More than a million Britons emigrated to Australian between the 1940s and
1970s. They were the famous 'ten pound Poms' and this is their story.
Illuminated by the fascinating testimony of migrant life histories, this is the
first substantial history of their experiences and fills a gaping hole in the
literature of emigration.
The authors, both leading figures in the fields of oral and migration
studies, draws upon a rich life history archive of letters, diaries, personal
photographs and hundreds of oral history interviews with former migrants,
including those who settled in Australian and those who returned to Britain.
They offer original interpretations of key historical themes including:
motivations for emigration; gender relations and the family dynamics of
migration; the 'very familiar and awfully strange' confrontation with the new
world; the anguish of homesickness and return; and the personal and national
identities of both settlers and returnees, fifty years on.
This easy to read book will engage readers interested in British and
Australian migration history, and those intrigued about the significance of
migrant memories for individuals, families and nations.
List of Figures
List of Tables
List of Abbreviations
A Note on Punctuation of Interviews
Part 1: Emigration
1. Imagining Australia
2. Leaving Britain
3. Between Two Worlds
Part 2: Britons in Post-war Australia
4. Strangers on the Shore
5. 'Butlins Without the Laughs': Life on the Hostel
6. An Australian Working Life
7. Suburban Dreams and Family Realities: Making a Home in Australia
8. Ten Pound Pioneers of the Backpacking Generation
9. 'My Wayward Heart': The British Exodus from Australia
Part 3: Migration, Memory and Identity
10. Coming 'Home'
11. British Australians: Migration, Nationality and Identity
Appendix: Statistical Summary of Project Interviews
'It wasn't until I read this wonderful book that I realised how little has been
written on the experiences of the British postwar emigrants to Australia. My own
vivid recollection of arriving as an 11 year old in our new home on a bleak July
day in 1959 and the subsequent experiences could well have come from the pages
of this book. Before long I was transported back to the austere concrete and
corrugated iron of the migrant hostel - a familiar yet somehow strange
experience of life in a far corner of the British Empire. This is a 'must read'
for anyone who shared this emigration experience of whose families were part of
it. - Mike Brady, musician and broadcaster