St David's Home / Thomas Turner Convalescent Home, Broadstairs, Kent
The St David's Convalescent Home, at 68 Stone Road, Broadstairs, was opened by the Waifs and Strays Society in 1911 as a replacement for the Nayworth Cottage Home at Hurstpierpoint in Sussex. The new premises, popularly referred to as 'Coronation Cottage', provided accommodation for 30 children aged from 5 to 16.
In 1915, a large legacy from the Rev. Thomas Turner was used to extend the home, taking its capacity to 45. The enlarged building was formally dedicated in 1916 by the Bishop of Dover, with the home being renamed as the Thomas Turner Convalescent Home. A few months later, the danger of wartime attacks caused the home to evacuate to its former premises at Hurstpierpoint until its return to Broadstairs in 1919.
Following the onset of the Second World War, the home closed in 1940 and its residents were evacuated to Devon.
In 1946, the home re-opened as St David's Nursery, a residential home for babies awaiting adoption. In 1971, there there were 23 children at the home, all aged two or under, living in four family groups named Dragons, Fireflies, Puffins and Babies. The home finally closed 1972.
The St David's building no longer exists and modern houses now occupy the site.
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.