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

Story of my Life

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Old boys of the Croydon Home

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John B - The story of my life before I was brought to the children's society

I have now been promoted to Senior Leader. I wish my mother knew. It's a shame my father wasn't awake to see it. He's in a coma. 13 years, it's been gong on. He's been asleep exactly half my life. I'm 26.

As my life goes on every achievement is like a failure, because my family aren't there to witness it. I've always liked being praised. My childhood used to be full of it. I'm very glad I'm doing something with my life. I came from a poor family.

I've always liked the army. It had been hard during the first few years but I learned to enjoy it. My injuries made me stronger, and helped me to pull through. It has always been hard, living rough, but at last I'm doing something that satisfies me.

Tonight was going to be the awards ceremony. We weren't meant to be told what awards we were going to collect, but my major was too excited to keep it bottled inside him.

He took me to his office and told me to act surprised when I won my award for senior leader. There were going to be three other senior leaders in the same unit but the major didn't tell them. I'd like to think he told me because we get along very well.

It was an hour before the ceremony. I couldn't wait. We all had ready made suits hanging by a hook, with our name tags on.

As I'm getting changed, I think of my parents. I can't help it. Whenever anything goes right for me, I think of them. Maybe I became too attcached to them in my childhood. I did love them very much.

Everybody was getting into their seats. The curtains were drawn. As I sat down, there were lots of whispers filling the little hall. The curtains were pulled back. As the names were being read out for several different awards, I was eagerly awaiting for my name to be called.

"And on to the senior leader awards," the announcer said. My name and another three names were called and we were walking down to collect our awards. As we were walking down the stairs I tripped on a piece of wire, and fell flat on my face. The audience cried out with laughter as another man was trying to help me up.

by a pupil at The Charter School

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