St Elizabeth's Receiving Home and Depot, Clapham Common, London
St Elizabeth's Receiving Home was opened by the Waifs and Strays Society in 1909 at 17 Victoria Road (now Victoria Rise), Clapham Common.
The home, which was opened in the summer of 1908, replaced the Marylebone Receiving Home and Training Home for Girls.
The home provided temporary accommodation for children coming into the Society's care. After being assessed, given a medical check-up, a bath and new clothes, the children typically spent two or three weeks at the home before being moved to one of the Society's branch homes or placed in a foster home. St Elizabeth's could accommodate 32 boys and girls up to the age of seven.
The home also housed the central 'Depôt' of clothing and other items that had been donated to the Society.
The home often received gifts and donations from people and groups in the local area. In December 1924, girls from Stockwell College presented Christmas stockings to children at the home.
In the late 1920s, perhaps following the opening of the Receiving Home of St Peter and St Paul at Clapham Park, St Elizabeth's became a branch home for 30 boys aged from 7 upwards.
The home closed in 1935.
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: email@example.com). 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).
- 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
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