Margaret Caillard Memorial Home for Boys, Trowbridge, Wiltshire
The Margaret Caillard Memorial Home for Boys was opened by the Waifs and Strays Society in 1935 at Wingfield House, Wingfield, near Trowbridge. The house was donated to the Society by Mr Bernard Caillard and his wife in memory of their daughter Margaret who had died at the age of 20. The home was officially opened on October 31st, 1935, by the Duchess of Beaufort, and dedicated by the Bishop of Salisbury.
The home accommodated 30 boys, aged from 14 to 16, who received training in practical skills such as gardening or carpentry. The boys would then have a trade which would make them employable on leaving the home. In 1936, the running of the home was taken over by a Mr and Mrs Smith. Mr Smith, a certified City of Guilds Carpenter, assisted the boys in carrying out improvement work on the home. Their biggest project was the conversion of the home's reception room into a chapel.
In 1938, with the threat of war making wood and other materials expensive and hard to obtain, the home was closed. Mr and Mrs Smith then took charge of the Talbot Boys Home in Bournemouth.
During the Second World War, the home was used by the army. It has now been converted to private residential use.
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).
- 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.