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Orient Line SS ORONSAY 20,000 Tons

Date: 1924-1942
Overall: 90 x 140 mm
Medium: Photographic print on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Posters and postcards
Object Name: Postcard
Object No: 00003943

User Terms

    This black and white printed postcard features a photographic image of the Orient Liner SS ORONSAY seen from port side, just off land.

    The Orient Line - along with the Aberdeen and Sitmar Lines - transported thousands of child migrants from the UK to Australia until the child migration schemes ended in the 1960s.
    SignificanceThis postcard relates to a significant period in Australia's migration history, when thousands of children and youths emigrated from the UK through various church and philanthropic schemes as labour for rural Australia - all while bolstering the population with 'good British stock'.
    HistoryFrom the 1860s, more than 100,000 children were sent from Britain to Canada, Australia and other Commonwealth countries through child migration schemes. They were sent by charitable and religious organisations, with government support, in the belief that their lives would improve, and that they would provide much-needed labour and increase the population.

    Few were orphans; many came from families who were unable to care for them. The lives of these children changed dramatically and fortunes varied. Some succeeded in creating new futures. Others suffered lonely, brutal childhoods. All experienced disruption and separation from family and homeland. Child migration schemes received criticism from the outset, yet continued until the 1960s.

    Until the early 1960s most child migrants to Australia travelled by sea, sailing on vessels of the Aberdeen, Orient and Sitmar Lines. Names such as STRATHNAVER, ORMONDE, ORONSAY and FAIRSKY still evoke powerful memories for many former child migrants.

    Built for the Orient Line by John Brown & Co of Clydebank, ORONSAY first served the UK - Australia run in 1925. During World War II ORONSAY was requisitioned as a troopship between Australia and Canada in 1939 and in 1940 evacuated British troops from St Nazaire when it was badly damaged by air attack. After repairs ORONSAY returned to service, and in 1942 was torpedoed by an Italian submarine while returning troops from Madagascar to England. ORONSAY sank 800 miles off Monrovia, Liberia. ORONSAY was one of the few Orient Liners to use its emergency sails - engine problems in the Mediterranean resulted in the use of the jib sail - which were gradually being discarded from passenger ships.

    Additional Titles

    Web title: Orient Line SS ORONSAY

    Primary title: Orient Line SS ORONSAY 20,000 Tons

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