View Full Version : Fegan's homes

sea oxen
7th Aug 2010, 00:23
A friend of mine spent WWII in the care of a home in Stony Stratford. For reasons with which I shall not bore you, I've always been interested to listen to the anecdotes of the elderly, although it is terrifying to consider that he's not that much older (in relative terms) than I (50%).

There is little to be discerned about the boys who were housed in these orphan's homes apart from by anecdote. Nothing is committed to paper, it seems. The epithet 'orphan' was extended to boys whose parents could or would not care for them. A common example was a mother whose husband was away fighting, and whose amorous pursuits did not sit well with the presence of a child. Such were the circumstances of my friend. After the war, state-assisted housing was more readily acquired with an abundance of children, and he was therefore returned to the bosom of his family. No change there, then.

The main source of information is to be gleaned from the families of the boys who were trained on a farm in Goudhurst, or something like that, in Kent, and expatriated to that Queen of Colonies[0] - Canada. It seems that some of these boys felt that they'd won a lottery, and others were heartbroken that they'd been sent far away. The reason for the abundance of interest is that the children and grandchildren of these emigrees not unnaturally wish to examine their roots.

From what I gather, the nutrition was acceptable and the punishment severe at times, but not unduly so. The conditions at a public school a decade earlier would have been little different, with the exception of the Latin and the fagging.

Was anyone here a Fegan boy, or did someone know of one?

I am asking this because I asked him the other night: "What was it like at Stony Stratford?" His eye welled with tears. "No-one's ever asked that of me before." It appears that his daughters, his wife, his co-workers, his friends in the Navy, and - most worryingly his parents - never asked. I'd like to help him discover more.

[0] yes, that was deliberate. Dominions. America is a colony.

7th Aug 2010, 01:11
Daily life at Fegan's Homes for Boys (http://clutch.open.ac.uk/schools/watlingway99/DailyLife.html)

The golden bridge: young immigrants ... - Google Books (http://books.google.ca/books?id=Qs3uIWGetJAC&pg=PA367&lpg=PA367&dq=Mr.%20Fegan's%20Homes&source=web&ots=Tzflb2E6QT&sig=3iuME-CIFvl9jI_RB-ak8_2GaOk&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=10&ct=result#v=onepage&q=Mr.%20Fegan's%20Homes&f=false)

You might try searching on 'Barnardos' too . . .

7th Aug 2010, 01:44
If you are still looking for the info' then this may help:-
[email protected]
David Waller is the person to contact.

IT IS OUR POLICY to make available a copy of the boys’ records to relatives where this is available. The earliest records for Admissions date from 1887, but the information within them is sparse. Records from about 1915 onwards contain more information. Please contact us ([email protected]) for a Request for Information Form which will need to be signed by the former resident or surviving next of kin.
Fegans Child and Family Care (http://www.fegans.org.uk/enquiry.html)