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

Case 9649

Case number: 9649
Application year: 1903




Year of birth: 1899
Home: Calthorpe Home For Girls, Handsworth


W's mother was severely ill treated by her husband who drank. He was sent to prison because of his violent behaviour but on his release was worse than before. W's mother obtained a separation order and was granted custody of her 2 children. The father refused to pay maintenance and was imprisoned for this; he then disappeared completely. W's mother was living with her mother who would look after the children while her daughter was at work. One of the incidents prompting an application to the Waifs and Strays' Society was the death of W's grandmother which meant that the child's mother was unable to work, her children being so young. If one child was found a place in a Home it was felt the mother could earn enough to keep herself and the remaining child. W. was received into the Calthorpe Home, Handsworth, Birmingham in June 1903. Unfortunately she was always delicate and she died from liver disease, aged 14, on 23 April 1914. [Death rates among children and young people were far higher at this time than they are today, with our improved medical care].

Keywords: Abandonment; Abuse; Alcohol abuse; Crime; Grandparents; Health; Prison; Behaviour; Custody; Maintenance

Items: 1. Application to Waifs and Strays' Society 23 May 1903
2. Extract of a letter from Miss Heaton 3 June 1903
3. Letter from the wife of the Incumbent of St George's, Edgbaston 10 June 1903
4. Letter from Mrs Elsie Clendon, Honorary Secretary of the Calthorpe Home 9 April 1914
5. Copy letter from Revd Edward Rudolf 14 April 1914
6. Copy of W's death certificate April 1914

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