St Jude's Home for Girls, Selhurst, London

The St Jude's Home for Girls was originally in 1861 at Franklin's Walk, Chelsea but in 1895 moved to new premises at 49 Dagnall Park, Selhurst. In 1904, the home was taken over by the Waifs and Strays Society. In 1912, the home could accommodate 36 girls, aged 8 to 13.

St Jude's Home for Girls, Selhurst, c.1904. © Peter Higginbotham

St Jude's Home for Girls, Selhurst, c.1906. © Peter Higginbotham

The building had originally been two separate houses but a central entrance was built to link them together, with an open walkway above.

St Jude's Home for Girls, Selhurst, c.1923. © Peter Higginbotham

The younger girls attended a local school while the older ones were trained in household skills. This both prepared them for future employment in domestic service and enabled them to carry out the housework involved in running the home.

St Jude's Home for Girls, Selhurst, c.1913. © Peter Higginbotham

St Jude's Home for Girls, Selhurst, c.1923. © Peter Higginbotham

St Jude's Home for Girls, Selhurst, c.1928. © Peter Higginbotham

The home closed at the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 and the girls were evacuated to Southbourne in Dorset. The Selhurst home never re-opened.

The Dagnall Park premises no longer exist and the site is now a playing field.

Records

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.

Bibliography

  • 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.)
  • 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)
  • 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.