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The Immigration Story of Georgina Dort (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.

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My name is Georgina Elizabeth Dort (my maiden name was Andrews). I was 18 years of age when I came to Canada. I arrived at Pier 21 Halifax, Nova Scotia on the 30th October 1946. I had embarked from the ship “Letitia” which had taken 10 days to cross the Atlantic from Liverpool, England. We came around Newfoundland and then up to Halifax. I was one of thousands of British War Brides who had married Canadian Servicemen in the Second World War. I had come from Birmingham, England, although I was born in Abertillery, South Wales. My mother was Welsh, my father English. I had four brothers and two sisters. We were a very close family. We had caring parents and a good home, which I am grateful for to this day. My husband’s name was William Joseph Dort, he was from Canso, Nova Scotia and he served in the royal Canadian Army Medical Corps. He was in England, Holland and Germany in the Canadian General Hospitals. In England, he was at the 19th General Hospital, Marston Green, Warwickshire outside of Birmingham. Sometime some of the shell shock patients had to be taken to Basingstoke and Taplow, for further treatment, which was outside London. They were taken by ambulance. One day the ambulance nearly had a direct hit from a V2 bomb, which the Germans were sending over by remote control. There were V1’s and V2’s. They were supposed to finish us off. My husband had a cousin who came through the 19th General Hospital. His name was Buster Kelly. He was also from Canso. He was 18 years of age and had his leg off. It happened in the Italian Campaign. I was in the British Red Cross so I had the chance to meet Buster in the hospital. I must mention another Canso war veteran, Howard Avery, who was in the North Nova Regiment who was in the D-Day landing and was in the thick of the fighting. Howard passed away a few weeks ago. He was a friend of husband’s from boyhood. Howard and his wife Thelma were the first people to befriend me when I arrived in Canso, over the years they have never changed. Bill and I had a daughter, Evelyn Shirley, a son, James Edward William, and a Grandson, Andrew Thomas. James and Andrew are both teachers and they both worked hard to get through University to get their degrees. All through University they were both on the Dean’s List. There is only three years age difference between James and Andrew so they are like brothers. My daughter was widowed when Andrew was 9 years old. I wish things had been better for her but she has been a good mother and daughter. My husband passed away in 1982, we all miss him very much. Although I married a young man, who was a long way from home and with a different upbringing to myself. I was from the second largest city in Britain, and Bill from a fishing community; I never regretted the vow we took at St. Thomas Moores Church, Sheldon, Birmingham, England on the 22nd June 1946. I treasure his memory and all the young men and women who served in the Second World War and our parents who’d already been through the First World War. I must give mention to the men of the Merchant Marines who kept our lifeline open in the Atlantic and who were in constant danger. Although I say men, some were little more than youths.
To all the British War Brides
My admiration for your courage and determination to “Stand by Your Man” against all odds.