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

Case 6024

Case number: 6024
Application year: 1894




Year of birth: 1878
Home: St Agnes' Home For Girls, Croydon


A. was "mentally deficient" probably due to prolonged neglect during childhood. She was initially considered to be incapable of being trained for service and in May 1894 at the age of 16 was sent to learn hosiery knitting at the Knitting Institution for the Employment of Afflicted Girls in Croydon. Her father's employer paid her fees. In June 1897 she was in the "Cripples Home, Croydon" when it was taken over by the Waifs and Strays' Society. (This was presumably St Agnes' Home for Girls). She was described as "not a cripple. Brain not strong". She improved once she was in a residential home and made "a good servant". It was originally felt that she would not manage in a private home because of her "mental deficiency" although in March 1900 she was placed in service in Croydon. At some point in her life, probably around the time of the First World War, she spent ten years as a laundry maid at St Nicholas Orthopaedic Hospital and Special School, Pyrford, near Woking, Surrey. She later returned to domestic service. In 1941, at the end of her career in service, her employer and the Waifs and Strays' Society attempted to find her a retirement home with a charitable organization, but there was heavy pressure on charities at this time because of the War. A. went to stay temporarily with relations in Southall and her employer undertook to contact the local Charity Organization Society on her behalf should it later become necessary.

Keywords: Abuse; After care; Disability; Neglect; Employment; School

Items: 1. Application to the Knitting Institution for the Employment of Afflicted Girls, Croydon 1 May 1894
2. Note which had been attached to the front of the application form nd
3. Letter from A's employer Mrs B., asking for help finding a retirement home for A. 3 June 1941
4. Copy letter offering help in making provision for A. 9 June 1941
5. Letter from Mrs B. about A's past history 13 June 1941
6. Memorandum 27 June 1941
7. Copy letter to the Church Army asking if they can help A. 24 July 1941
8. Copy letter to Mrs B. 24 July 1941
9. Letter from the Church Army saying they have no vacancies 29 July 1941
10. Copy letter to the Clewer Sisters at Windsor asking if they have any suitable homes for A. 31 July 1941
11. Copy letter to Mrs B. letting her know about the search for a suitable home and making further suggestions of places to go for help 31 July 1941
12. Letter from the Clewer Sisters saying they have no vacancies 8 August 1941
13. Copy letter of thanks to the Clewer Sisters 12 August 1941
14. Copy letter to the National Council of Social Service 12 August 1941
15. Letter from the National Council of Social Service asking how much A. could pay towards her keep 15 August 1941
16. Copy letter to the National Council of Social Service 20 August 1941
17. Copy letter to Mrs B. informing her of progress 20 August 1941
18. Letter from Mrs B. saying that A. had gone to stay with relations in Southall 24 August 1941
19. Copy letter to Mrs B. acknowledging her letter of 24 August 29 August 1941

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