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The Immigration Story of Elizabeth Brenda Evans Lawrence (English War Bride)

The Museum reviews and accepts donated personal or family memories and histories into its collection. As a learning institution, the accounts help us understand how individuals recollect, interpret, or construct meaning from lived experiences. The stories are not modified by Museum staff. The point of view expressed is that of the author and not that of the Museum.

Category: 
Culture : 
Country of Origin: 
Port of Arrival: 
Date of Arrival: 
May 3 1945
Language: 
English
Creative Commons: 
CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
Accession Number: 
S2012.319.1

Story Text: 

Brenda Evans Lawrence left South end Essex on April 23, 1945 for London to stay overnight in a hostel with other War Brides and their children who were waiting to board the RMS Scythia from Liverpool. Brenda and the other War Brides had to travel by train to get to Liverpool where they boarded the RMS Scythia to begin their journey to Canada. The Captain of the RMS Scythia was a very nice man who looked after all who were on the boat. His passengers not only included War Brides, but the Navy, Army, and Royal Canadian Air Force. There were men wounded in battle and some in coffins.

On this particular journey, the Captain had to avoid the German U-boats that were following the Scythia across the Atlantic Oceans. The Captain had very little rest, which made it even more difficult to navigate through the hostel waters. The trip took 12-13 days and the Scythia made an impromptu diversion in the warm sun of Bermuda in order to lose the Germans submarines that were hot on the trail. After the long trip, the ship docked safely at Pier 21. The stewardess said to the passengers: Now I want you to thank your Captain for getting you here safely. The passengers realized the dangerous trip that they had been a part of. The Captain after a long journey stood and hugged each passenger to wish them well on their new life in Canada. The boat arrived safely to Pier 21 on May 3, 1945.

Elizabeth Brenda Evans began her new life in Calgary, Alberta on May 8, 1945 after a long train ride to meet her husband's (Norman Lawrence) parents, Fred and Laura. However, Norman was still stationed in Borden, England at an ICBW (First Canadian Base Workshop). Norman later arrived in early September just before the birth of their first child out of the five they would have together. Brenda and Norman have been married for 55 years, live in Calgary, Alberta, and have eight grandchildren. We thank all those War Brides who have made Canada rich by their presence.

Sincerely,
The Lawrence, Hern and Crowder Family