16 October 2015

#52Ancestors - Week 40 - "October"

Week 40 (October 1-7) – October: What ancestor has a birthday or anniversary in October?
I was wondering what I was going to write about for this entry, when I got a very special package in the mail. It was something I've been waiting on for since February this year (2015). Finally my patience paid off.

Way back in February, I wrote about my Great Aunt Gertrude Agnes Beak. I knew when she was born, that she was a Barnardo's girl and had been sent by Barnardo's in the UK to Australia in 1924. But there was a lot of information missing. Today, the package I received from Barnardo's UK filled in many of the blanks.

So let's start with the link to October, this week's theme, and work our way around that.

October 3, 1910, was the date that Aunty Gert was admitted to Barnardo's - at the age of 1 year and 8 months.

Here's the story, based on a letter written to me dated October 6, 2015 by Barnardo's UK - 105 years after Gert's admission.

Gertrude was born on 2 February 1909, at Lambeth in South London and was admitted to Barnardo's on 3 October 1910, aged 1 year 8 months.

Gert on her admission to Barnardo's in October 1910

Her father, a married man, had a liaison with Minnie. He lived in London and contributed willingly to his daughter's foster care following her birth. The year before her admission, Gert was accepted on to Barnardo's Auxiliary Boarding-Out Scheme which meant Barnardo's also contributed to her foster care, thus allowing her mother to find work to support herself and her child.

Gert's mother, Minnie Beak, later became very ill with consumption and died at her parents' home on 15 September 1910 from this disease.

Minnie's parents were stated to be very fond of their deceased daughter but were financially unable to support their grandchild.

Following her admission to Barnardo's in October 1910, Gert was immediately placed in the Girls Village Home at Barkingside in Essex.

She was moved on 14 October 1910 to foster parents living in the village of Halstead in Essex where she remained for the next 6 years (and we see Gert living with that family in the 1911 census)

On 11 July 1916, Gert was brought to London and placed for one night in the Receiving House situated in Stepney Causeway, East London, and the next day was placed with foster parents living in Norfolk.

Gert came back to the Receiving House on 9 October 1919 and was moved the following day to the Girls Village Home at Barkingside in Essex where she remained for the next 4 years.

As we learnt in the previous blog about her, on 4 January 1924, Gert left England as part of a group of Barnardo's Girls and arrived in Australia on 20 February 1924.

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