Grenville House / Princess Helena Victoria Nursery, Ascot, Berkshire
At the onset of the Second World War in 1939, the residents of the Maurice Home in Ealing, run by the Waifs and Strays Society, were evacuated to Ascot. They stayed in part of a large house called Englemere Green On London Road, Ascot, owned by Mrs John Peyton.
At the end of the war, it was decided that the Maurice House children should stay at Ascot and they moved into a nearby property called Sandridge, which was renamed Grenville House after Mrs Peyton's son, Thomas Grenville Peyton, who had been killed whilst serving in the forces in 1942. The new home was formally opened by Princess Marie Louise on July 27th, 1946.
The home closed in 1959 and re-opened the following year as a residential nursery, receiving the children from the Princess Helena Victoria Nursery in Catford. In 1961, Grenville House was itself renamed the Princess Helena Victoria Nursery.
The nursery closed in 1969. The property is now occupied by a care home.
Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.
- Index of the Society's first 30,000 children's case files ordered by surname.
- Index of the Society's first 30,000 children's case files ordered by date of birth.
- The Children's Society Records and Archive Centre is at Block A Floor 2, Tower Bridge Business Complex, 100 Clement's Road, London, England SE16 4DG (email: firstname.lastname@example.org). Files for children admitted to its homes after September 1926 were microfilmed in the 1980s and the originals destroyed. Some post-1926 files had already been damaged or destroyed during a flood. The Society's Post-Adoption and Care Service provides access to records, information, advice, birth record counselling, tracing and intermediary service for people who were in care or adopted through the Society.
- The Society has produced detailed catalogues of its records relating to disabled children, and of records relating to the Children's Union (a fundraising body mostly supported from the contributions of children).
- The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU. File BN62/2925 — reports of visits (1962-69).
- Bowder, Bill Children First: a photo-history of England's children in need (1980, Mowbray)
- Church of England Waifs and Strays' Society [Rudolfe, Edward de Montjoie] The First Forty Years: a chronicle of the Church of England Waifs and Strays' Society 1881-1920 (1922, Church of England Waifs and Strays' Society / S.P.C.K.)
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
- Morris, Lester The Violets Are Mine: Tales of an Unwanted Orphan (2011, Xlibris Corporation) — memoir of a boy growing up in several of the Society's homes (Princes Risborough, Ashdon, Hunstanton, Leicester) in the 1940s and 50s.
- Rudolf, Mildred de Montjoie Everybody's Children: the story of the Church of England Children's Society 1921-1948 (1950, OUP)
- Stroud, John Thirteen Penny Stamps: the story of the Church of England Children's Society (Waifs and Strays) from 1881 to the 1970s (1971, Hodder and Stoughton)
- Hidden Lives Revealed — the story of the children who were in the care of The Children's Society in late Victorian and early 20th Century Britain.
- The Children's Society
Except where indicated, this page () © Peter Higginbotham. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.