The Waifs and Strays Story

The First Child

The first girl to enter the Dulwich Home was Isabella Trotter-Williams, an illegitimate child whose mother, a Miss or Mrs Williams, had died at when Isabella was three. She had then been given a home by a Mrs Trotter on Ratcliffe Highway. After Mrs Trotter died when Isabella was fourteen, the girl was taken into the Home. It was then decided that Isabella was an ideal candidate for emigration to Canada. She was accordingly despatched to the home at Peckham run by Miss Maria Rye who organised emigration parties of such children. The £10 fee (plus outfit) for the arrangement was paid by the Society. Isabella's outfit comprised:

'Outfit' Dress given her by a lady
New flannel petticoat
Chemise belonging to the house she came from. Marked
Stockings she came in
Old pair of boots given her by Miss Rye
Hat she came in
Old petticoat of her own

In 1884, the Dulwich Home moved to a larger property at 62 Overhill Road, originally called Baroda House but renamed the Lampson Home for Girls in 1887.

Lampson Home, East Dulwich, c.1931. © Peter Higginbotham