Ancestry UK

Homes for Motherless Children, Warwick Road / Florence Road, Ealing, London

The Homes for Motherless Children (HMC) organisation was set up in 1896 by the evangelist Robert Thomson Smith, who had founded the Chiswick Mission in 1880.

Robert Thomson Smith. © Peter Higginbotham

The HMC's first homes were in Chiswick but later ones were established further afield. Those placing children at the homes were expected to contribute towards their keep, according to their means.

The first of these to be located in Ealing, in 1911, was The Ferns at 36 Warwick Road, very near to Smith's own residence. It was originally a mixed home for 25 children aged 2 to 7, though by 1930 was being used only for boys aged over 5.

In the early 1930s, the home transferred to new premises at 10 Florence Road, Ealing where 30 boys could be accommodated. The Florence Road home was closed at the advent of the Second World War in 1939, when the homes were evacuated to Buckinghamshire, with a temporary headquarters on the High Street at Wendover.

Home for Motherless Children, 10 Florence Road, Ealing. © Peter Higginbotham

Other establishments run by Homes for Motherless Children were located at Spencer Road, Chiswick, Burlington Lane, Chiswick, Mattock Lane, Ealing, Uxbridge Road, Ealing, Queen's Walk, Ealing, Uxbridge Road, Hanwell and Barrack Road, Hounslow.


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  • None identfied at present — any information welcome.


  • Jeffs, Ernest Motherless. The story of Robert Thomson Smith and the first homes for motherless children. (1930, Marshall, Morgan and Scott.)