World War I: Displaced Children--France

Figure 1.--The problem of the war orphans continued for years. This little boy's father was an American soldier killed in France during World War I. His Grandmother found him and managed to arrange for him to come to America where she adopted him..

Given the huge casulaties there were as a result of the War virtually millions of children who were orphaned or had lost their fathers--reducing them to poverty. This was the situatin in virtually every major beligerant country, except the United States. The situation was especially severe in France because of the number of Frech casualties--the highest of any combatant country except Russia. Mothers struggled as best they could, often supported by extended families. There were also Government programs to assist struggling mothers. I do not yet have details on these programs. Some widows remairred meaning the children were raised by step fathers. There were also orphaneges for children who had also lost their mothers or whose families could not take care of them. The problem of these children lasted for some time. Here we see a French boy that has just arrived in America, He is 12-year old Pierre C. Waters, a French war orphan. He is with his American grandmother Mrs. Elizabeth Waters. They are just leaving Ellis Islang. Mrs Waters lived in Camillus, N.Y. Technical difficulties arose with the immigration process when Pierre gave his name as Magnon, the name of the stepfather with whom he had been living in France since his mother died. His American father had been killed in World War I. Mrs. Walters found Pierre when she visited France with a group of Gold Star mothers in 1930. (Gold star mothers were mothers who lost their sons in the War. Motherwith soms serving in the military were given blue stars to disply on their windows. If their som was killed, they received a gold star.) Mrs Waters legally adopted her grandson after he arrived in America.


Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Return to Main World War I displaced children country page]
[Return to Main World War I displaced children page]
[Introduction] [Activities] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Clothing styles] [Countries]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [Essays] [FAQs] [Glossaries] [Satellites] [Tools]
[Boys' Clothing Home]

Created: 4:25 AM 11/17/2004
Last updated: 4:25 AM 11/17/2004