘Jewish parentage’.  His home was ‘a fine house in the West End of Glasgow’.   Maurice’s father wanted to get him a situation in France, ‘where he would pick up the language and ultimately be useful to his father in business’.  Maurice was described as above the average in mental capacity and bright and original in his ideas.  His occupation in school was a box maker and his conduct was very good.  The record predicted that he would do well in the world ‘if he keeps on the straight and narrow’.

(Kibble Minutes of Education Committee Meetings, Minutes of Dec. 1912 meeting)

However, follow-up reports on Maurice indicate that he chose a very different path from his father’s preferred choice.  Discharged from Kibble on 30th May 1913, a progress report from September 1914 states that he was a missionary in Kingston, Ontario, in Canada.

(Kibble Report on Progress of Former Pupils 1898-1913, p. 66)

A subsequent report says that he had become a ‘minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Garden City, NS’.  Despite trying to trace what became of Maurice after this, through Canadian records, no further information was found.

(Kibble Visitors’ Book 1859-1963, March 1916 entry)

Manifest of passengers for the Geelong

Manifest of passengers for the Geelong, with Kibble boys all listed as 'farmers'

Courtesy of

1920s Cases:

Kibble’s archive records only a further twenty-nine cases of child emigration between 1920 and 1930, all of whom went to Canada.  Some of them went to stay with relatives in Canada; others took up various employment roles, including farm service, shop assistant, lumber worker, and hotel steward.  These boys were not permitted to return to the UK until they had reached the age of nineteen.  The youngest boy to be sent under this scheme was sixteen years and one month old and the oldest was eighteen years and eleven months, so their legally required duration of stay could vary considerably.

During their time in Canada most of them kept in touch with Kibble by letter, which would have been a requirement of their licence conditions.  In addition, school staff would occasionally visit boys’ parents in order to receive updates about their progress.  Although most of the boys did well in Canada and expressed that they liked the country, the majority of them seem to have returned to Scotland; some at the first opportunity and others after spending longer than the minimum legally required time.

The last two boys emigrated from Kibble were Joseph Watson and Peter Shedden (or Sheddon), aged seventeen years five months and seventeen years seven months respectively.  Both boys sailed on the Albertic, a White Star Dominion Line ship, on 7th April 1930, arriving at Halifax, Nova Scotia one week later.  Peter went from there to Ontario but there is no information on Joseph’s onward destination.  Kibble received news from Joseph’s mother in August 1930 that he was in prison; however no further details of this are recorded.  He returned from Canada in March 1932 and visited the school a few days after his arrival, saying that he had good prospects of work in Glasgow; by the end of July 1933 he was in the army and doing well.

(Kibble Discharge and Licence Register 1929-1934)

Peter wrote to his parents in July 1930, saying that he liked the country and was doing well.  His Kibble record says that he sent a letter to the school in January 1931 and that he ‘seems to have landed with good people and is very happy’.  Peter visited the school in June 1937, having returned home permanently.  He was ‘on lookout for work’ and ‘looking very fit’

(Kibble Discharge and Licence Register 1929-1934)

There are no further references to officially sanctioned and facilitated child migration in Kibble’s records after 1930.


Organised, official initiatives and programmes to facilitate the migration of British children were in operation between 1868 and 1925, with around 100 000 British children sent to Canada under the auspices of around twenty five individual charity organisations. Over 7000 Scottish children were sent to Canada by Quarriers alone, between the early 1870s and the early 1920s. Others went to Australia and the former Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe)7. Kibble’s contribution to child migration numbers was, therefore, relatively very small.

The impact of the Great Depression was affecting Canada very severely by the late 1920s and early 1930s.  Canada therefore became reluctant to support immigrants and they refused to take any more “Home Children”.  Nevertheless, migration of other groups of British children to other parts of the world continued until 1967.

7The Heatherbank Museum of Social Work, Glasgow Caledonian University, Factsheet 9,

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