John William Benjamin Emptage was 20 when he married Emily Dixon Philpott, 17, in 1876 in Margate. In 1881 they were together with their young daughter but, as far as the records show, that was the last time the family was together and John William had disappeared. What had happened to John and what came next for Emily?
For more than 100 years, child migration schemes removed children from their families and friends and the places they knew. The children were sent to Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Rhodesia. Supposedly to give children with poor lives a better chance, it was also a means of increasing the population of these still new countries. At least three of the children were Emptages.
Ann Phoebe Hopkins was brought up in Canterbury, inland from the Kent coast. So the life she experienced in Margate after she married Alfred Burnett Emptage, a mariner and lifeboat man, was quite different from anything she had experienced previously or could even have imagined.
The full album of Gathering photographs, taken by Andrew Emptage. Enjoy!
People came from near and far, by plane, train and car, for the first Emptage / Emtage Gathering. They came in good humour, with the intention of enjoying themselves and contributing to the success.
It was a truly uplifting experience.
There was no set programme on the Sunday but a number of suggestions for people to visit depending on the time they had available before leaving to make their way home. These included the Viking Ship, St John’s Church and Margate Museum.