Ellendeane Home, Bexhill, Sussex
The Ellendeane Home was established in 1908 at 16 Egerton Road, Bexhill-on-Sea. It was founded by Mrs Edith Mary Bulwer and the Rev. Ernest Selwyn-Yates as a seaside holiday home for children from London.
In 1918, following Mrs Bulmer's death, it continued to be run by Rev. Selwyn-Yates and was turned into a Home for Fatherless Boys. When Rev. Selwyn-Yates died in 1942, he bequeathed £250 to its then superintendent, Miss Jessie G. de Boeck "as a slight recognition of her wonderful goodness, kindness and friendship and help during many years, together with the freehold of 'Ellendeane' in the belief that she will use it in furtherance of the objects and work for which is now used."
In 1943, the home was taken over by the Waifs and Strays Society. It was re-opened in 1946 as one of the Society's first Family Homes where brothers and sisters were kept together.
The home was closed temporarily in 1960, with the then staff and residents being transferred to the St Gabriel's home in Brighton. The home re-opened briefly but in 1963 transferred to larger and more modern premises that had been acquired at 9 Sutherland Avenue, Bexhill, which retained the name Ellendeane.
The Bexhill home was closed for good in 1971, with the residents moving to the Florence Anderson House home at Ramsgate.
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.