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TITLE
Canadian War Brides (2 of 14)
EXTERNAL ID
AB_CANADIAN_WAR_BRIDES_02
DATE OF RECORDING
2009
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Melynda Jarratt
SOURCE
Am Baile
ASSET ID
1099
KEYWORDS
Second World War
World War II
2nd World War
audios

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In July 2009, Melynda Jarratt, the leading expert on Canadian War Brides, gave a talk on her subject at Dingwall Library. She was accompanied by Zoe Boone, a Canadian War Bride from Aberdeen. In this audio extract Melynda talks about the number of brides involved and their countries of origin.

'What I'm going to talk to you now about is a little bit about Canadian war brides in terms of where they came from and give you a little bit of a historical background. During the Second World War nearly four, well nearly 48,000 women from Britain and Europe and also from Italy and various other countries including Denmark, and Norway, and even one from Chile, and another one from Austria, and some from Germany, they married Canadian servicemen whom they met and had fallen in love with overseas. Well, for me overseas, for you, here. Now, these women for the most part, they did come to Canada. About 10 per cent never did make it to Canada. The total number that did come to Canada was 43,454 war brides and they brought with them 20,997 children and so Canada had an instant influx of 65,000 new citizens. Imagine!

Now, they expected 70,000 but about 4,500 didn't make over here, or there, excuse me, for various reasons including the fact that many of the men and, as I said earlier some of these men decided to stay here in Scotland because they'd found work. Let's face it. Life in Canada was not easy following the Second World War. We had just come out of a major depression and New Brunswick in fact had never, hadn't been out of a depression since it had joined Confederation in 1867. We had lost our trade, our traditional trade routes between north and south into Boston and we were forced to go west-east into Ontario and Quebec, and it changed the whole dynamics of the economy and what some say killed our economy. So we came, ended up - New Brunswick was essentially in a depression for fifty years so a lot of the - when the men joined up in 1939, when war was called - September 10 Canada joined the war effort, seven days after the Brits, after Britain declared war on Germany - the Canadians were very much a volunteer army; they were willing to join up, they wanted to join, because first of all they were loyal and patriotic, but third, second and third, the reason was economic, I'd say. There were no jobs and they needed some work, and it was three square meals - three hots and a cot - as they say. And they had a new uniform to wear, something - they had a roof over their head, and it was a job. And they were inspired by the patriotic fervour of the time and they joined up, en masse.

The men from New Brunswick came from all over; they came from the north from the south, from the east, from the west, from logging communities, and forestry-based resource economies, to farming, seafaring. We had people who worked in banking. We had rich, poor, educated, uneducated, university, university graduates, people with grade one education - people with no education. We had people with skills and people with no skills. We had English-speaking people who were of Scottish, English and Irish descent, which is the main population of New Brunswick. We also had people who were of French-speaking descent - we call them Acadians. They are the original emigrants to Canada who came with Samuel de Champlain in 1604 and they started out with a small group of 400 in 1604 and now are 33 percent of the population of New Brunswick. But the Acadians were the French-speaking peoples of New Brunswick but there were also people - we are, like the rest of the world a multi-ethnic society - and we also had Lebanese, Italians. We had black Loyalists - and I don't know if any of you have ever heard of Loyalists but Loyalists were, the United Empire Loyalists who had fought the American, fought and lost the American Revolutionary War, and had been given land in what was then called Nova Scotia, and in 1784 New Brunswick broke off from Nova Scotia and became part, became its own province.

So, we had white United Empire Loyalists of English extraction and we had black United Empire Loyalists who had been slaves. We had native aboriginal peoples called Malacites and Micmac so we had quite a cross section of men joining the Canadian Armed Forces from New Brunswick in 1939 and it was a mainly volunteer army I want to remind you, conscription only becoming a reality in '44 in New Brunswick, in Canada.'

Melynda Jarratt lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. She has been researching Canadian War Brides since 1987 when she began working on her thesis at the University of New Brunswick. She has published various books on the subject including 'War Brides (2007) and 'Captured Hearts' (2008).

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Canadian War Brides (2 of 14)

2000s

Second World War; World War II; 2nd World War; audios

Am Baile

Am Baile: Canadian War Brides

In July 2009, Melynda Jarratt, the leading expert on Canadian War Brides, gave a talk on her subject at Dingwall Library. She was accompanied by Zoe Boone, a Canadian War Bride from Aberdeen. In this audio extract Melynda talks about the number of brides involved and their countries of origin.<br /> <br /> 'What I'm going to talk to you now about is a little bit about Canadian war brides in terms of where they came from and give you a little bit of a historical background. During the Second World War nearly four, well nearly 48,000 women from Britain and Europe and also from Italy and various other countries including Denmark, and Norway, and even one from Chile, and another one from Austria, and some from Germany, they married Canadian servicemen whom they met and had fallen in love with overseas. Well, for me overseas, for you, here. Now, these women for the most part, they did come to Canada. About 10 per cent never did make it to Canada. The total number that did come to Canada was 43,454 war brides and they brought with them 20,997 children and so Canada had an instant influx of 65,000 new citizens. Imagine!<br /> <br /> Now, they expected 70,000 but about 4,500 didn't make over here, or there, excuse me, for various reasons including the fact that many of the men and, as I said earlier some of these men decided to stay here in Scotland because they'd found work. Let's face it. Life in Canada was not easy following the Second World War. We had just come out of a major depression and New Brunswick in fact had never, hadn't been out of a depression since it had joined Confederation in 1867. We had lost our trade, our traditional trade routes between north and south into Boston and we were forced to go west-east into Ontario and Quebec, and it changed the whole dynamics of the economy and what some say killed our economy. So we came, ended up - New Brunswick was essentially in a depression for fifty years so a lot of the - when the men joined up in 1939, when war was called - September 10 Canada joined the war effort, seven days after the Brits, after Britain declared war on Germany - the Canadians were very much a volunteer army; they were willing to join up, they wanted to join, because first of all they were loyal and patriotic, but third, second and third, the reason was economic, I'd say. There were no jobs and they needed some work, and it was three square meals - three hots and a cot - as they say. And they had a new uniform to wear, something - they had a roof over their head, and it was a job. And they were inspired by the patriotic fervour of the time and they joined up, en masse.<br /> <br /> The men from New Brunswick came from all over; they came from the north from the south, from the east, from the west, from logging communities, and forestry-based resource economies, to farming, seafaring. We had people who worked in banking. We had rich, poor, educated, uneducated, university, university graduates, people with grade one education - people with no education. We had people with skills and people with no skills. We had English-speaking people who were of Scottish, English and Irish descent, which is the main population of New Brunswick. We also had people who were of French-speaking descent - we call them Acadians. They are the original emigrants to Canada who came with Samuel de Champlain in 1604 and they started out with a small group of 400 in 1604 and now are 33 percent of the population of New Brunswick. But the Acadians were the French-speaking peoples of New Brunswick but there were also people - we are, like the rest of the world a multi-ethnic society - and we also had Lebanese, Italians. We had black Loyalists - and I don't know if any of you have ever heard of Loyalists but Loyalists were, the United Empire Loyalists who had fought the American, fought and lost the American Revolutionary War, and had been given land in what was then called Nova Scotia, and in 1784 New Brunswick broke off from Nova Scotia and became part, became its own province. <br /> <br /> So, we had white United Empire Loyalists of English extraction and we had black United Empire Loyalists who had been slaves. We had native aboriginal peoples called Malacites and Micmac so we had quite a cross section of men joining the Canadian Armed Forces from New Brunswick in 1939 and it was a mainly volunteer army I want to remind you, conscription only becoming a reality in '44 in New Brunswick, in Canada.'<br /> <br /> Melynda Jarratt lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. She has been researching Canadian War Brides since 1987 when she began working on her thesis at the University of New Brunswick. She has published various books on the subject including 'War Brides (2007) and 'Captured Hearts' (2008). <br /> <br /> Find out more about the <A HREF=" http://www.canadianwarbrides.com/"target="_blank">Canadian War Brides</A>