Skip to the main content

The Immigration Story of John P. Johnson (British Immigrant)

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.

Country of Origin: 
Port of Arrival: 
Creative Commons: 
Accession Number: 

Story Text: 

Our family left Southhampton on R.M.S Aquitania on the third anniversary of D-Day, June 6th 1947. Perhaps the most vivd recollection of the start of the journey was watching the passengers standing by the railings and throwing their ration books into the sea, once we were well away from the coast of England. I also remember that at that time my Dad still smoked (usually Churchmans #1) and was able to purchase a pack for only 6d., an unheard of price compared to back home.

Our first meal on board was a total shock. We had a menu (which Istill have), there was a choice of main courses etc and unbelievable platfuls of food along with pure white bread. After spending all of the war in London till the 'buzz' bombs started we all found this scene almost unbelievable.

Half way across the Atlantic we were overcome by a wicked storm and a large percentage of the passengers were sick for the next couple of days. Our parents insisted that my sister and I to stay on the upper deck in the fresh air, which resulted in us not missing any of the fantastic meals.

On arrival in Halifax it took us well over 14 hours to disembark from the ship due to some glich at immigration. We collected all our luggage at mid-night and climbed abourd the train headed for Montreal and Toronto. The upper berth was another first, as well as the lights of Quebec City that was another memorable sight. During this trip, on our way to our new life, I remember getting off the train for a break and having my first bottle of Coca Cola.