In 1986 Margaret Humphreys, a Nottingham social worker, investigated a woman's claim that, aged four, she had been put on a boat to Australia by the British government. At first incredulous, Margaret discovered that this was just the tip of an enormous iceberg. Up to 150,000 children, some as young as three years old, had been deported from children's homes in Britain and shipped off to a 'new life' in distant parts of the Empire, right up until as recently as 1970.
Many were told that their parents were dead, and parents were told that their children had been adopted. In fact, for many children it was to be a life of horrendous physical and sexual abuse far away from everything they knew. Margaret and her team reunited thousands of families before it was too late, brought authorities to account, and worldwide attention to an outrageous miscarriage of justice.
"The secrets of the lost children of Britain may never have been revealed if it had not been for [the actions of] Margaret Humphreys."
Margaret Humphreys is the Director and founder of the Child Migrants Trust, supported by Nottinghamshire County Council. For her services on behalf of the child migrants, she was awarded the Order of Australia - one of only a few Britons ever to have been so honoured, and she was appointed CBE in the 2011 New Year Honours list . She lives in Nottingham with her husband and two children.