EPSOM'S 'ORPHANS'
THE STORY OF MITTENDORFF HOUSE (CLAYTON HOUSE)

PART 1



INTRODUCTION


Mittendorff House, East Street, Epsom
Mittendorff House, East Street, Epsom
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum © 2013

Mittendorff House (also known as Clayton House at various points), at 18 East Street, Epsom, was originally a private school and then became a Home for waifs and strays, firstly under Miss Mittendorff and then as part of the Dr Barnardo's Institution. This article tracks the history of the house and its occupants.

Many of you will know about the 'British Home Children', a term used to describe youngsters from UK orphanages and similar institutions who were sent to the former colonies, hopefully to enjoy a bright new future. Australia and Britain have now apologised for their part in this scheme, but Canada has declined to do so. Barnardo's says on its website: 'Barnardo's welcomes the apology from the British Government. We believe that what happened was misguided, despite it being an accepted policy at the time. However well-intentioned child migration might have been, for many the experience was painful. As such, we deeply regret any role that Dr. Barnardo's Homes played in this.'

Why is this relevant to Epsom? Because the Dr Barnardo's Home at Mittendorff House was one of the institutions that sent inmates to Canada and Barnardo's has admitted that from 1908 onwards the Home was used as an 'emigration house' for boys awaiting emigration.

In Part 1 we shall look at the whole history of the house as a school and a Home as far as we know it and in Part 2 we will cover the issue of 'British Home Children' and the role that Mittendorff House played in this scheme.

PART 1

Early years as a private school


In 1851 the building, then called Clayton House, was a small boys' school, run by Londoner Richard Wrathall Hebden with the help of his wife, an assistant and a servant; there were thirteen pupils, ranging in age from six to thirteen. In 1853 Mr Hebden (then described as an accountant) and family departed to Illinois, where they purchased a large property and took up farming and, after returning to London for a time, they emigrated to Tasmania, where Mr Hebden died in 1897.

In 1861 the school, then calling itself a commercial academy, was headed by 62 year old William Finch and his wife. There were only six pupils, plus Charles Gedge, aged 13, described as a pupil teacher (his younger brother, Frank, was a pupil) - this did not stick and Charles later became a joiner. By 1871 the Finches had retired to East Grinstead, with William suffering from 'chronic disease'.

The 1871 principal was William Thomas Davey from Exeter and he had fourteen pupils. One gets the impression from the ratio of staff (Mr Davey, two assistant masters and four servants) to pupil numbers that this could not have been a particularly successful establishment in terms of revenue. Mr Davey had gone by 1878 and it would have been around this time that Miss Dorette Charlotte Mittendorff opened her 'kindergarten' on the premises.

Miss Mittendorff

Found in the Street by Gustave Doré
Found in the Street by Gustave Doré

Miss Mittendorff's 'kindergarten' was a domestic training establishment for girls, designed to take in orphans, equip them for paid work and send them on their way. She was a German governess from Hanover and in 1868 she set up a kindergarten in Kilburn, London, funded by donations and legacies. We need to remember that this was a time of vast city slums and grinding poverty and there was no real infrastructure in place to deal with the destitute, apart from workhouses; a fortunate few were helped by charitable individuals and organisations and there were many people like Miss Mittendorff all over the UK who devoted themselves to caring for poor children.

Houndsditch by Gustave Doré
Houndsditch by Gustave Doré

Miss Mittendorff was a religious individual and viewed what she did as a mission from God. Many others who did similar work in this era were also religious, particularly Annie Macpherson. We will return to Miss Macpherson in Part 2.

The Sydney Morning Herald of 26 May 1874 published the following lengthy article about Miss Mittendorff, which can only be described as a 'floral tribute'. I apologise in advance for the length and effusiveness of it, but it does give a remarkable insight into this now middle-aged woman's motivation, energy and dedication, the plight of the children she took in and the constant struggle for funds. In 1882 the Reading Mercury carried a short account of a talk she had given on her Home in Epsom (which then contained 81 girls) and ended by saying, 'It was not intended to make a collection, but at the close of proceedings a gentleman held his hat at the door, and a considerable amount was collected'.

A GERMAN KINDERGARTEN AT KILBURN

There is a small brass plate on the door of a modest looking house in Kilburn Square, inscribed with the single word 'Kindergarten'. To the casual passer-by this word would suggest the idea of a school for children conducted on a special German system, but in the present case nothing of this sort is intended to be implied. It is indeed a 'home' for children, and one that in its origin, progress and present working has, I think, the strongest claims upon public interest and sympathy. But its foundress, in choosing the inscription for her door, had no thought in her mind of systems or of any plan of worldly education whatever. She meant to express only that here was a garden of young children whom she hoped, with God's blessing, to train for the heavenly garden above; and the reader of the following brief record of a feeble woman's work will judge how far the result has justified her loving expectation.

More than fifteen years ago there came to England a poor German governess, whose object was to earn her livelihood by giving lessons in her own language. Shortly after her arrival in London she met with an accident, which, inflicting severe mental and internal injuries, wholly incapacitated her for work, and obliged her to have recourse to the first medical aid she could obtain. The physician to whom she was recommended - E Prothero Smith - happened to be as noted for his Christian benevolence as for his professional utility. When his new patient made her appearance in his consulting-room he looked at her earnestly and then read aloud the name on the card she had sent in.

- 'Miss Mittendorff, I believe!'

'Yes,' she replied, anxious that he should understand her real position at once, - 'Miss Mittendorff. Poor, a stranger - and very ill.'

'Then,' said the doctor (to her unbounded surprise), 'you are most welcome, for the Lord has sent you to me.'

And from that hour this good man became the firm friend as well as the medical adviser of the poor, sick, and otherwise nearly friendless German governess.

How far this great kindness, his deep sympathy, and his Christian influence generally went towards preparing Miss Mittendorff for the work she was eventually to take up, it might be difficult to say; but undoubtedly it was the sowing of the first seed in the tender, womanly heart which in due time, and watered by divine grace, was to bring forth so rich a harvest of love to her more helpless fellow creatures.

I must give now her own simple account of the actual origin of her Kindergarten.

'After my long and painful illness of nine years I found myself, as it were, suddenly restored to health. While sitting in the waiting room of the doctor who had been during those nine years my kindest friend and benefactor, while he and another physician consulted on my case, I looked over a religious paper lying on the table and read an appeal it contained for someone who would come forward and take up 'the very little ones' of outcasts before they were able to understand the wickedness by which they were surrounded.

'At once I lifted up my heart in prayer to the Lord that he would graciously let me hear through the mouth of His dear servants, the doctors, if I were capable of undertaking the work. Scarcely was my prayer finished when I was summoned to the doctor's room, and my own medical attendant stepping forward said, 'Let us give thanks to the Lord for restoring you to health in his own good time. We both think you fit for any work you may wish to undertake.' And now the desire of my heart was that I might use my renewed strength in the service of my Lord and Master, who had so graciously and wonderfully cared for me, and watched over me so tenderly during my long years of suffering. I looked round me, crying to the Lord, 'What wilt thou have me to do?', waiting for him to direct me, and soon I seemed to hear his call to take up those poor little outcast infants who were often badly treated and shamefully neglected, even by their own parents.'

Being naturally fond of children, Miss Mittendorff still feared she might have mistaken her work, and before advancing a single step in the matter, she entreated God to grant her a sign that it was indeed his will that she should begin it. 'I asked the Lord', she says in her earliest report, 'to send me some money if I was to go on and if I received nothing I would take it as a token that He had other service for me to perform.' The next morning she received a letter containing five shillings in stamps, and another the same afternoon with these words, 'To be used in the Lord's service.' Late at night came a third letter from a lady whom she had not seen for years, and who wrote, 'Last night I lay awake and thought about you. I felt constrained to get up and write to you, and I now enclose this pound, which I am sure the Lord wishes me to send you.'

With no further doubts in her mind, and with a heart overflowing with gratitude, Miss Mittendorff at once began to look for a house, destitute, be it understood, of all means but the trifling sums just referred to, and with no expectations but from the faithfulness of that loving God who had called her to feed His lambs, and who, she well knew, had bread enough and to spare both for herself and all his needy little ones.

At first she met with many difficulties, and some of her best friends raised objections and hindrances, not quite believing, perhaps, that faith can remove mountains, or doubting the quality of the faith possessed by this one weak and still often physically ailing woman.

But God himself was on her side, and all the opposition that could be brought to bear against a human plan could no more hinder this plan than a breath of summer air could uproot the giant oak of the forest. Very speedily a house suited for Miss Mittendorff's purpose was found, and sufficient means came in to furnish it, while so many applications on behalf of destitute children were made to her, that she felt painfully how limited as yet were her capabilities of accommodating them. Here again, I must quote her own words in reference to the description of little ones it was her chief desire to befriend.

'My object was to take in those poor babes who are worse than orphans, where the father is not known, and the mother is left in the greatest distress, unable to provide for herself and child and how is it possible that she should regain her character so long as she can find no one to take care of her infant!

Dudley Street, Seven Dials, by Gustave Doré
Dudley Street, Seven Dials, by Gustave Doré

'In order that my Home should never be said to encourage vice, I make the mothers - generally young country girls, and frequently orphans who come up to London without any friends - pay according to the wages they are receiving, in order that they should feel the responsibility and the burden which sin has brought upon them. I receive from one shilling and sixpence (7.5 pence) and upwards per child, for which sum I find it in clothes, medicine, and everything it may need; but out of the twelve children now under my care I receive only payment for five; some of the mothers being in reformatories, where, of course, they earn nothing - two are in hospitals for incurables, and others in painful circumstances which render it impossible for them to pay.'

Before the Home had been established three years the number of inmates had so greatly increased that it was necessary to remove into a larger house, and Miss Mittendorff, always seeking the Lord's guidance in everything, was finally led to the one she now occupies in Kilburn Square, where very soon more applications poured in, and children of nearly all ages, beginning at ten hours, were added to her Kindergarten.

At the end of little more than three years there were thirty-six children in the Home, and clothes and beds had been provided for them all. Nor was the daily food ever wanting, though often God saw fit to try the faith of His servant and her devoted helpers by leaving them without supplies almost till the last minute. Here is one touching instance, out of multitudes of a similar kind, recorded by herself and reminding the wondering reader of the experiences of George Müller, whose life of faith has been pronounced, even by men of the world, the greatest miracle of modern times:- 'One morning, just after breakfast, when the last of everything had been finished, I called the children in to the usual morning prayers, quite intending to ask our heavenly Father to send in the much-needed supplies; but, looking at their happy faces and rejoicing over the converted ones, I forgot it, and had nothing but praise and thanks to offer to Him. Yet soon my helper reminded me of it. I sent for my little praying band, telling them that if they wished for dinner they must ask their father for it; and I then inquired, would they be satisfied if nothing was sent? When all answered me they would wait and trust. Well, they went to their bedrooms, and told the Lord all about it. Soon afterwards they came back to me, and the eldest said, "We are so happy, and won't mind if we have to wait till evening; we are sure the Lord will remember us." I confirm that their childlike faith and gratitude greatly helped and strengthened me. About 12 o'clock a letter was put in the box containing five shillings in stamps from "A.B., the Lord's portion for the orphans." I called my children to me, and how can I describe their joy when they found their prayer had been so soon answered! I let them have the pleasure of changing the stamps in the post office, and of getting bread and potatoes, and before 1 o'clock we had the potatoes in their skins, with dripping, on the table.'

In another place Miss Mittendorff says, 'At the spring time, when the summer clothes were wanted, I received, before I had even asked, in one day sufficient means to buy all that was needed. Is it not just like the Lord! Before they call I will answer, and while they are yet speaking I will hear!'

It is now five years since the Home was commenced with two babies and one small house. There are at present two houses, adjoining each other, at Kilburn, and a cottage at Bushey, with sixty children and numerous helpers and teachers. These last accept their situations on the understanding that they will be paid their salaries when the Lord sends the money, and if this is delayed, they are always content to wait.

The children are all taught reading, writing and a little arithmetic; those who are quick and intelligent learn, in addition, something of geography and English history. They are likewise trained in every kind of useful household work, and at about 16 are sent out as superior domestic servants.

More than a year ago Miss Mittendorff was very severely tried by a long visitation of sickness amongst her little flock. Her own labours and night-watching at this time were so incessant that it ended in her being stricken with paralysis, and obliged to leave her Home to the care of a friend, providentially raised up, and to go herself to the hospital for the paralysed in Queen Square. Here the many mercies she received are beautifully and touchingly recorded in the reports to which I have already alluded, and which my readers will do well to obtain at the Home for themselves.

In the autumn of the year Miss Mittendorff, after a short sojourn at the seaside, for which means had, as usual, been unexpectedly sent her, was once more amongst her dear children, and happy beyond all words to be able to take up her active duties again. Since then she has had many trials, many anxious days and nights, much sickness, and some deaths; but her constant testimony is that the Lord is faithful even above what He has promised; and at the last public meeting in connection with her Home, held in Great Portland Street, though the balance of cash in hand was only five shillings and tenpence (29 pence), and the past year's expenses had amounted to more than nine hundred and fourteen pounds, she asked the Christian friends and ministers who presided at the meeting to let praise and thanksgiving be its leading features.

It must be especially borne in mind that Miss Mittendorff's principle is never to go in debt for a single article. Here are her own words on the subject:- 'I do not buy anything if I have not the money in hand, even if the tradesmen are begging me to take what I want, as they will trust me. I find not a text in all Scripture in which it is allowed to go into debt; and, therefore, however tempted, I rather wait and suffer want.'

It is no less a fixed principle with her not to ask anything of her fellow creatures, believing that God (to whom she tells all her necessities) will put it into their hearts to give.

In the preface to her last report, written by another kind and constant friend - Mr J Weatherley, 51 Gordon Square - the following statement is made:- 'Her method is evidently that of going direct to Him who can move all hearts, but she would deprive us of a privilege and lose an opportunity of honouring God if she was not to inform us of His loving kindness in supplying all her need.'

A Christian doctor gives his services to the Home gratuitously, and proves himself in many other ways a valuable friend and adviser to Miss Mittendorff and her children. This is Dr Picard, who will gladly testify to the value of the Home, and afford any information respecting it.

It is earnestly hoped by the writer of this feeble sketch that the hearts of many Christian readers will be opened to assist, both by their prayers and their offerings, a work which is so manifestly a 'work of the Lord', and as such quite certain of imparting a blessing to all who add but a single stone to the building - Good Words.

By 1881 Miss Mittendorff was in East Street, with about 60 girls in her charge, assisted by a dozen staff and servants. There is little doubt that most, if not all, of these girls were street children and genuinely destitute and many of them simply have 'London' as their birthplace. Miss Mittendorff was born in about 1826 and lost both parents when she was young: however, she was left some money and attended a teacher training establishment for two and a half years. Having gained some experience as a governess, she came to England in 1850. She stayed with relatives, but found London daunting and couldn't find a job at first, but eventually she obtained positions with prestigious families. One such family was that of the 8th Baron Beaumont (Miles Thomas Stapleton).

Unfortunately, the 1881 census enumerator for East Street had atrocious handwriting and one of the sheets for the Home is damaged, but let's see if we can track some of the girls.

Priscilla Taylor was born c.1864 in Croydon and in 1871 she was to be found in a cottage with a widowed mother (forename unknown) who was a hawker and a 19 year old brother called Robert (birthplace unknown). Her birth does not seem to have been registered. and I cannot find her after 1881.

Ellen Lindores was born in 1866 in Islington, daughter of a dairyman, and she was in the Home with her sister Thomasina Georgina (born 1868). Ellen died in 1883 in Kensington district and Thomasina, then known as Thomasina Hawkins Lindores, died unmarried in 1921 in Essex, although she lived on a farm in Croydon. Thomasina had become a maid to Miss Mittendorff and was with her when the latter visited Brighton in 1891. I cannot find her in the 1901 and 1911 censuses and wonder if she accompanied her employer back to Germany (Miss Mittendorff had returned to Germany in 1889). The girls' father, Thomas, was born in about 1798 and was more than twice the age of his wife, Jane (nee Ann Jane Hawkins); he died in 1875 and Jane was obliged to take work as a domestic servant, which is presumably how the girls ended up in the Home.

Miss Susan McGrath

When Miss Mittendorff retired from 'active service', running of the Home was taken over by Susan E McGrath (born c.1845 Ireland) and we may have more success in tracking some of the 1891 girls as the enumerator had clearer handwriting. However, as before, most of them were simply born in 'London' so a full survey is not feasible.

Emily and Minnie Martha Hagate, aged 16 and 14 respectively, were from London, the daughters of widowed artificial flower maker, Emma. In 1881 the family lived in Kensington and Mrs Hagate had four other children, plus a lodger. Both girls married in 1899, but I have no idea what happened to their mother.

Emma and Ada were the daughters of widowed London cab driver William H A Cozens. He had several children and died in the Workhouse in 1893. Jessie Laycock was the daughter of single mother Louisa Ann Laycock and in 1881 they were living with Louisa's widowed mother in London. Louisa died in 1883, aged only 33.

McGrath and Mittendorff bow out

It appears from documents held at Bourne Hall that Miss Mittendorff handed over the Home, free of charge, to Dr Barnardo's in 1896.

The 3rd Annual Report of Dr Barnardo's Homes, relating to 1898, said this.
Mittendorff House for Girl Waifs, Epsom
This is a new branch, the formal transfer of which was only completed early in 1898. For many years it has, under the title of 'Miss Mittendorff's Home', done a great deal of unpretentious but effective work among girls. Circumstances led to a proposal that the Home should become one of our branches, and arrangements for its transfer were ultimately carried into effect. During the year alterations and extensions in other branches have been in progress, so that Mittendorff House has served as a change house to accommodate inmates of other Homes. It supplies accommodation for sixty inmates. Up to the present I have been glad to use it as a 'change' or 'transfer' Home, to which children have been temporarily drafted during repairs or cleaning operations. In 1898 a large number of little boys from "Sheppard House", Grove Road, have found residence for a time at Mittendorff House. In the coming year, however, these premises will, I trust, in due course revert to their proper task - the training of girls.
Whatever the intention might have been in 1898, the Home never did revert to its 'proper task' and continued as a Barnardo's Home for boys, the word 'transfer' taking on an ominous significance which had nothing to do with repairs or cleaning.

And here is Dr Barnardo's Christmas message to the boys of Mittendorff House in 1899.
My dear boys

I hope you are all very jolly … Christmas comes but once a year and when it comes it brings good cheer.

Don't forget your Great Father in Heaven, who supplies all His children with such beautiful hands; and don't forget your small father in London who loves you very sincerely.

Accommodation

Unfortunately we do not have any pictures of the Home's interior, but there is a description of the building and accommodation, dating from around 1900.
Construction - red brick and tiled; remainder red brick and slated.

Ground floor - entrance porch and passage; office; sitting room; staff room; boys' dining hall; coat lobby; airing room; serving room; small dispensary; boys' play room (Decolite floor); wash room (11 basins, 1 bath H&C); wash room (15 taps, large tiled bath H&C); 2 small cupboards ; WC; covered way.

First floor (main building) - superintendent's bedroom and dressing room; 3 matrons' bedrooms; 2 boys' dormitories (9 + 5 beds); boys' infirmary (3 beds); bathroom (bath and basin H&C); 2 sinks in passage; WC (with basin H&C).

Top floor - 5 boys' dormitories (8, 8, 7, 6 and 5 beds); lumber room; tank room; WC.

Wing Building

First floor - 3 boys' dormitories (14,13 + 8 beds); 2 matrons' bedrooms; matrons' store room; large dormitory (17 beds); sink in passage; 2 WCs.

Basement - range, 2 steam ovens, 2 coppers; staff's scullery; boys' scullery; larder; store room; coal cellar; cupboard.

House yard - coal cellar; drying room; wash house (2 cold, 1 hot tap) boiler house (boiler and hot water cylinder).

Playground - latrines (7 WCs, large urinal).

Wood yard - 2 lean-to sheds.

Garden - hen house.
It sounds a tad short of WCs to me, unless you were in the playground, but never mind. The entire premises was valued at £6,340 (about £660,000 in today's money).

Staff

In 1901 the Superintendent was Mr George H Young, who was born c.1878 in Bristol, and the matron was his 21 year old sister, Ellen Fisher Young. Superficially they appeared to have no particular qualifications for the job, being the children of an engineer's factor and ostensibly too young to have much training or experience for such an important and demanding job. I do not know what happened to Mr Young, but by 1911 his sister was back in the family home in Bristol. They may have been a stop-gap solution until someone more experienced was found.

By 1911 the Superintendent was Mr Eldred Hitchcock, born 1861 Islington/Stoke Newington, who started out as a paper stainer (making the patterns on wallpaper). By 1901 he was in charge of a Boys' Home called Bradford House in Kingham, Oxfordshire (now an independent boarding school), which then had 38 inmates, but how he got to that career from wallpaper is anyone's guess.

Bradford House
Bradford House
Image by Michael Dibb © 2013 and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

We shall have a more detailed look at Mr Hitchcock, since he was the Superintendent for much of the time that the East Street Home was a Barnardo's establishment and he did stay in the area after his retirement, living at Pebsred, Grosvenor Road, Langley Vale, Epsom Downs.

Eldred married Louisa Naomi Orchard, born 1859 Hackney, in 1886 in Hackney district. They had seven children, five of whom were still alive in 1911. Six of the children were Eldred Frederick (1887 Islington), Louisa Beatrice Effie (c.1888 Islington), Stella Naomi (1890 Canonbury), Grace Marion (1892 Canonbury-1893), Elsie Dorothy (c.1895 Canonbury) and Isobel Lillian (1896 Canonbury).

Effie (as she was known) married civil servant Alfred Leslie Cadman (1888-1954) on 27 May 1916 at St Giles, Ashtead. Their son, artist Michael Lawrence Cadman, was a tutor at Epsom College of Art from 1947 to 1969. Effie died on 3 December 1961, then living in Reigate.

Stella died unmarried in 1917 (Romford district). Elsie married Wilfred Reginald Purnell in 1918 and died in 1971. Isobel married teacher John Victor Strudwick at St Martin's, Epsom on 5 August 1925 and died in 1984.

Eldred Frederick Hitchcock was educated at Burford Grammar School and Oxford University. His first job was as secretary of the charitable organisation Toynbee Hall. During the First World War he became a Government wool statistician, rising to be Deputy Director of Wool Textiles at the War Office. After the war he returned to Toynbee Hall as Warden. In 1915 he married Ethel M Cooper (died 1956) and there were two children. Subsequently he focused on the textile industry - particularly sisal - and in 1937 he settled in Tanganyika (now Tanzania), forming the Tanganyika Sisal Marketing Association; he was also in the forefront of establishing better conditions for the African employees and became involved in the country's political life. In his later years he started the development of tea estates in the Usumbaras Mountains of Tanganyika. He was awarded the CBE in 1920, was knighted in 1955 and died on 6 December 1959 in Tanganyika.

Louisa Hitchcock died on 8 June 1930 and the following year Eldred married Florence A Stone; he died on 17 January 1942. A local paper had this to say about him.

Death of Mr Eldred Hitchcock
His Work at Barnardo's Home

We regret to record the death of Mr Eldred Hitchcock (80), Pebsred, Grosvenor Road, Langley Vale, Epsom, who for a long period was Superintendent of the Barnardo Home, East Street, Epsom, the boys of which were a few years ago transferred to another of the Barnardo Homes.
Mr Hitchcock was endowed in a remarkable degree with qualities necessary for the care and control of the boys at the Barnardo Home. He was firm and he would be obeyed, but his sympathetic and understanding treatment of these boys contributed to their readiness to respond to the devoted efforts to develop them physically and mentally. He took an intense interest in their welfare, and his influence on them was evident to anyone who saw them at the Home or in the streets of Epsom. It was the general remark that they behaved themselves as 'little gentlemen', and they were the recipients of many expressions of kindly feeling on the part of Epsom's inhabitants, who got to know and like these boys, who, rescued from unhappy surroundings, were very happy at the Home in East Street. Mr Hitchcock's love of athletics was one thing that made its appeal to his young charges. Mr Hitchcock's fearless nature and his mental and physical virility contributed to his success in the realms of athletics. He liked all kinds of outdoor sports and this love of playing the game in all he did was imparted to the boys under him. While he encouraged them to play football and cricket, he was particularly interested in teaching them boxing, running and walking; and their quickly acquired ability and their sense of true sportsmanship impressed all who knew them. Most popular in the district were the boxing exhibitions these boys used to give, both indoors and outdoors.
It was amazing what Mr Hitchcock could do with unpromising boyhood material, and there are in all parts of the world old Barnardo boys who are grateful for what was done for them by Mr Hitchcock when they were at Epsom.
In retiring from the position of Superintendent Mr Hitchcock took up residence in Langley Vale. After the outbreak of war he was asked by the Barnardo Institution to take charge of a number of Barnardo children evacuated from blitzed areas and who were accommodated in a part of Harrington Hall, Spilsby, Lincs, and here Mr Hitchcock did further good work for the Barnardo Institution.
The work for a man of Mr Hitchcock's age was very heavy, and in poor health he returned home on December 6th. He was able to get up each day and did so on Sunday, but in the evening had a heart failure, which was fatal.
Mr Hitchcock was twice married, and by his first marriage had one son and three daughters.
The funeral of Mr Hitchcock took place yesterday. It was requested there should be no flowers or mourning.
So, to wind back a little, the staff in 1911 were Mr and Mrs Hitchcock and four assistant matrons: these were Miss Maud Mary Jutsum (who worked at the home for around 30 years), Miss Annette Cook, Miss Lilian Scott and Miss Irene Bunyan (the cook). As there were no live-in domestic servants, I would imagine that the inmates took care of the chores.

The last Superintendent and Matron of the Home were a Mr and Mrs Geary.


This article continues with Part 2


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