The lead image from the exhibition Foundling Voices
Foundling Voices

Foundling Voices

40 Brunswick Square London WC1N 1AZ
14 Apr 2011 — 30 Oct 2011
  • Exhibitions & Displays
Foundling Voices featured the experiences of 74 former pupils whose memories of their childhoods in the first half of the 20th century have been graphically preserved in audio interviews.

This exhibition focused on tales from former Hospital pupils that looked at family separation, the stigma of illegitimacy, a spartan school education, wartime heroism and the search for birth mothers. The exhibition was funded by a £322,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and was part of a four-year project to collect and preserve the memories of former pupils, complementing the Foundling Hospital’s past and present archives. The exhibition was divided into five themes: Early Life, School Life, Into the World, Search for Birth Families and Reflections, and each one was illustrated with memories and detailed extracts from the foundlings’ personal stories. The Hospital’s former pupils painted a remarkably vivid picture of their lives and times. These unique children were given up for care at birth and spent the first five years of their lives with foster mothers, before starting their education in the care of the Hospital. At the age of 15, they then went into the outside world – often either joining the forces, (for boys) or going into service (for girls).

 

 

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