Charles Henry Johnson





















Henry Charles Johnson After a short stay in the Gloucester Union Workhouse, Henry Charles "Charlie" Johnson was sent to the Barnardo Organization at age 11 with recommendations from the Workhouse that he be prepared for emigration to Canada. He sailed to Canada on the S S Tunisian, never again to see his Father, a local Lamplighter, nor his Mother who despite being alive were unable to continue to provide for Charlie and his brothers and sisters. Upon arrival in Quebec City on June 23, 1912 he then boarded a train for Toronto. At age 12 he was sent to work on a farm in Tilbury, Ontario. Charlie joined two other Barnardo Boys at the farm of Thomas Hornick. Charlie was a hard and diligent worker. His days were long and conditions difficult, yet Charlie managed to carry on and do his best. He remained on the farm until he was 18. Being of strong character, Charlie was determined to reconnect with his true family. He often thought of them when he heard his favourite songs, "Oh My Papa' and 'The Old Lamplighter'. This reminded Charlie of his childhood days when he accompanied his Father as he lit the evening lamps throughout Gloucester. Charlie was able to reconnect with his brother Jack and this led to connecting with all of his siblings. Truly a most unlikely outcome for most Barnardo children. Charlie remained in Canada and his brother Jack joined him later upon his emigration. Charlie married twice, had 5 daughters and lived out his life in Windsor, Ontario, as a successful businessman. Despite what appeared to be a Barnardo success story on the outside, Charlie lived an emotionally tortured life on the inside. A true testament to a man of strong character and determination.