More than a million Britons emigrated to Australia 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 experience and fills a gaping hole in the literature of emigration. The authors, both leading figures in the fields of oral history and migration studies, draw 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 Australia 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. Accessible and appealing, this book will engage readers interested in British and Australian migration history and intrigued about the significance of migrant memories for individuals, families and nations.
"This book presents a brilliantly vivid, informative, sensitive and thoughtful account of the major post-war migration stream to Australia. Because the authors write in an intelligent, lucid and jargon-free manner, this is a book accessible to many."--Steven Constantine, University of Lancaster.
A. James Hammerton is Honorary Research Associate at La Trobe University, Melbourne. Alistair Thomson is Director of the Centre for Continuing Education at the University of Sussex and Reader in Continuing Education and History
List of figures; List of tables; Acknowledgements; List of abbreviations; A note on punctuation of interviews; Introduction; Part I Emigration; 1. Imagining Australia; 2. Leaving Britain; 3. Between two worlds; Part II Britons In Postwar 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 back-packing generation; 9. 'My wayward heart': The British exodus from Australia; Part III Migration, Memory And Identity; 10. Coming 'home'; 11. British Australians: Migration, nationality and identity; Appendix: Statistical summary of project interviews; Bibliography; Index