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> Salvation Army Maternity Homes, History of SA homes - Homeland/Redhall or Red Hall, Cleveden/Fraser of
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Kevin Pooley
post 18th Jun 2010, 01:42pm
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This is a response to comments and questions chosen from the following threads and posted over the past few years. I chose to answer in a single new thread so as to make it as coherent as possible and to hopefully make any responses easier. I realise that the result is a mammoth post, but I didn't think it made sense to try and separately answer every single post I wanted to address.

http://discuss.glasgowguide.co.uk/lofivers....php/t6589.html
http://discuss.glasgowguide.co.uk/lofivers...php/t15618.html
http://discuss.glasgowguide.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=17991

QUOTE
lesley52
6th Jan 2007, 12:43pm
Hi Mary, dont know if this will be of any help, but I was born in 1954 in 'Homelands'. This was a Salvation Army mother and baby home , the address given on court docs was 1014 Gt Western Rd but on my original brth cert it was 1077 Gt Western Rd, dont know which one is right as both buildings are no more. I believe 'Homelands' was something to do with the old 'Redlands' hospital for women. Good luck lesley52

QUOTE
*Susan*
19th Apr 2009, 10:22pm
I was born in Homeland in 1961 - this was 1014 Great Western Road, it was a salvation army mother and baby home and ihave managed to get some photos of it and it is lovely. There was a hospital called Redlands nearby which was a private nursing home for mothers and babies and i believe that they allowed the girls to give birth here even though it was private as a way of helping them their charitable contribution at the time.

I think I might have found at least one of the reasons for the confusion between ‘Homeland’ (no‘s’) and ‘Redlands’. The house that ‘Homeland’ moved to when it left 25 St Andrews Drive, Pollokshields in 1936 was ‘Redhall’, similar to ‘Redlands’ but obviously not quite the same. There are contemporary references to the house at 1014 Great western Road by this name in Salvation Army publications shortly before ‘Homeland’ opened; ‘… the opening of Redhall, the new Maternity Hospital at Great Western Road, Glasgow.’ It goes on to refer to ‘… Mr. John Anderson, the builder and owner of this house…’. I have not been able to track down a reference to this house under it’s original name, and if someone has one I would be grateful to know something about the earlier history of the home. The home had been known as ‘Homeland’ ever since it opened in St Andrews Drive in 1920 and was re-named ‘Homeland’ about two months after the move.
[Source: The Deliverer, July 1936, p.75]

Regarding any links between ‘Homeland’ and ‘Redlands’, I’ve gone through the returns I have from ‘Homeland’ for the period March to November 1961, and found the following.

Of the 34 births to women/girls staying at ‘Homeland’ during that period, 31 gave birth at ‘Homeland’ and just three were admitted to hospital to have their babies. In addition, ‘Homeland’ also provided delivery facilities for the women staying at ‘Cleveden House’, 5 Cleveden Road. Opened around 1947 as an annexe of ‘Homeland’, until 1964 the women from ‘Cleveden’ went to ‘Homeland’ to have their babies.
[Source: Girls’ Statement Book 54 (Country), various pages]

QUOTE
*Susan*
19th Apr 2009, 10:22pm
As soon as they gave birth the mothers were taken back along to Homelands where they stayed with their babies until they were 6 weeks old. At this time the authorities would be able to check if the children were healthy to be put up for adoption. Mothers were given 48 hours notice of impending adoptions arranged by the Social Work Dept in Glasgow.

That’s interesting as I didn’t know that. It’s certainly true that Glasgow Children's Department was the most significant single agency in arranging adoptions in this sample of births. Of the 32 babies born to ‘Homeland’ mothers during that period (2 of the 34 were stillborn) 7 went for adoption through them.

The Adoption Act 1949 tightened existing regulations and laid down, amongst others things, that a mother could not consent to adoption until her child was at least six weeks old. From my experience of other Salvation Army Maternity Homes (there were 14 in all in 1961, down from a peak of 24 in the pre-war period) it appears that this ‘six-week rule’ was gradually taken up as the minimum length of stay for most women in most of our homes, although a few specified a longer maximum.

Of our sample, a majority (25) stayed for 6 to 12 weeks. Six stayed for just 10-14 days, but of these 4 were taking their babies homes with them, while the other 2 had had stillbirths. The remaining 3 stayed at the home for 4-6 months. This was not especially unusual and the maximum stay allowed by most of our homes appears to have been one year. Stays longer than a few months were often in cases were the mother was thought to need additional support, or extra time to become competent in looking after her baby.

Lengths of stay in general had fallen over the years, as society changed. In earlier decades the women entering our homes were less likely to be able to return to the family home and often needed training before she could find suitable work. In those days a stay of 4-6 months would have been about the average.

Of course, not all of the babies born in our homes went on to be adopted. Of the 32 babies, 18 were adopted, but a further 14 left the home with their mothers. Most were able to return to their family’s homes, but three of them went to ‘The Knowe’, 301 Albert Drive, Pollokshields, an SA Mother and Baby Hostel, which could accommodate 19 mothers and their children. Opened as a maternity home in 1940 in 1947 ‘The Knowe’ was converted into a hostel for women who had been through (usually) one of our maternity homes. The mothers were able to go out to work to support themselves and their babies were looked after by a nursery officer and her assistants while they were out.

QUOTE
*Susan*
19th Apr 2009, 10:22pm
This i found the most upsetting thing from my records they wrote to my adoptive parents saying they had a girl come along and ahve a look at 'it' to see if they liked 'it'.! Piece of meat then.[/color]
I know it’s usual to refer to a baby in abstract as ‘it’, but surely not when you’re referring to a particular baby whose gender you know! A bit insensitive to say the least.

QUOTE
Heather
28th Dec 2008, 12:27am
Steph, there was a Home for unwed mothers in Great Western Road in the 1960s. I was in it a couple of times to visit a friend. Although she lived in the Home she was taken to the Rottenrow for the birth and the Home arranged the Adoption.

I think there were probably a few of these Home's in Glasgow.

Indeed there were. In addition to The SA homes mentioned above there were at least the following non-Army homes:

• Athol House, 63 Partickhill (Scottish Council of Single Parents/Family Care)
• Florentine, 33 Queen Mary Avenue (CoS Committee of Social Responsibility)
• 4 Grafton Street (Committee of Magdalene Institute)
• Lansdown House, 44 Sutherland Avenue (and other addresses) (CoS Committee of Social Responsibility/Family Care)
• St Gerard’s, Nithsdale Road (St Margaret of Scotland)
[Source: Where to Find Adoption Records, Georgina Stafford, pub.BAAF]

mamie
6th Jan 2009, 12:40am
I wish you the best of luck in your search. I to visited a girl in the Salvation Army home for expecting mothers, that would be a good place to start . The records must be kept somewhere!!!!!


With the exception of Cleveden (later Fraser of Allander House) for which we have a number of Maternity Registers and Day Books from the 1960s and ‘70s, no records from any of the Glasgow maternity homes themselves have survived. However we do have two series of records previously maintained at the London Headquarters of our Women’s Social Work wing, one for all our London homes and one for all the rest. Starting soon after we began this kind of residential social work in 1884, the two series continue until the end of our maternity work with single mothers, in 1982. For details of the one major break see my reply to one of TeeHeeHee’s posts below.

These contain details of mothers and babies leaving our maternity homes, compiled each month and sent to our London headquarters. As for specific pieces of information likely to be found in a Girls' Statement Book entry:

Girl's Name, Date of Birth, Date of Entry (into the maternity home), Where From, Ever in Prison, Ever Drink Case, Ever in other Homes, Date of Discharge (from the maternity home), Destination,
Name of Child, Date of Birth, Place of Birth, A number of questions about the financial support of the child and Destination of Child.*

*I have not included the name of the putative father because, in a 2007 ruling, the Information Commissioner specifically stated that the identity of the putative father [recorded in Salvation Army records] is not personal information for the child, and so can not be disclosed.

Isobel
6th Jan 2009, 03:28am
Would it not be a better move to contact the Children's Aid or whoever arranged the adoptions at that time.Good Luck


One of the most useful things about the girls’ statement books is that when giving a destination for a baby who is being adopted it usually gives the name of the organisation concerned. In the sample studied above this was given in 15 out of the 18 cases

TeeHeeHee
28th Jan 2009, 02:54pm
If you have 20 pounds to spare get onto Kate@birthlink.org.uk
Kate McDougall is Birthlink Co-ordinator at

Birthlink
21 Castle Street
Edinburgh
EH2 3DN
eMail : mail@birthlink.org.uk

The are there to re-unite in adoption cases.


I've helped Kate with more than twenty enquiries over the past four years, providing her with information on individuals born in our homes. In fact I can only provide information via Kate, or another adoption support worker, at least for records less than 75 years old. After this period we consider them to no longer be active social work records and I am able to provide access at my discretion.

Alison Arneson
24th Feb 2009, 12:50am
This is not really a reply-but another question. I was born in the Salvation Army Home for Unwed Mothers in December 1949. I am planning a trip back to Scotland in September ( I live in Canada) and just for curiosity would like to see the building if it still exists. Does anyone know the location of the home? Thanks for any assistance, Alison


I understand from an enquirer that ‘Homeland’ was demolished and flats built in its place. Having found the approximate locations of 1012 and 1016 Great Western Road on the Royal Mail database, I assume that ‘Homeland’ stood somewhere near the south-western corner of the rectangle formed by Beaconsfield Road, Cleveden Drive/Road. Do any of you with local knowledge have any thoughts on this?

TeeHeeHee
13th Apr 2009, 03:00am
If you were born out of wedlock the Sally Army cannot help. I was also born at 1014 GWR in 1944 and tried the SA. No luck.


Without knowing anything about your individual case (I hope it wasn't me you contacted as whoever it was didn’t explain the situation very well) I can’t be sure, but my guess would be that the problem was when you were born.

The Girls’ Statement Books mentioned above form our main series of records for answering maternity enquiries. Unfortunately, for homes outside the London area there is a gap in this series from March 1942 to March 1948, inclusive. That is to say that there will be no statement book entry for any woman leaving a home if she was discharged from March 1942 onwards in that period. In the absence of a statement book entry it will be very difficult to locate any information. We do hold a partial index for the missing material, although the information in this index is basic in the extreme. One other possibility is that a record could exist in a series of interview books which record many of the applicants for our London homes. If a baby’s mother made an application for entry to one of our homes while in London, or if she applied in the first instance by letter direct to our London headquarters, then a record could exist, although realistically this would have occurred in no more than 10-20% of cases for women entering homes outside London. As you can imagine this six-year gap is a constant frustration as our discharge records for the maternity homes are otherwise fairly complete.

Rabbie
13th Apr 2009, 12:08pm
Achh, with a bummer:( I thought Sally Ann could help trace if you were adopted, no matter what the circumstances of birth.


Everything I have covered relates to those people born in any Salvation Army home in the UK, whether or not they went on to be adopted. These enquiries are dealt with by us, at the Army’s International Heritage Centre, currently based in Camberwell. Our Family Tracing Service, famous for re-uniting family members separated sometimes for decades, is a separate department, and they are not able to take on searches involving adoption.

carsy1407
19th Jan 2010, 11:18am
From the responses I received from this forum ,it would appear that Homeland existed as a private Maternity Hospital but had a "wing" or annexe that was for "Unwed Mothers". The replies suggest that the Mums were admitted about 6 weeks prior to the expected birth but were housed in the annexe.
On starting labour the Mums were transferred to Homelands proper. I am informed that there was Nursing help only,at Homelands and that straightforward births happened there or in an adjacent building called "Redlands" ,also a Private Nursing Home.

carsy1407
19th Jan 2010, 11:32am
Births requiring surgical intervention or having complexity were sent to the Glasgow Royal Maternity Hospital.......known as "The Rottenrow".
After the birth , the Mothers were returned to Homeland where they remained in the main house for about 9 days.....they were then returned to the annexe for another 6 weeks.


As with every Salvation Army Maternity Home, starting in the East End of London in the 1880s, ‘Homeland’ existed to cater for pregnant women who were not unmarried. Some did have provision for a small number of ‘local’ patients, married women living locally who wished to use a home for their confinement because of its good reputation. Local patients helped to subsidise the running of the homes. If ‘Homeland’ had an annexe attached to the main building then it would probably have been for the small number of local patients. If we had not been using the building to care for unmarried women the married ones would not have been there. On starting labour women would have been transferred from the main part of ‘Homeland’ to the delivery ward within the same building (as far as I know). In the event of complications or a serious pre-existing medical condition a hospital birth would be arranged.

The Mums were allowed to breastfeed their babies…

That's correct. That appears to have been the norm in all of our homes. For those homes for which maternity registers survive details are given of the method of feeding. It’s not something I’ve done any kind of detailed analysis of, but many of the babies were breastfed.

…but ,it would seem, to varying degrees, they were all encouraged to give up their babies for adoption. Those who responded to my questions have said that having resisted the adoption call, their Mothers were dealt with less favourably.

I have heard of this happening in homes run by other organisations, but have yet to come across evidence of it being common in Salvation Army homes, and that includes conversations with women who had their babies in one. The Salvation Army view on adoption from quite an early stage is summed up by this extract from a volume of instructions for officers:

6. In exceptional cases, however, it will be found desirable to procure adopting parents for homeless children. These may be-
(i) Orphans
ii) The illegitimate children of women who have been taken charge of by The Army, and who are unable to bear the burden of their support. All such cases must be the exception and not the rule...”
[Orders and Regulations for Social Officers (Women), 1916, p.171]

*Susan*
27th Jan 2010, 12:15am
The picture is of Redlands not Homelands - Homelands was the home the salvation army ran at 1014 Great Western Road. I dont know how to update photos on this site but would be happy to send on to anyone who wanted them. I was born here in 1961 and my mother was unmarried - the Redlands site was a private hospital nearby where they were allowed as a charitable gesture mothers from HOmelands were allowed to give birth. The Salvation Army will not help anyone to trace family through adoption as they believe people have moved on and be allowed to do so. They will however provide you wtih any details on your birth record that they have. I suggest you go to Birthlink in Edinburgh who will open up your court file and tell you what they have in the envelope sometimes not much sometimes a lot. I am on shebmer@aol.com if i can help.


There is a beautiful colour photo of Redlands at:
[http://www.flickr.com/photos/seapigeon/708222903/]
And according to the caption it was “converted in 1924 to Redlands Hospital for woman which closed in 1978.” The address given is 11 Lancaster Crescent, Glasgow and the Royal Mail database gives the postcode as G12 0RR. If you type the postcode into multimap.com and select Bird’s Eye view you will get an aerial photograph of it as it is today. Based on the scale given on the map I would estimate that it is about 500 yards south-east (roughly) of Redhall/Homeland

Carsy1407
14th Jan 2010, 04:09pm
It just beats me why an organisation as particular as the Salvation Army have no records of this place.........nor for the people that it "cared for".
From my answers given so far, it would appear that "Homeland".....and possibly " Redlands".....existed on two levels:-
One that was outwardly respectable in that they were Private Maternity Homes and secondly that there was a bit " round the back".....( i.e. out of sight of the respectable bit) where the "Bad Lassies" had to be dealt with.
Is this the case......is there a touch of the Magdalene Sisters within all this?

A comment from the Salvation Army would go a long way to helping to clarify the situation.


I hope you think that this has helped do just that. If anyone has any questions, please post them. If I have got any of my facts wrong forgive me, as I have been in this appointment just five years, and the Army has had over four-hundred homes and hostels in the UK during the past 125 years! If you would like to contact me confidentially then please e-mail me direct.

kalgje
13th Jan 2010, 04:59pm… Homeland was staffed by nurses who lived on premises only pay being room and board and a little extra for personal exps members of Sal/army.


Most of the nurse/midwives in our maternity homes were indeed Salvation Army officers (ministers), who had given their lives in service to God in a very practical way. Our officers have always received an allowance sufficient for their needs, with a little extra, as opposed to being paid for the hours worked. Accommodation has always been provided. Then as now Salvation Army employees are paid wages in the normal way.

Redlands was along the road, both had private patients beautiful homes.

Does anyone know who actually ran Redlands?

Homeland also owned another home around the corner where young women unmarried at the time lived. When I was in Homeland giving birth to our first child, I befriended a girl (I was only 21 myself) who was planning to give her child up foradoption. I would see her most days (stay was 9 days, changed days eh?) and we would talk.She explained for 6wks prior to delivery date, they would stay round corner until going into labor, taken to Homeland for the birth, back round corner where they stayed for further 6 weeks.Mothers could breast feed if they wished until adoption most no choice difficult decision Thankfully changed days and attitude. good luck in search my date 1963

This sounds like Cleveden (later Fraser of Allander House) which when you were in ‘Homeland’ in 1963 was still an annexe of ‘Homeland’ without its own facilities for deliveries. These were added some time in 1964. Since you were in Homeland I would be interested to hear more of your memories, if you were interested.

carsy1407
13th Jan 2010, 05:28pm
The thing I was really trying to track down,was some idea of the route or process by which the expectant mothers arrived at Homelands.
Would they be the result of being " chucked oot" or was it a more structured " via the Doctor/Minister" type arrangement?


Good question. It varied from home to home as well as over time of course, but out of the small nine month sample I have analysed for ‘Homeland’, the following responses were given as ‘Manner of Application’

'The Knowe' x 4*
Glasgow Children's Department x 3 (all three 14-year-olds - standard practice for girls this young)
Stirling Public Health Department x 2
Almoner (Hospital Social Worker) x 2
Matron of hospital/home x 2
Church of Scotland Social Services x 1
SA officer in the community x 1
Own GP x 1

Personal x 18

* I assume that ‘The Knowe’ was a fairly high-level presence locally, and also most of the women staying there went out to work, so it’s possible that they were in a position to put young women in similar circumstances in touch with the Army.

carsy1407
13th Jan 2010, 07:07pm
...... and I just wonder from reading other similar enquiries ,if it is an element in their past that they would rather forget.......I mean in terms of the " un-married " ladies , where some speak of "encouragement" to part with their babies.....or "pressure"in several cases due to the nature of the Social stigma
Any further comments/observations greatly welcomed.


It couldn’t be further from the truth. I have never met a single individual Salvationist, either officer or lay-person, express such a view, and I have been an officer for twenty-three years. It is an integral part of what our ministry has been over the years, and it has been written as such. As for the Salvation Army corporately, the position of Social Historian has existed for about twenty years, and roughly half my time is spent dealing with enquiries from people who were born or gave birth in our homes and hospitals, or whose adoptions may have been arranged by us.

The Army started its work with unmarried mothers or mothers-to-be precisely because they were stigmatised as a group by society and there was insufficient provision for them. In 1889 we opened our first maternity hospital in Hackney, east London. Twenty-four years later it was replaced with ‘The Salvation Army Mothers’ Hospital’ in nearby Lower Clapton Road. It was opened to serve the (unmarried) women in our London maternity homes, with married women being admitted starting with those who had lost their husbands during the Great War. It was among the earliest hospitals in Britain where all the staff, including the doctors, were women. It expanded to serve the entire district, including its own District Nursing posts. In all, the Mothers’ Hospital had delivered 124,000 babies and trained 3,000 nurses through its Midwifery Training School by the time it finally closed its doors in 1986. So you see, if anything, we are just a little proud of this part of our history.

I have picked those posts that seemed most in need of answers, and I hope I have provided some useful information. I have not necessarily kept quoted posts in any chronological order, instead arranging the ones I wanted to answer in the best way to answer them. Please accept my apologies for my mistakes (all corrections welcome) or if I have misunderstand anyone’s meaning. Please feel free to contact me direct if you have any individual queries.

Regards

Kevin

Major Kevin Pooley
Social Historian
The Salvation Army International Heritage Centre
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kalgje
post 18th Jun 2010, 06:55pm
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Hello Kevin,
My post from Jan 2010 was chosen by you to be answered.
My doctor at the time was Dr.Russell, who resided in the house behind Homeland making it easy for him to Hop the fence if he was called upon.
The staff were a wonderfully dedicated 'bunch'. The sister who assisted at the birth of my baby, also occassionally served us breakfast if they were busy, however, what impressed me most was seeing her washing the floor outside our room. She stayed on the premises with other staff members on the top floor. She told me she did not receive a pay per se but was given room and board with 'pay' for personnal expenses. I was 21yrs old and married at the time. We paid for our stay,bringing 1 doz.'nappies' with names sewn on (leaving one behind or more if we wished), also nighties and vests, everything being washed by staff except jackets or bootees we washed ourself. We stayed for 9 days, regardless of status. Homeland was a very large victorian house with doors opening into a huge front hallway with a very wide stairway leading upstairs. I don't mean to sound facetious, but the first time I saw it I thought it was exactly like Tara in the movie Gone with the wind, so felt very overwhelmed. Once upstairs,the hallway went all around so you could look over the banister from any point looking into the foyer below. It was beautifully maintained with gleaming wood, everything spotlessly clean. I can remember it smelling of polish and detol. The one noticable difference between married and unmarried mothers was being married, you could have your baby with you anytime, whereas being unmarried and considering placing your child for adoption meant your baby was brought to you only for feeding.The labour room was quite stark, with a hospital bed,chair, washhand basin and cupboard with glass doors, housing instruments which terrified me just looking at them, thankfully they stayed in the cupboard while my baby was being born. There was a sluice room with a large bath with claw feet which had a curtain you pulled around and placed next to it was a large bin filled with salt. I was told to run a bath and put 1 cup of salt into it. I don't mind telling you I was a bit reluctant, since I had just given birth and didn't like the sound of this, but it felt great, so I guess they new what they were doing , we did the same with the detol. I gave birth Dec 22nd so spent Christmas there. It was snowing on Christmas eve making the gardens very picturesque, the staff donned their capes and caps gathering outside to sing carols for the benefit of all residents. Some girls changed their minds re adoption at the end of the 6 wk period, moving home or to Albert Drive where they could stay while getting their life sorted out.I new one girl who made this decision, meeting up with her because I stayed round the corner from Albert Dr. She seemed to make her decision without much pressure, but of course I can only speak of her. Homeland was a refuge for many young women due to attitudes in our era, thankfully much has changed. It is very sad that no records exist. I hope I've given you a peek at what it was like in homeland.
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TeeHeeHee
post 18th Jun 2010, 10:41pm
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Hi Kevin,
Thanks for picking out my posts on that thread. If I were to supply you with Birth Certificate details would you care to see how far you could get on this?
Up until now I've been hitting one blank wall after another.
Even half a hint would be a start.
I'll post you a PM here or you can PM me an eMail address, which ever is easier for you.
cheers,
Tomi


--------------------
Wait a minute ... I've got my eye on a burd.

... Some try to tell me thoughts they cannot defend ...
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notaneastender
post 21st Jun 2010, 06:07am
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What a fascinating and fantastic reply Kevin. I've not actually needed any of this info but I'm sure it's very useful to others. I love all the social history stuff so found ot very interesting to read. Thanks for taking the time.
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Kevin Pooley
post 21st Jun 2010, 07:33am
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QUOTE (kalgje @ 18th Jun 2010, 08:12pm) *
Hello Kevin,
My post from Jan 2010 was chosen by you to be answered.
My doctor at the time was Dr.Russell, who resided in the house behind Homeland making it easy for him to Hop the fence if he was called upon...


Thank you for your memories of Homeland, they were full of the sort of details that could only come from someone who had been there. Although I have been able to speak to a number of women who had their babies in SA maternity homes, the vast majority of enquiries I deal with are from the 'babies' themselves, now aged anything from 30 to 85! Obviously they want information from me about how the homes where run and what normal daily life in them was like.

Regards

Kevin

Major Kevin Pooley
Social Historian
The Salvation Army International Heritage Centre
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Kevin Pooley
post 21st Jun 2010, 08:08am
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QUOTE (TeeHeeHee @ 18th Jun 2010, 11:58pm) *
Hi Kevin,
Thanks for picking out my posts on that thread. If I were to supply you with Birth Certificate details would you care to see how far you could get on this?
Up until now I've been hitting one blank wall after another.
Even half a hint would be a start.
I'll post you a PM here or you can PM me an eMail address, which ever is easier for you.
cheers,
Tomi


Hi Tomi

Thanks for your reply. Put the details from your birth certificate (or even better attach a good-quality scan of it) along with any facts that you think might be useful, in an e-mail to the address I am going to send you, and I will get back to you within a week. Please don't get your hopes up though, as I said above the lack of statement books for that part of the 40s rely does remove our main source of information for maternity homes. However, I will do my best.

Regards

Kevin

Major Kevin Pooley
Social Historian
The Salvation Army International Heritage Centre
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Kevin Pooley
post 21st Jun 2010, 08:16am
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QUOTE (notaneastender @ 21st Jun 2010, 07:24am) *
What a fascinating and fantastic reply Kevin. I've not actually needed any of this info but I'm sure it's very useful to others. I love all the social history stuff so found ot very interesting to read. Thanks for taking the time.


I'm glad you found it interesting, and hope that others will to. With any luck it will help clarify a few things and may encourage some people who did not know where to go for information to contact us.

Thanks again.

Regards

Kevin

Major Kevin Pooley
Social Historian
The Salvation Army International Heritage Centre
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kalgje
post 21st Jun 2010, 05:18pm
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QUOTE (Kevin Pooley @ 21st Jun 2010, 08:50am) *
Thank you for your memories of Homeland, they were full of the sort of details that could only come from someone who had been there. Although I have been able to speak to a number of women who had their babies in SA maternity homes, the vast majority of enquiries I deal with are from the 'babies' themselves, now aged anything from 30 to 85! Obviously they want information from me about how the homes where run and what normal daily life in them was like.

Regards

Kevin

Major Kevin Pooley
Social Historian
The Salvation Army International Heritage Centre

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kalgje
post 21st Jun 2010, 05:23pm
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Hello Kevin, I received your personnal message but was unsucessful sending my reply I'm not too familiar with this site.I'll be happy to help, feel free to ask away
Elizabeth (Betty) Hunter
e.hunter.66@live.ca
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auzzieann
post 31st Jul 2010, 01:46pm
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This is my first posting on this site and just feel I had to tell my story. I was a 21 year old unmarried mother in 1966 and my parents wanted me to "hide away from the neighbours" until after the birth of my son. I had been raped. I was first of all put in a home for unmarried mothers AND alcoholics AND druggies etc. It was run by Catholic nuns and I was a Protestant. They received our maternity allowance and we had to clean and cook for our keep. The doors were kept locked and the windows had bars on them. We all slept in a sort of dormitory which was just horrible and I eventually asked my dad to get me away from there, which he did. We got a taxi to "The Knowe", Albert Drive, Pollokshields which was run by the Salvation Army and was an unmarried mother's home. The unmarried mothers who were waiting to give birth, would look after the children of unmarried mum's who went out to work. I stayed there until a month before my due date when I was moved to Cleveden House, Cleveden Road. I spent my 21st birthday in that home. When I went into labour I was taken into this small room and was left there and just told to ring the bell if I needed assistance. I remember the Salvation Army nurse was just beautiful and had a lovely soft voice. I lay there for 3 days before I eventually gave birth to my beautiful son. There was no way that I was allowed to even consider keeping my son and my parents told me that he had to be adopted. I was a very immature 21 old and wish I knew then what I know now. I fed, bathed, nursed and changed my son for 6 weeks, and I then had to buy his layette to dress him in to hand over to the Salvation Officer on my last day. I am 65 years old now and have been happily married for 43 years and have 2 sons and 3 grandchildren. There is never a days goes bye without me thinking of my beautiful baby boy that I gave away to strangers. The only consolation I can take from the whole situation is that I gave my son to a couple who could not have any children of their own and I was providing my son with a better start in life than I could provide for him. Many times I've started to search for him but was too scared to continue to search - how could I tell him his birth was the result of a "rape". I just hope that he has had a very happy and healthy life. I also cannot thank the Salvation Army enough for the support they gave me. Any woman who had a baby at that home needs to contact Glasgow City Council, as it was them who dealt with the adoption and it was there that I signed the final papers.

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TeeHeeHee
post 31st Jul 2010, 06:07pm
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Welcome to GG, Aussieann.
Your story is very touching indeed. You are a year younger than I am but apart from the circumstances of my conception, about which I can hardly be expected to know anything, the first six weeks of your son's live must have ran on a course similar to mine.
I, however, was not adopted but rather fostered at 6 weeks. I grew in a poor but decent family and always from the age of about nine knew, or figured, that I had a story that no one was telling me. at 15 years of age I was told who I was; not really shocked since I had a vague feeling any way. Out of respect for my parents I declined to find out who I really was and that was probably my very first ever mistake made at the time when I was finally allowed to control my own life.
Had my mother been the victim of rape, or just a silly wee lassie, a druggie or whatever, I know that I would have been happy just to know her; my real mum.
Maybe your son's adoptive parents told him something of his background when he was old enough. I hope he comes knocking on your door one day as I would like to knock on my mums door.
I have no idea what the outcome might have been had you searched for your son; let sleeping dogs lie, but I wish my mum had searched for me.
I'm still trying; but getting nowhere.
The reason I'm trying is just to be able to say, Hey, it's ok., honest, things happened as they happened. Thanks for bringing me into the world.
I'm sure your son would say the same.


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Wait a minute ... I've got my eye on a burd.

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auzzieann
post 31st Jul 2010, 11:40pm
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Hi there TeeHee,

Thanks so much for replying to my post. Way back in the 1960's, it was very shameful to be an unmarried mother, no matter what the circumstances, and I have lived with that shame all of my life. It has taken me all these years to even put my story in writing. I don't think my son will ever come knocking on my door as I emigrated to Australia 29 years ago, which would make it very difficult for him to find me. I'm so sorry to hear you haven't been able to find your birth mum. Were you born in the UK? Surely your foster parents have the details of where you came from! I know you want to respect your parents but I'm sure they would understand. "Jigsaw" is another search name you could try. Whoever your mum is I am sure she would be very proud of you today as you sound a very compassionate and understanding person. Don't stop trying TeeHee, as you never know what tomorrow holds. I wish you all the very best of luck in your search and thank you once again for your kind words.
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TeeHeeHee
post 1st Aug 2010, 12:36am
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QUOTE (auzzieann @ 1st Aug 2010, 12:50am) *
Hi there TeeHee,

Thanks so much for replying to my post. Way back in the 1960's, it was very shameful to be an unmarried mother, no matter what the circumstances, and I have lived with that shame all of my life.

That might have been so in Scotland, Auzzieann, definitely so in the '40s, but England in the '60s was totally different; and more so today. The half of my grandchildren are illegitimate (and I'm pleased my daughters did not marry their fathers)
There's no shame whatever in becoming pregnant and bringing a child into the world. Equally, there's no shame in abortion. Things happen in life and either one comes to a decision or that decision is taken out of ones hands. That's life.
I'm not really so compassionate, I just try to be a realist; which doesn't of course rule out feelings.
But I can imagine my 18 year old mother, a single lass of 17 falling pregnant in a war torn Glasgow with a strict, probably very religious family with Irish ancestry having no chance to keep her baby.
Or maybe she simply didn't need the additional problem of an illegitimate baby to rear; who knows?
But one way or the other I'm here and I really am pleased about that. At least I got a start.
Forget that shame Ann; you really have nothing to be ashamed about. At least you gave your kid a decent start.
Your Parents, like my mother's parents, are the ones who should bear the shame for turning their grand child away; but they too might have been prisoners of circumstance, who knows?
The more grandkids I get the better (even got a great grand daughter now biggrin.gif ).
My foster parents are long dead now but I remember one day a guy came to our door and he was my foster mother's double. She always maintained she had a two year younger brother who was boarded out before her other 4 brothers came into the world. They all thought she was haverin' of course.
Fifty years after they had been separated; she 4 he 2, he was stood at the door.
She died three months later. But the joy her brother brought to her, and the shock to her other brothers, was golden. Sometimes that happens in life too.
(when I told her to sit, there was a guy to come to see her and I'd go and bring him in, her first thought was Oh, my God, what have you been up to this time ? tongue.gif )


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... Some try to tell me thoughts they cannot defend ...
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glasgow lass
post 1st Aug 2010, 02:29am
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Hi ann that sure was a very tragic begining to your youg adult life and I just cant begin to imagine the pain that you had to endure by giving up your little boy, very heart breaking for mums to do, Im sure. The same for your mum Tee.It rips my heart out as I am a mother myself and I might have died if I had to give my child up, terrible for the mother and for the child.
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the brauns
post 1st Aug 2010, 07:44pm
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[quote name='TeeHeeHee' date='31st Jul 2010, 03:17pm' post='310927'] Maybe your son's adoptive parents told him something of his background when he was old enough. I hope he comes knocking on your door one day as I would like to knock on my mums door. I have no idea what the outcome might have been had you searched for your son; let sleeping dogs lie, but I wish my mum had searched for me. I'm still trying; but getting nowhere.(quote]

Don't give up, Tee. It sounds like you're getting closer than ever to an answer as to where your mum might be.

I've been fortunate enough to have two cousins find me this year who I never knew existed (60 some years!). One through these very boards and one through the Scots at War website. They both followed items I had posted back to me.

NEVER give up hope in finding your mum.
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