Sunday, 20 November 2016

Traumatic start to war bride voyage to Canada

Seventy years ago today, 20 November 1946, 900 wives and 300 children of Canadian servicemen bound for Halifax, Nova Scotia, left Liverpool on the Empire Brent. They didn't get far. Their ship, 13,959 tons, collided in the foggy dawn light with the Stormont, 1,031 tons, mid-river in the Mersey. The Empire Brent returned for repairs. Most of the 210 head of cattle and horses on the Stormont, many thrown into the water, did not survive.
The Canada-bound women and children disembarked at Birkenhead and returned by train to transit accommodation in London, some to their parental homes.


The Empire Brent was repaired and carried most of the same passengers to Halifax arriving on 15 December.
Some first-hand accounts by war brides on that voyage are at www.pier21.ca/wp-content/uploads/files/research_war_brides.pdf
A group from that voyage, 31 war brides and 17 children, were destined for Ottawa and area, one of the largest war bride groups to come to the Ottawa valley. Do you know of any of their subsequent history?

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