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History 20th Century

Safe Haven

The Wartime Letters of Ben Barman and Margaret Penrose, 1940-1943

edited by Roderick J. Barman

Publisher
McGill-Queen's University Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2018
Category
20th Century
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9780773555051
    Publish Date
    Oct 2018
    List Price
    $34.95
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9780773556133
    Publish Date
    Oct 2018
    List Price
    $34.95

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Description

In 1940, when Hitler's tanks reached the English Channel and German bombs fell on London, the invasion of the United Kingdom seemed imminent. Among the many thousands of British children finding a safe haven during the war, Benjamin Barman was sent by his parents to stay with the Penrose family in London, Ontario.

Along with Margaret Penrose, a childhood friend of his mother, Ben wrote letters to his family from 1940 until his return to England late in 1943. Transcribed and illustrated with contemporary photographs, this correspondence provides graphic insight into the trauma faced by a child refugee as he struggled to adapt to a completely new life and society far from his family. Captivating and instructive, the letters, along with detailed reports provided to Ben's parents by his host mother, speak to Canadians' unflinching support of the British despite the many deprivations and difficulties that the war inflicted on them.

Introduced and extensively annotated by Ben's youngest brother, Roderick, a professional historian, Safe Haven reveals the intimate day-to-day life of one Canadian household during the Second World War and the realities of evacuated British children, their families, and the people who hosted them.

About the author

Roderick J. Barman is professor emeritus of history at the University of British Columbia.

Roderick J. Barman's profile page