The Besford Boys was a name given to a group of North East children who were sent by Sunderland Council in the 1940s and 50s to attend schools run by the Roman Catholic Church.
Boys as young as seven were sent hundreds of miles to the harsh boarding schools of St Joseph’s in Sambourne and Besford Court in Worcestershire.
Later in life they found scrupulous records had been kept in the archives of St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham.
In a television programme made by ITV Tyne Tees fifty years later, Besford Boys from Sunderland spoke out for the first time about their experiences, went there to read about their childhood, and are seen making an emotional journey to the boarding school they attended 50 years ago.
BFI: Besford Boys (2004)↗
Evening Chronicle: A school of hard knocks↗, 11 March 2004.
Northern Echo: Seeking justice for ‘abuse’↗, 7 September 2007.