War Brides

Thousands of British women found love during the Second World War. American and Canadian troops stationed in Britain during the War gained a reputation as being ‘overpaid, overfed, oversexed and over here’.

British women married these servicemen in huge numbers, with approximately 100,000 wedding Americans and a further 45,000 marrying Canadians. Once the war was over and peace secured the women faced a new challenge.

These women, who often had young children, had to travel with their new husbands back to America or Canada to begin their married life, away from the unreal wartime existence that they had been enduring.

The relocation of thousands of British women was a cause of controversy, not least because they were seen by some as taking the valuable places of homesick servicemen on board ships.

The first ship used for transporting the so-called ‘war brides’ was the S.S. Argentina. 452 war brides made the journey to America aboard her, and can now be seen in the exclusive 1940s Passenger Lists live on ancestorsonboard.

In the Passenger Lists you can find an exceptional level of detail, including the U.K address of the women and the name and address of the American serviceman of whom they were a dependant. Below is an image from the S.S. Argentina List.

Passenger Lists - War Brides

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Search the Passenger Lists now

Conditions on board were deeply unpleasant, many of the women and children had caught a ‘camp fever’ during their stay at an assembly point before sailing. The arduous journey was only the beginning of the adventure for the new brides, and their children.

A long standing legal wrangle in Canada has recently been making headlines, as children of war brides seek to be recognised as Canadian citizens, a right denied them through a change of legislation.


5 Responses to War Brides

  1. For more information about Canadian War Brides go to http://www.CanadianWarBrides.com where you can read all about the amazing history behind one of the most romantic stories of World War Two! http://www.CanadianWarBrides.com is the leading authority on the history of Canadian War Brides of World War Two and is an entirely volunteer effort that was written, researched, designed, developed and paid for without financial assistance from any government body or private agency by War Bride historian / author Melynda Jarratt of Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.

  2. I am a researcher of Canadian War Brides of the First World War. I would love to hear from descendants of these war brides. Check out my site for further information.

  3. The website address for Canadian War Brides of the First World War is http://ww1warbrides.blogspot.com/ (or just click on my name).

  4. I wonder if you could help me I am trying to trace my birth mother called Eileen Mary Cox (single name), I am to understand that she went to the U.S. after marrying an American, but do not know her married name. Is there anyone oout there who could help. as I have been looking for many years.

  5. I am looking for the family of my birth mother Eileen Mary Cox ( single name) I do not know her married name, but am to understand that she went to the U.S. after marrying an American.

    If anyone can help, I will be very obliged.

    Many thanks.

    Eileen Marshall

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