Small book, titled 'A Guide A Comforter' Birthday Book, bound in red leather, printed by Eyre and Spottiswoode, London. Compiled by M.A. Wilson, the book is a collection of 365 bible passges, one for each day of the year. According to the preface, the book is designed to offer comfort and guidance to the reader throughout the year. Each day has an accompaning section where birthdays can be recorded.This book was presented to Mary Needham (later Ward) by 'Winsome' and Mary brought it with her to Australia when she migrated in 1961.

Part of a large collection of material relating to the migration and settlement of British migrants to Australia in the 1960s under the 'Bring Out a Briton' Scheme. It documents in particular both the migration experiences of James and Mary Ward and their three children who arrived in Melbourne on the 'TSS Stratheden' from Yorkshire in December 1961; and the Burke Road East Malvern Methodist Church's sponsorship of a number of English families, including the Wards, under the Scheme. The Church's support included temporary accommodation for assisted families in a neighbouring house. The 'Bring Out a Briton' Scheme (1957-1982) was part of a Commonwealth Government initiative which offered subsidised ship fares, accommodation and support to encourage migration from the UK to Australia after World War II.

Physical Description

Small book bound in red linen, with gilt-edged pages and gold lettering on the cover. Handwritten inscription in black ink on the back of the half-title page, and various bithday entries.


The Ward/Barlow Families collection is of national significance in documenting British assisted migration to Australia post-World War II. The collection provides a comprehensive snapshot from the commencement to completion of a British assisted migration experience and illuminates post-war immigration policies and procedures which favoured British immigration into Australia.

The collection of almost 400 items comprises a unique body of documentation with intersections between personal, community and government narratives that explore British post-World War II assisted migration. It includes photographs, personal correspondence, documents and objects offering a rare glimpse into the role of the Australian and British governments, Methodists Church sponsorship and community engagement in assisting and welcoming British immigrants to Australia. Assisted British migration was a constant theme of Australian immigration history until the early 1980s. Government initiatives such as the 'Bring Out A Briton' scheme had an enormous impact on the composition and size of the Australian population, making the Ward/Barlow collection of broad social and political historical significance.

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