Hidden Lives Revealed. A virtual archive - children in care 1881-1981 * Image of handwritten text

Case 9059

Case number: 9059




Year of birth: 1896
Home: Belbroughton Home For Girls; Holy Cross Lodge For Girls, Clent


At the time of this application E. was living with her widowed mother and younger sister, her father having died aged 68, of "old age and hard work". E's mother was 20 when she married her husband who was then 65. He had grown up children by his first wife. He was a "good steady labourer" who did his best to work despite poor health, but things were difficult for him and he died in considerable want. Life was a struggle for E's mother as she had only occasional days charring [cleaning] or work in the gardens. Although she was respectable, had been good to her husband and was kind and affectionate to the children, she was thriftless and dirty and no-one was keen to employ her for long. She and the children were often dependent on the kindness of neighbours to keep them from starving: the previous winter they had suffered much as they had not enough clothes and were nearly starved. They faced going into the Workhouse for the next winter unless the children could be taken into a Waifs and Strays' Society Home. If the children were looked after the mother would be able to go into service: she already had the offer of a good place. E. was received into the Belbroughton Home on 17 July 1902. Her mother had wanted her to go to this Home as it was near the family home in Upton on Severn and would enable her to visit her daughter more easily. E. remained at Belbroughton until 9 May 1910 when she was transferred to the Holy Cross Home in Clent. She was placed in service in Berkhamsted on 2 November 1912 and after a month's trial her mistress decided to keep her.

Keywords: Poverty

Items: 1. Application to the Waifs and Strays' Society 17 June 1902
2. Letter from Mrs C. H. Pode expressing pleasure that the Society will accept E. 1 July 1902
3. Notice of discharge 9 December 1912
4. Letter from the Holy Cross Home about E. 9 December 1912
5. Copy letter from the Society seeking to confirm dates 13 December 1912
6. Card from the Holy Cross Home confirming that E. left the Home in November and was engaged permanently a month later 17 December 1912

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