Brides on the Move

Rerun. Sometimes termed ‘The Diaper Run’ due to the large number of babies on-board, the S.S. Argentina set sail from Southampton to New York City on 26th January, 1946 – transporting 456 ‘War Brides’ and their 170 children from Britain to the USA.

Each was permitted to bring 200lb of luggage, and faced an uncertain future on arrival in the States – some reuniting with their one true love; others finding themselves shacked up with in-laws who resented their existence.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explain how this historic crossing triggered a change in U.S. immigration policy; examine the appeal of clean-cut American servicemen to working-class British women; and recall the much-forgotten additional passenger – ‘the War Groom’…

Further Reading:

G.I. Brides Sail (Pathe 1946):

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The Retrospectors are Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina & Arion McNicoll, with Matt Hill.

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