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Joseph Henry Smith
by Daughter Marilyn J. Hall nee Smith

Home Child
1903

I have been able to determine that my father landed as a Home child in 1903 at Pier 21. He died in 1963 never knowing he entered through Pier 21. I only found out this information a few months ago. My father eventually was sent to Anegance N.B. and lived there until he joined the Canadian Army in 1914. He served and fought overseas until the end of the war in 1918.

Dad married and had two daughters. We lived and went to school in Halifax. I eventually married and had five children. My Dad worked for many years in the lumber business. As children back in the 1930’s, my sister and I, along with Mom and Dad, boarded different ships that were tied up in Halifax. I remember we would be sitting having a meal with the Captain and "Stewart" always brought us our meals and treats. It was many years before I found out his name really wasn’t "Stewart".

The word Home child did not exist in our home. Dad knew nothing of his background before coming to Canada. Nobody spoke much about those things. One thing I do know is that a little boy was born in England and for some unknown reason to me was sent from his family to the Middlemore Home in Birmingham and then put on a ship and sent to Canada. He grew up to be a fine gentleman and a wonderful Father and Grandfather.

As long as I live I will always remember the great man he turned out to be. On Remembrance Day, November 11, 1992 I penned the following:

 

I Remember

My Dad.
He never did complain, nor gory details reveal,
But I was old enough to know he kept his wounds concealed.

I Remember.
On parade he wore his black cap with the red chevron on it That signified the FIRST WORLD WAR. He came home from it!
My Dad marched from the Halifax Common, then along the parade route,
Somewhere along the way he gave a salute.
Not many left now from World War One, they’re all leaving us one by one.
So many went over never to return.
Take time to remember them and their job well done.

I Remember.
Then it was World War II. Soldiers marching to the ships.
They sailed to far away shores. They wore shiny boots and knapsack kits.

I Remember.
All those ships anchored in Bedford Basin;
The convoys that sailed when called to hasten.

I Remember those men and women so dear
Who left us at home while they fought over there
They fought for our freedom, they fought for world peace.
PLEASE don’t allow your memory of them to cease!

I Remember.

My Dad, Joseph Henry Smith enlisted in the 1st Div. Ammunition Column, Canadian Expeditionary Force on September 22, 1914. He served in Canada, England and France. He was discharged by reason of Demobilization on March 31, 1919.

 

"Thank You" Grandmother

I never knew my grandmother,
the mother of my dad -
but niether did he know her;
I find that so very sad.

I know dad had a mother,
the fact is, the lady bore a son;
if there were other siblings
alsas, I know not one.

My dad was a "Home Child",
sent away from England's shores -
aboard the steamship "Siberian"
off to Canada's open doors.

My dad fought for Canada
during the years of World War One -
after which, his life took a different course,
he met and married my mom.

So today I thank my grandmother
the one I wish I knew -
if it wasn't for that lady
I couldn't write about my dad for you.

Marilyn J. Hall (Smith)
April 5, 2002

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