Outside the Gate

The True Story of a British Home Child in Canada

Between 1869 and 1948, Britain sent more than 100,000 “home children” to Canada to work as indentured farmers and domestics. They were promised a bright future in the land of opportunity, and some managed to make a good life but many were abused, neglected, and reviled by those who took them in. Although most still had families back home, reunification was discouraged.

One of those children was Winnie Cooper. Born in the slums of Scarborough, Yorkshire, in 1908, she was sent at age twelve to Barnardo’s Village Home for Girls near London. Three years later, Winnie was shipped off to a farm in rural Ontario. Nothing back in England had prepared her for working the rough land in Canada, but despite the long days, isolation, and bitterly cold winters, Winnie’s natural wit and cheery disposition helped her find love and friendship. Yet she always dreamed of returning to her mother in Yorkshire.

The story, told by her granddaughter, author Carol Marie Newall, is a family saga of love and loss, pain and joy, as Winnie struggled to find her place in a young inhospitable country. It’s also a revealing portrayal of a troubling chapter in Canadian and British history.

“Family conflict, tragedy, affairs, and mental health issues all make for a captivating read in Outside the Gate, the moving true story of a troubling time in Canadian history.”
Lori Oschefski, CEO of the British Home Children Advocacy and Research Association

book specs

6 x 9, 384 pp.


$24.95 (Paperback)


978-1-988025-82-7 (Paperback)

release date

September 22, 2022

media contact

Rachel Sentes: 1-519-835-7846 rachel@gal-fridaypublicity.com





November 27, 2023

WOW  Orangeville, Ontario. Hosted by Orangeville Library and Booklore.

December 10, 2023

Hillsburgh, Ontario. Hosted by Wellington County Libraries, Hillsburgh Branch.

January 23, 2023

Zoom. Hosted by Halton Genealogical Society.

February 15, 2023Zoom. Hosted by Oakville Historical Society.
February 17, 2023

Hosted by University of Toronto, School of Continuing Studies.

February 23, 2023

Markham Civic Centre, Hosted by University of Toronto, School of Continuing Studies.

March 3, 2023

11 a.m. Rosseau Library, Rosseau, Ont.  Hosted by Seguin Libraries.

March 8, 2023

7 p.m. The Museum on Tower Hill, Parry Sound Ont. Hosted by Parry Sound Genealogy Club.

March 28, 2023

7pm—Zoom. Hosted by Wellington County Genealogical Society.

August 8, 2023

Windermere, Ont. Hosted by Muskoka Chautauqua.

Media Roundup

The Wellington Advertiser, "Historic Novel Depicts Century-old Farm Life in Erin"

Unique Muskoka Magazine, "Local Author Crafts a Riveting Family Tale," by K.M. Wehrstein