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

Rudolf Memorial Home, Balham

Photograph of Rudolf Memorial Home, Balham

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Rudolf Memorial Home, Balham

Balham, London

(1935 - 1939)

After Edward Rudolf's death, two Homes were opened in his memory. They became the Rudolf Memorial Home for Girls, Dulwich and the Rudolf Memorial Home, Balham, London which housed boys. The Homes were designed for 'those who, while not mentally defective, have serious psychological troubles, due, it may be, to ill-health, cruelty, neglect, or fear which are likely to cause problems in later life if not addressed', or for those with educational problems.

The Rudolf Memorial Home for Boys opened in around 1935 in the building formerly used by St Winifred's Home after extensive alterations. St Winifred's Home was chosen as a trial location for the Home in order to gain more experience in how to give care and special education to boys with learning and behavioural difficulties. The Home was run under the advice and pyschological supervision of the London Child Guidance Council.

In 1936 the Home became a recognised elementary school under section 25 of the 1921 Education Act.

In 1937 the residents of the Leven and Melville Home, St Leonards swapped with the residents of the Rudolf Memorial Home allowing them to take their summer holiday in London, whilst the Londoners had a holiday by the sea. During their stay, the boys from London camped out in the village hall and played on the beach during the day.

In 1937 a percussion band was started at the Home.

In 1939 residents were evacuated to Rudolf Memorial Home for Boys, Banstead.

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