Photo from-Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
During the Second World War, children and those at risk were taken to places of safety to protect them from bombs and war damage. Often when we think of evacuation we think of people evacuated from London to the countryside. However, this doesn’t tell the whole story. Some children were evacuated to other British Dominions (countries that were part of the British Empire) such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.
In May of 2009 Stepehen Plowden from the UK wrote a letter to the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum about the fact that Elizabeth or Jane Oliver Bellasis recently had discovered a picture of English children at Ross Dhu in their family photo album. The children were under the guardianship of Hilda Martin and he felt the date of the picture was from the summer of 1942 or 1943. The youngest of the charges was born after the outbreak of the war, and she is not a baby in the picture.
Stoned fence of Arthur Gillies’ residence on Bridge Street built in 1873, corner of Townline still there in 1971, known as Ross Dhu. Unidentified man with a camera on top of the fence
Stoned fence of Arthur Gillies’ residence on Bridge Street built in f the fence. [148 KB, 1000 X 596]
The boy in the dark shirt at the back is Jimmy Heseltine. Next to him and smiling downwards is Thomas Charlesworth. Elizabeth is the girl on the left of the picture. Geoffrey is next to her, then Stephen Plowden, Anne Protheroe and then Jane.
In the front row left to right are: John Eddowes, William Charlesworth, Jennifer Weatherhead, Gail Mitchell Thomson and her brother Malcolm. The only person that the author of the letter, Stephen Plowden, saw a few times was Elizabeth, and he knew her whereabouts. How did he find out what happened to Jane? Stephen visited the Carleton Place Museum in 2006 and Carleton Place resident and former curator of the Museum of Valor Ron Roe asked him too.
Because Jane was once the girlfriend of Ron Roe, and that I find was so endearing.
So where was Ross Dhu? Wendy LeBlanc who gave me this information said she thinks Ross Dhu was the home where H. B. Montgomery once lived on the corner of Bridge and Townline.
May 22– 2016 Update– Through the Public Archives we found out that Ross Dhu was the home of Mr. David Gillies on Bridge Street at Townine in Carleton Place
|Photo- from Public Archives–“Ross Dhu”, the home of Mr. David Gillies|
Mrs. David Gillies sitting on front steps of her home, Ross Dhu, Bridge St–Thanks to Jaan Kolk-Copied container number: PA-059343. Public Archives
WW2 British Child Evacuees to Canada
For the less well-off or well-connected their chance came starting on 19 June 1940 when the UK government, responding to grassroots offers from the Empire, announced a plan for evacuation of children to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa. The announcement read that “a total of 20,000 could be sent off immediately, of which 10,000 would go to Canada.”
CORB, the Children’s Overseas Reception Board, operated this scheme under the political leadership of Geoffrey Shakespeare, parliamentary under-secretary of state for the dominions in the Churchill government from June 1940 to March 1942. (Sarah Algeria) Marjorie Maxse was the director, described as a natural leader with clear vision and a single-minded determination to achieve her goals. She held the position from 1940 until 1944.