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Author Topic: An Injustice Uncovered  (Read 1501 times)

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Offline Rochester-bred

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Re: An Injustice Uncovered
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2017, 18:17:00 »
Mickleburgh, after reading your post and it bringing to mind my mother`s orphanage, I did some more research and was amazed to find this footage below and think my mother could be one of the little girls there, they only took girls in. I watched it with such fondness to see the children learning tasks which would help them in adult life so thank you.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlsXXCmOlpg&ab_channel=LondonsScreenArchive
***I am still the child within***

Offline Rochester-bred

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Re: An Injustice Uncovered
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2017, 09:11:06 »
Time's were so much harder back then. I too know of an incident that still pains me today . My mother and her brother, who was 18 months older than her, lost their mother at a young age. Her father was told to keep his son with him as he could go out to work early but a daughter as young as she was, around 6 years, was best given up and put in a home for children orphaned or some other reason. The home she was put in was an all girls home set up by a wonderful lady who took in girls from babies onwards and taught them all the domestic skills they would need in later life, my mother had the most wonderful childhood there and learnt how to be the best mother she could as the older children looked after the younger ones. Toilet training, feeding and teaching them and they were sent to school also. Nobody visited my mother in all the years she was there and when she was old enough to leave she stayed there till she was 18 to teach the little one's. She eventually came back to Rochester and found her father and brother had one long talk telling him her loss of being abandened by him and asking why she was sent away and not her brother as her father bought her brother up till he left home and got married. She got no real answers and left it there, never to be mentioned again and was the most wonderful daughter and sister. She visited her father every week and in later years as he got elderly she took care of him and she also was a good sister to her brother. She had been taught never to hang onto grudges as it would hold her back. She never could understand why I felt so sad and that it was an injustice that she had grown up in an orphanage while her brother was at home in a larger family. The home she was in was run by Charlotte Sharman, below is a link about her and worth reading. I have a lot to thank this lady for as my mother was an exceptionally good mother and taught me so much and although her adult like was a struggle she still soldiered on always putting family before herself.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlotte_Sharman
***I am still the child within***

Offline Mickleburgh

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An Injustice Uncovered
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2017, 08:22:56 »
My Grandmother, in her final years, became rather obsessive about finding out what had become of various relatives, etc, whom she had lost touch with over the years. My mother wrote quite a few letters and visited Somerset House on her behalf in order to try and unravel some of these questions. One of these stuck in my mind at the time (around 1960) and I recall the eventual reply but did not really fully take in the importance. It concerned a child whom the parents of were unable to look after and who was taken into `care` - which pre-war meant an asylum – apparently on the word of a Doctor who saw him `playing with matches` and deemed him mentally deficient. Taken away by police apparently, harsh, but times were different and if it stopped a budding arsonist…..(!). Apparently my Grandmother was aware he had finished up at Dartford (presumably Stone House) and my mother had enquired there about his wellbeing. The reply confirmed he was still alive, `one of our stalwarts` and worked in the hospital laundry. However, visiting or direct contact was inadvisable as he was `totally institutionalised` and had no concept of family.

There the matter had rested until very recently when it was realised that some previous family history research had overlooked a significant connection and that a previous trawl for the identity of this child had been looking at the wrong side of the family. What was eventually unravelled has been almost unbelievable and was shocking even given the attitudes that then prevailed. Notice that I give no names, locations, here as it is just possible the victim – there is no other word – of this injustice may still (just possibly) be alive having presumably been thrown out into `Care in the Community` in more recent times.

The parents concerned had just the one grown up son and it must have been a considerable shock when she found herself pregnant again in her mid-fifties, perhaps not even realising that condition until a late stage. Her husband was ten years older and a jobbing gardener. Their ability to cope, financially and perhaps mentally, with bringing up a child could not unreasonably have been seen as an issue. But this child, whom a God-like Doctor deemed `deficient` when seen playing on the floor with a box of matches could not have been two years old when forcibly removed from the family. Perhaps he felt he was acting in the best interests and used the only recourse open, but if it does not make you want to weep …………

 

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