Ancestry UK

Ravenswood, Crowthorne, Berkshire

During the Second World War, the Soldiers', Sailors' and Airmen's Families Association (SSAFA), founded in 1885 to support British servicemen and ex-servicemen, opened a number of short-stay children's homes. The first of these, at Heswall, was set up in the wake of the heavy bombing of Liverpool in 1941.

The work continued after the war, and in 1946, the Association opened a short-stay home for children at Ravenswood, a large country house near Crowthorne, Berkshire, previously used as a private school for girls and small boys. The home was officially opened on 25th June, 1946, by Hilda, Duchess of Richmond and Gordon. Ravenswood was the first new home to be purchased by SSAFA since the end of the war, and was the first step in the Association's policy of expanding its accommodation for the children of serving and ex-Service men and women during periods of domestic crisis when, for some reason, their parents were unable to care for them themselves.

Ravenswood, Crowthorne, c.1930s. © Peter Higginbotham

In 1953, the Ravenswood estate was taken over by four families aiming to provide education and care for their children and for others with a learning disability. Today, Ravenswood Village, as it is now known, is home to 130 people with learning disabilities. The original Ravenswood house no longer stands.


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  • SSAFA, 4 St Dunstan's Hill, London EC3R 8AD. It is understood that no records survive relating to individuals who stayed at the home.