British Home Children

The 28th September is British Home Child Day in Canada. This is a day to remember those children sent to Canada from the children’s homes and charities in the United Kingdom between 1869 and 1948. Over 100,000 were sent to be indentured farm workers or domestics and we know of 17 British Home Children originally from the Solihull district (births in the Solihull registration district also included places such as Yardley and Acocks Green at the time).

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2nd December 1915

There is a discrepancy in records as regards the age of Squadron Sergeant MajorĀ William Bloomer, who died on 2nd December 1915 whilst serving with the 3rd Regiment, Canadian Mounted Rifles. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists his age at death as 42, suggesting a birth year of 1873. However, an announcement in the newspaper gives his age as 40, which fits with census returns, and gives a suggested birth year of 1875:

Information has been received in Birmingham that Squadron-sergeant-major William Bloomer, of the 3rd Canadian Mounted Royal Rifles, has been killed in action in France. He was the second son of Mr and Mrs Giles T. Bloomer, of Dorridge, and was forty years of age.
Birmingham Daily Mail, 11th December 1915
However, Canadian records give his date of birth as 11th December 1879. All records agree that he was born in Halesowen, and that his father was Giles Thomas Bloomer.

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