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

St Martin's Home For Boys, Surbiton

Photograph of St Martin's Home For Boys, Surbiton

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St Martin's Home For Boys, Surbiton

Cadogan Road (out of Maple Road), Surbiton, Surrey

(1898 - 1916)

In the early 1880s it became clear to Edward Rudolf that many of the poorest children were not receiving satisfactory medical treatment. At this time in Britain's history, there was very little state funded provision for those who suffered illnesses. Mr Rudolf believed that the problem could only be solved with action from corporate bodies, and that the Waifs and Strays' Society should expand its work into this area.

In 1887 Rudolf launched a fundraising campaign as a memorial to Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee. This proved successful and St Nicholas' Home for Boys in Tooting was opened in 1887. The Home moved to Byfleet in 1893. St Martin's Home for Boys in Surbiton opened during 1898. St Martin's could accommodate 21 boys, aged 8-14. The boys were trained as tailors, to help them find employment in later life.

Due to the need for more places, the Society decided to move the Surbiton Home to a purpose-built hospital in Pyrford. This became St Martin's Orthopaedic Hospital And Special School, which opened in 1916. The old Surbiton building was re-opened as St Cecilia's Home for Girls.

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