Francis Way Mother and Baby Home, Knowle, Warwickshire

The Second World War was marked by an increase in the number of illegitimate births. The Birmingham Diocesan Rescue Society responded to this situation with the opening in September 1942 of a maternity home for single mothers at 124 Four Ashes Road, Bentley Heath. The Francis Way Mother and Baby Home, as it was known, was run by Franciscan Missionaries of the divine Motherhood and could accommodate up to 25 young women and their babies.

The home closed in 1976. The property is now privately owned.

Records

Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals.

  • The Father Hudson's 'Origins' service can provide access to records relating to children whom the Society placed for adoption or who were in its care, including those who were migrated to Canada or Australia. The establishments for which the Society may hold records are:

    • Francis Way Mother and Baby Home, 124 Four Ashes Road, Bentley Heath, Knowle, Warwickshire.
    • Woodville Mother and Baby Home, 176 Raddlebarn Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham.
    • St Edward's Boys Home, Coventry Road, Coleshill.
    • St George's and St James' Cottage Homes, Coventry Road, Coleshill.
    • St Joan's and the Nursery, Coventry Road, Coleshill.
    • St Paul's, High Street, Coleshill.
    • St Andrew's, Blythe Road, Coleshill.
    • St Vincent's Working Boys Hostel, 102 Moseley Road, Birmingham.
    • Manresa Working Girls Hostel, Vernon Road, Edgbaston.

    They may also have records if the Birmingham Diocesan Rescue Society placed you with:

    • Maryvale Nursery, Old Oscott Hill, Kingstanding, Birmingham.
    • Nazareth House, Rednal, Birmingham
    • Pallotti Hall, Siddington, Nr Macclesfield
    • St Joseph's, Jesson Road, Walsall.

    To make an enquiry/application regarding records, download and complete the relevant application form from the Father Hudson's website. A charge is made for dealing with some types of enquiry.

Bibliography

  • Pinches, Sylvia M. Father Hudson and His Society: A History 1898-1998 (1998, Archdiocese of Birmingham Historical Commission)