G's father murdered his wife and then committed suicide, leaving four children as orphans. G. was boarded out in October 1892 near Bury St. Edmunds where he lived until early 1899. The Society then wanted to send him to a Home where he could learn to earn his own living. In March 1899 he went temporarily to the Receiving House in Byfleet where there was an outbreak of scarlet fever. G. had an operation on his tonsils. In August, when he had recovered, G. was able to go to the House-Boy Brigade Home in Pimlico, which was run independently of the Waifs and Strays' Society. Between July and December 1902 he worked as a pageboy in Downderry, Cornwall. He was then interested in joining the Royal Navy.