HRH Princess Christian's Training College and Infant Nursery, Windsor, Berkshire
In around 1876, Miss Louisa Oxley founded the Windsor Infant Nursery 'for the benefit of children having sisters at school, and whose mothers are ill or at work during the day.' Its original premises were at 3 Keppel Terrace, Spital Road, Windsor, but subsequently moved to Grove Road, Windsor.
In 1885, Princess Christian, Queen Victoria's third daughter, became Patroness of the nursery and was an active supporter of its fund-raising efforts. The establishment was subsequently renamed Princess Christian's Nursery in her honour.
The nursery moved again to premises variously referred to as 22 or 24 King's Road, Windsor, then, after the First World War, to Clewer Hill House, Clewer Hill Road, Windsor.
In around 1942, the nursery's financial difficulties led to its being taken over by the Waifs and Strays Society. Then adopting the name HRH Princess Christian's Training College and Infant Nursery, it could accommodate 32 babies who provided trainee nurses with valuable practical experience.
The home closed in 1971. The Clewer Hill Road building no longer survives and the site is now covered by modern housing.
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.