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Innocents Abroad, British Child Evacuees in Australia 1940 – 45

Magnus Taurus, 1994

Innocents Abroad tells the moving, poignant story of British children evacuated to Australia during the Second World War. Drawing on extensive, revealing interviews, Edward Stokes provides powerful insights into the reasoning and issues of the evacuation.



The Canberra Times, 1994

Fated to be separated from their parents and siblings for five long years, the child evacuees’ emotional and psychological scars remain. Edward Stokes has thoroughly researched and written this interesting account of a forgotten niche of history, set into the background of those anguished years.


The Advertiser, 1994

Innocents Abroad recalls the fears and bewilderment of the evacuees’ journey halfway across the world. Edward Stokes, while attempting to keep an objective distance from his subjects, nevertheless is caught up in the emotions of people whose lives were shaped by sudden and catastrophic separation from home.


The Sunday Times, Perth, 1994

Innocents Abroad has already attracted attention because of the questions it raises. Traumatized children have spoken out as adults. Much has been garnered from long, taped interviews by the author. Together with the book’s photographs, Stokes offers an intimate view of the child evacuees’ experiences.



The Catholic Weekly, 1994

Through the skilful interweaving of historical narrative and interview dialogues with a group of fifty men and women, Edward Stokes has created an epic saga of wartime separation. The evacuees’ stories, simply but movingly told, mirror their experiences over fifty years ago and express the whole gamut of emotions.



Australian Bookseller and Publisher, 1994

Drawing on detailed interviews with fifty former evacuees, Edward Stokes seeks to assess the impact on the evacuee children of the years of separation from their parents. He quotes extensively from his moving interviews. Conceived in desperation, the evacuation’s impact was complex and ambiguous. This Edward Stokes very effectively shows.


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