-----Canadian War Children Of World War Two-----


History of Canadian War Children

During WW2 Canadian soldiers serving in Britain fathered well in excess of 22,000 children, many of which were to unmarried, single women during and immediately after the period between December 1939 and May 1946. To these women the stigma of being an unmarried mother was too great resulting in the child being given up for adoption soon after birth. Even if the woman kept the child, the law at that time required the parents to be married or the father present at registration of the birth before his name could be included on the birth certificate. Many unwed women finding themselves pregnant who tried to trace their boyfriend, found that the regiment had moved him on and denied all knowledge of his existence. Following the war when the wife followed her husband to Canada, some found that the marriage was bigamous or for some other reason he could not be traced and therefore returned to Britain. Because of these circumstances many Canadian War Children have no knowledge of their paternal father which leaves many questions unanswered.

On the other hand Canadian soldiers who knew that their girlfriend was pregnant may have been denied the opportunity by circumstance to keep in contact, some may have not even been aware that a child had been conceived. Many reasons may be given but the one over riding fact is that a child however old or father and half sibling has the right to know one another. Due to the passing of time these fathers may no longer exist but there could be half brothers and sisters who would relish the opportunity of knowing their half sibling in Britain. Likewise the British child would gain the knowledge about their father that was denied them for so long.

The War Children are not looking to move to Canada or apply for Canadian Citizenship. They are aged between 65 and 71 years old now and most have children of their own and even grand children. All they want is to know their roots, not a lot to ask.

Pamela Wilson



Canadian Roots UK  is a non-profit, self-help group for families and Canadian  military fathers  separated during WWII.  We help members to help themselves try and trace their fathers in Canada.

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