Kin Blog

Letters from Britain 3: Child Writers

July 11, 2016
By Sarah Welton

If you have missed the previous Letters from Britain post, you can find it here.

Today's letters come from an official Kin Bulletin dated March 11th, 1943. Hal Rogers, Kin's founder, had this to say about the letters contained: 

Hal's introduction to the packet of letters received for the March 11th, 1943 bulletin

"I am quoting below, as literally as possible, from many of these letters. I wish you could see each of them; see the actual childish writing, or printing, struggling so pathetically to tell you the sincerity of each writer's "Thank You -- Kinsmen". Most of them, obviously, are from little children of 7, 8 or 9 years of age; a few older and some even younger. The spelling is quoted literally. (Incidentally, if your children want to write to any of these please send me their letter and we will address it to the proper address)." 

As stated by Hal himself, many of the letters contained in this package are coming from young children, who were directly influenced by the milk shipments. As head of the National War Services Committee, which was created to oversee Milk for Britain and its related activities, Hal was very involved with all aspects of the campaign. 

The first letter from this bulletin comes from Edward Ellins, at Royal Naval Orphanage: 

A letter from Edward Ellins at the Royal Naval Orphanage

"Dear Little Brother in Canada, 

Thank you very much for the luvely [sic] things you so kindly helped to send us. We think the milk was a wonderful gift and it helps to make us lovely puddings and we also like it in our porridge. Of course I expect you know we cannot get much milk over here just now so we say "thank you" for thinking of us. 

My name is Edward and I am 7 yrs old in March. I like it at school. I live in an Orphanage as my daddy went down in one of the ships. I am very happy here and very soon I shall go to a big boy's school in Kent. Goodbye Little friend - my love to all the other boys." 

Despite living in an orphanage in wartime, its hard to deny the tone of excitement contained in the letter. 

Another letter, coming from a little girl named Jean from a Waifs and Strays Society Nursery at Boston Spa, is addressed "To a Little Girl in Canada. . . .":

A letter from Jean Waters, at a Waifs and Strays Society Nursery at Boston Spa

"Dear Little Girl: I am Jean Waters & I am nearly 5 years old. I shall soon have to go to school. I like your dried milk, we have some with our porridge & blamange* [sic].  Thank you, from Jean." 

*Blancmange is a sweet gelatinous dessert made with cornstarch and milk, similar to a pudding, that is popular in England. 

Through the unfortunate circumstances that many children in England found themselves in during the war, it seems that the milk powder that they received did a lot to help keep their spirits up - as well as the idea of writing back and forth with another child in Canada. 

Milk for Britain definitely had a strong positive impact on these children, wherever they ended up today. 


Questions or comments? Want to know how to get involved? Contact Sarah (