A woman and two children were the first refugees to reach PEI. Shortly after their arrival in August 1940, they proceeded to Ottawa. Other children soon arrived and after an introductory period were billeted with Islanders who had applied to foster them. Early in October a ship carrying evacuees, including some on their way to PEI, was torpedoed and sunk. In November the plan to bring more children across the dangerous ocean was abandoned.
Nineteen of the twenty-five who came to the province were entertained by the members of the Royal Air Force in Charlottetown at a small party in January 1941. The children ranged in age from six to fifteen. Included at the gathering were George and Albert Newton, ages 13 and 12, who had been living with Mr. & Mrs. H. T. Holman of Summerside since the summer of 1940. George had spoken about their new PEI home in a special address over CHGS radio in October 1940. During the latter part of his stay, he lived with the Burns family on their farm in Freetown.
Also attending the RAF party were Patricia and Doris French. The sisters stayed together in a foster home in Charlottetown until the summer of 1942 when Doris transferred to the rural community of South Rustico. She lived there with the Buntain family. In the fall of 1944, she was placed in Summerside with the Allen family on Summer Street so she could enter Grade Eleven. The French sisters returned to England in the summer of 1945, as did the Newton boys.
Summerside was also a temporary home to Mrs. Robert Hopkirk and her daughter Jean from Glasgow, Scotland. They arrived in the fall of 1940 to live with relatives Mr. & Mrs. Jack Hopkirk who had an apartment at the corner of Granville and Winter Streets. Jeannie Hopkirk was a popular girl at school and friends were sad to see her go home with her mother in May 1945.
Before the war guests left for home, war brides had started to arrive. Some Summerside men while overseas had met and married young English women. A few came to the town to get settled prior to their husband's return. The first was the wife of Private Maurice Perry. She arrived in the spring of 1944. In March of 1945 three war brides in the town attended a dinner held by members of the Red Cross Corps. The IODE on at least one occasion called on a new war bride.
The Journal reported the arrival in April and May 1945 of four other English brides. They were Mrs. R. L. Rogers, Mrs. Edward Gallant, Mrs. Arthur Andrew, and Mrs. William McAleer. Mrs. Ralph Rogers was the former Doris Bowden of Crawley, England and arrived in Summerside with her two-year old daughter Wendy. Like many of the young women who came, Doris lived with her new in-laws while waiting for her husband to return to Canada. Over the next year, several more war brides came to call Summerside home.
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