This film is held by the BFI (ID: 504210).


The work of the Child Emigration Society in helping children from slum areas in Britain move to Australia and learn a new life. Includes slum scenes, the departure and arrival of a group of children, conditions at the Fairbridge Farm in Western Australia and a visit by the Duke and Duchess of York (later George VI and Queen Elizabeth). Scenes out of order.

Rl.1. Main title and credit (14). "The Society's main aim is to relieve overcrowding in British towns and cities and to supply British population to the Dominions that need it, by taking out poor children and by educating them in the Dominions for agriculture and other useful employment." (41). "Kingsley Fairbridge, the founder, a child of South Africa, first Rhodesian Rhodes Scholar at Oxford - a champion boxer - conceived this great Empire idea." (53). Photograph of Fairbridge (60). "By the way, have you read "The Autobiography of Kingsley Fairbridge"? It is a wonderful book." (66). "The following passage from the chapter "A Reminder" is typical of this practical idealist." (74). ""I saw little children shedding the bondage of bitter circumstances....I saw waste turned to providence, the waste of uneeded humanity converted to the husbandry of unpeopled acres"..... ...Kingsley Fairbridge" (93). "Shall we start with" (98). "A typical British slum; the smokey skies, the brick horizons over the asphalt playgrounds, a drab outlook for the children." (113). MS of upper levels of a slum showing a street sign - Loom Street SE - and people at windows (126). LS of the street showing children in the street and women seated on the steps of the houses. A sign for a mission hall can be seen (145). Two old men and a woman outside the doorway to their house (151). Two women seated on the pavement outside their house, they are joined by a group of children who pose for the camera (159). View down the street as children play in the street (165). "These little chilren, fallen under the deadly wasting influence of slum life, can be helped along with others who, through varied circumstances, are "unwanted"" (179). Further slum streets, childrens' heads in foreground (188). The street with the mission hall sign, children play with a cart (199). A large group of children and some adults outside the shabby `Galton Fish Restaurant' on Mill Road Street (205). Another slum street (212). Boys and girls play cricket in the street (227). Slum street scene (234). "The Child Emigration Society takes out children before they have acquired "the hard shell of habit" and before their physique has become lowered by adverse conditions." (248). An alley way off a street, young children play in the alley and are joined by older children (262); the same children playing `ring a ring a roses' or a chase game with joined hands (275). View along back of tenement building, residents (?) stand on a staircase leading to the doorway (281). "They are recruited by the Child Emigration Society, passed by sympathetic examiners of the Australian Government as physically and mentally fit, and sail to Western Australia where they begin at once to tread the path of self-respecting citizenship." (302). "The headquarters of the Child Emigration Society at Savoy House in The Strand, London, W.C.2." (311). "Here the children are equipped for the voyage, given a new outlook on life and entertained by the Agent-General for Western Australia before embarking on their great adventure." (325). HAS of Western Australia Government house in the Strand; the signs for the house on the window and the swan emblem can clearly be seen (342). "At Waterloo, a party leaving for Australia" (346). A woman leads a group of boys and girls along the platform to camera (368); the lined-up children cheer and wave their hats then board the train (376). MS five girls looking out of a third-class carriage window (383); CS same (390); CU one of the girls (396); similar scenes featuring boys (412). The children waving from their windows (the train is not seen leaving the station) (431). "Arriving at Southampton Docks" (434). The children alight from the train (449). The children gather on the dockside by a gangplank and cheer (461). Views of the children walking up the gangplank waving their hats (499); on the deck of the ship (506); looking over the side to a four-funnelled liner (528). "Kit inspection" (531). A boy shows the contents of his duffle bag while surrounded by the other children (544). CU of same girl on train (552); and of boy (566). Two older members of the group hold up a lifebuoy while two young children put their heads through (578). "The anchor's weighed! Good-bye to Old England!" (581). [Missing sequence - film out of order see Rl. 2. 704ft] ""Show a leg" in the morning early" (585). Boys sleeping in a dormitory; pyjama-clad boys runs in and wake them (602). Boys and girls gather outside a two-storey, clapperboard building and file in (617). Interior scenes of the dining room as a table of boys eat lunch (626). "The principal - Colonel Heath - drilling the boys." (632). MLS Colonel Heath banging a drum watched by two young boys; in the background a group of boys march to the beat of the drum (641). The boys drill on a chalk-lined grid. HAS and CS of the boys exercising, sometimes with flags; performing cartwheels and basic gymnastics etc (803). A line of boys falls on all fours, more boys climb on their backs and form a pyramid four high. The pyramid deliberatly collapses onto mattresses; the boys laughing. Repeat of same from the side (856). "The School buildings, where young impressionable minds receive all the essentials of education necessary to fit them for community life in this Country of Great Promise." (872). Pan along classrooms as children gather outside; a group of boys playfully fight (890). "The morning rush to school." (894). Two young boys bang on a gong; in the background children rush along a path; further scenes of children running along paths to school; a group of boys walks along while some perform cartwheels (950). View from class door as girls enter (953). Girls in the class room (dark picture) (989). "Plying the needle." (991). Girls sewing at their desks (dark picture) (1036). "Boys at manual training." (1040). Boys at a woodwork class (dark picture) (1062). "The play hour." (1064). Boys and girls emerge from classroom (1118). A girl plays with a bat and ball watched by others (1128); boys playing tennis (1144). "All boys and girls learn to swim at Fairbridge." (1156). Boys, in one-piece bathing suits jump into and splash about in a river (1188). Girls in similar costumes splash about in the river (1226). "The merry May-pole Dance." (1230). Three maypoles at which girls perform the dance with long thick streamers (1257). "Girls "tripping the light fantastic toe"". (1262). Girls exercise in a circle (1269); dance lessons (in the open air) (1224); girls playing hockey (1304); younger girls in the garden (1316); young boys sitting close together reading comics (one reads `Chums') while a boy tries to play a harmonica (1363); boys playing cricket (1395); football (1417); and Australian rules football (1452). Two boys chop wood while a man brings them another branch to chop (1462).

Rl. 2. "Everywhere there is a feeling of immense space, room to grow and to expand, in a climate where sunshine is plentiful and no overcrowding blocks the rays." (14). "Studies in "working" sheep." (17). Sheep herding scenes, on foot and with dog (81). A boy separates sheep in a pen (111). "The fruit crops: a wonderful fruit growing climate." (118). A farmer and three boys hoeing crops; pan right to boys collecting fruit from bushes (139). "In the strawberry-beds." (141). A farmer organises children to collect strawberries; the children collecting strawberries (174). A boy works on a fly-wheel generator (?) in the open air; he looks up and smiles (180). "Off to the hayfield." (183). A boy drives a dray through the farm yard (200). In a hayfield boys turn over the hay for drying; loading hay onto a horse-drawn wagon; loading hay into a barn (257). "Chaff-cutting." (259). LS and MS of boys passing hay to farmer who pushes it into a machine; two boys collect the grain in a sack (301). "Helping to make the 350 loaves needed everyday." (307). CU and MS of boy kneading two loaves of bread (335). "Making scones in the big kitchen." (340). Girls, under supervision, make scones (380). "The weekly washing: girls taught to be efficient laundry maids." (387). Girls carry baskets to the washing lines and hang up the clothes to dry (412); collecting the dry washing (417). ""SNAPSHOTS"" AT THE VILLAGE FAIR. FAIRBRIDGE FARM SCHOOL." (424). Inspection of girl guides (433); boys and girls dressed in their Sunday best (449); two boy scouts, one large and one small, eat icecream (464); scouts walk to camera (469); two girls drinking from a bottle (480); children crowd around a stall (487); CU girl with umbrella; MS and CU older girl dressed up with parasol (500). "Off to the sea-side holiday camp at Mandurah." (514). Boys run with luggage to lorry, clamber aboard and are waved off (547). LS camp (pitched tents) at Mandurah beach (576); scenes in the camp; girls on the beach (585); girls rushing into water and swimming (591); beach scenes - sandcastle competition (?) (599); two boys building an aeroplane from sand (607); lots of boys and girls collecting firewood (631); women preparing food - slices of bread (637); MS four children smiling (652); pan of the camp (662); beach scenes and swimming (669); pan of volunteers at the camp (?) men and women (690). "For some of them, four years have come and gone since they first enjoyed the fun of the swimming pool. They would be old enough now to slip out of our reach and become part of their black background." (704) (this intertitle is repeated at Rl. 3. 619). "The anchor's weighed! Good-bye to Old England!" (708). CU of ship's name - Largs Bay (712). The ship leaving dock; with views of the children on the side (768); pan along ship as tugs take her out to sea (786). "They will enliven the other passengers as little boys and girls always do. The commanders take a keen interest in Fairbridge children." (795). "A six week's voyage of 12,000 miles, with calls at Port Said and Colombo, bridges the gap between Southampton and Fremantle, W. Australia" (812). "Landing on the other side of the world." (816). Children run down the gangplank (832). "Each child sports the badge and coloured tie of the Fairbridge Farm School. Each has a new kit box and new clothes for the country life in this land of sunshine." (844). The children assemble on the dockside and are lead off waving their hats and cheering (864). Map of Australia highlighting Albany and a route to Bruce Rock (874). "The Fairbridge Farm School." (878). Pan of landcsape showing the farm and school buildings (917). "After a 60 mile motor-ride to the new Home, they are welcomed by the Big Family. Three hundred young British Australians greet the new members" (934). Arrival of a lorry carrying the new members; they are greeted by cheering children (955). "Meeting the principal and their new house-mothers." (961). The new children clamber down from the lorry and are met by the principal (a man) and crowd around their new house-mother (983). "At the Fairbridge Farm School the boys and girls grow - as children of the country, remember. So that in their sixteenth year they enter agricultural and domestic service." (998). "And find it interesting and fascinating where the adult migrant so often finds strangness and difficulty." (1009). Lorry pulls up at the children's new home (1029). "The children live in small cottages, each containing 14 boys or girls. Under the care of a selected cottage mother - a home with its own little garden." (1039). A large house with Australian flags hanging from the windows (1054). Children waving from a balcony (1060). Boys walking through a garden (1079). A group of boys stand in the trackway leading to a cottage and smile at the camera (1102). "The "Guest House", a model of hospitality, comfort and neatness, looks down on many pleasure pilgrimages to the stream bordering it's (sic) garden." (1114). Children walk through the garden to the guest house (1124); view from a window of the house (1135). "The Fairbridge estate covers 3,5000 acres, nearly half of which is under cultivation. Veiw (sic) of Mardon Fields." (1144). Pan fields with crops; cottages in the background; boys working in the fields hoeing and ploughing (1202). "Tree-felling contractors at work clearing the virgin land." (1207). Man chops down a tree (1228). View of partially cleared land (1239); burning and clearing the dead trees (1263).

Rl. 3. "Improving the Village and Cottage surroundings, road levelling." (8). Boys clearing soil with shovels and loading it onto a horse-drawn cart (25). "The bush country being made into a garden. Clearing scrub." (31). Boys with a winch and pulley haul down a tree (48); boys burning tree debris (66). "Team work in cultivating the land." (69). Boys ploughing with horses (84). MS boy harnessing a horse (93); ploughing and harrowing scenes (149). "The kitchen garden." (152). Boys weeding in the garden (176). "Hoeing potatoes. All farm work is done under skilled supervision." (183). Boys hoeing and supervised by man (207). Digging up potatoes; collecting them into sacks; more hoeing (282). "The dairy cattle." (285). Shot of cattle in fields (324). Boys collect corn stalks (or sugar cane?); piling it onto carts and feeding it to the cattle (404). Cattle entering the milking parlour (417). MS of boys milking cows; heads of cows poking through a fence as they are fed (454). "Our champion prize bull." (457) The bull is led by the nose from a field (479). Cows in a field (501). "Other friends." (503). Other farms animals including; horses (548); and pigs (619). "For some of them, four years have come and gone since they first enjoyed the fun of the swimming pool. They would be old enough now to slip out of our reach and become part of their black background." (625). Pan of back view of slum tenements, children stand on roof of outhouse looking at the camera. In the foreground a number of women stand amongst rubbish from the slums (637). "Colonel Heath with Mrs Heath and Miss Dennehy - the "After-Care" Officer, bidding farewell to equipped youth "going out" into the world, badges - "Old Fairbridgian" are presented by the Principal." (659). Colonel Heath, the Principal (with only one arm) presents badges to two girls and a boy they bid farewell (701). "Fairbridge is always their home, to which they can turn for helpful and sympathetic advice and where they are always welcome on annual holiday." (71). School van arrives and a man and woman are greeted by the principal (748). "Old Fairbridgians come to be married from their home - The Fairbridge Farm School." (757). MS of newly-weds; they get into a car which is pushed off by boys (793). "The "After-Care" Officer travels to and fro wherever Fairbridge boys and girls are settled in occupations. Miss Dennehy travelled over 9,000 miles to see "after-care" protegees last year." (816). Still photographs of Miss Dennehy with boy, farmer and family (832-839); Miss Dennehy with a married couple with baby (both Old Fairbridians) (854-861); a man with horses (875-882). Man feeding horses in field (892). "His Wheat Farm. Short snaps of rolling, burning off, ploughing, harvesting, bagging, carting and heading for the seaboard." (902). Land clearing scenes: rolling - a large drum is rolled across brush growth by horses (914); burning the brush (926); ploughing and harvesting of wheat scenes; the grain is put in sacks and on to carts where it is taken for storage (992). "A Royal Visit to the Farm School. The Arrival of the Duke and Duchess of York." (1017). [The Duke and Duchess of York, later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited Perth 17/5/1927]. The royal couple arrive to cheers from the children; inspection of the cottages; entertained by the children; presentation of gifts for Princesss Elizabeth; departure of the couple including CU of the Duchess (1322). Intertitles of support for Fairbridge Farm from The Duke of York (1091-1106); and the Prince of Wales (later Edward, Duke of Windsor) (1322-1353). Appeals for members to help with the Society's work (1406). "The End" (1412) (4137ft).




Technical Data

Film Gauge (Format):
35mm Film
4137 ft

Production Credits

Production Countries:
Great Britain
Child Emigration Society
Production Company
Topical Film Company