PhD research – request for information

I have been asked by a friend who is working on a ground-breaking research project on the files of the Central British Fund (now World Jewish Relief) if we would post her request for help, which follows.

Emily Smith, PhD Student, Royal Holloway, University of London

Request for personal histories

I am currently a PhD research student at Royal Holloway, University of London. My research project focuses on the work of the Central British Fund for German Jewry. Many refugees faced occupational re-adjustment and vocational training, either to prepare them for re-emigration elsewhere, or to fill a gap in the British employment market. One of the ways training was facilitated by the CBF and its partnership committees was through agricultural training farms and employment centres. Some of the known locations of these schemes were Whittingehame Estate (East Lothian, Scotland), Millisle Farm (Belfast), Gwrych Castle (North Wales), Great Engeham Farm (Kent) and Thornham Fold Farm (Manchester). If you or a family member has any connection to these locations or had experience of this kind of vocational training, I would be very grateful to hear from you.

I would be interested to hear and know about any types of vocational training experienced by refugees, or if you have stories relating to occupational re-adjustment, such as domestic service, factory work, or perhaps instances where refugees were able to continue with or set up their own businesses in Britain.

Please do get in touch if the above information resonates with you.

Thank you.

Emily Smith

Please contact Emily directly, at

An apology

My sincere apologies that I haven’t been getting through things as quickly as I’d generally like to: this is because of ongoing serious family illness.

Please bear with me – I will get through all Kitchener messages as soon as I can, although I may not have time to chat as much as I generally like to!

Events and points of interest

Today at 3pm, BBC Radio 4 are broadcasting on the ‘Windermere Boys’: three hundred child Holocaust survivors who were offered rehabilitation and a new life in the Lake District.

This postwar rescue was carried out by people we are becoming more used to hearing about – Leonard Montefiore and the Committee for the Care of Children.

Montefiore, of course, was one of the founders of the CBF.

On Twitter I encountered Holocaust survivor Agnes Grunwald-Spier, who has written a book on Women’s Experiences in the Holocaust: In their own words – a subject I know a number of Kitchener families are interested in, so I thought I’d pass it along: