Media & Publications

Lost Children of the Empire by Philip Bean and Joy Melville book cover

'The secrets of the Lost Children of Britain may never have been revealed if it had not been for Margaret Humphreys' Sunday Times

Lost Children of the Empire & The Leaving of Liverpool

The Child Migrants Trust's first book, 'Lost Children of the Empire', written by Philip Bean and Joy Melville, was published in 1989.

This is a useful guide to the mixed motives behind child migration – 'this inhuman chapter in British history'. It provides moving accounts of the lives of former child migrants in different countries and includes many photographs and vivid oral history.

'Lost Children of the Empire' takes its name from the television documentary, screened in Britain, Australia and other major centres of child migration. This, in turn, inspired the award-winning ABC/BBC television mini-series 'The Leaving of Liverpool'. This can be watched here (note, this is only suitable for audiences aged 15 and above).

The book is now out of print but is still available from libraries, or second-hand copies can sometimes be found online.

Empty Cradles / Oranges and Sunshine

Empty Cradles, written by the Trust’s founder Margaret Humphreys, was published in 1994 when the Trust's funds were under threat. It became a best-seller and the royalties enabled CMT's vital work reuniting families to continue. A copy of the book was presented to the Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown at their respective public Apologies.

The book was reissued as 'Oranges and Sunshine' to coincide with the film in 2011.

"Brought tears to my eyes. It is impossible to read Empty Cradles without thinking 'These could be my parents. These could be my children.' ...Despite the sadness and anger at its centre, hope remains the principal message of this remarkable book."Terry Waite, The Times

Empty Cradles by Margaret Humphreys book cover
Oranges & Sunshine film poster

Oranges & Sunshine

Emily Watson plays Margaret Humphreys in Jim Loache’s adaptation of Empty Cradles for the big screen. The trailer can be watched below:

'It is a story that defies belief'The Independent

'A modern Florence Nightingale' Sydney Morning Herald