Development from 1945 - 1952

During the period from 1945 to 1952 there were unprecedented changes in the way the Foundling Hospital was run, and the social and psychological well-being of the children.

In 1935, when the children were moved from the temporary Hospital in Redhill to the very modern buildings in Berkhamsted, the children still wore traditional costume; the school uniform. The girls in brown frocks, stiff white tippets and caps, with brown scarlet-lined cloaks, and the boys in brown serge suits, scarlet waistcoats, brass buttons, Eton collars and black bow ties.

During this period strict discipline was maintained with the elder children being in charge of the younger ones. Boys were separated from Girls, even for meals. The girls would sing grace which the boys could hear through the glass doors separating the two sides of the dining hall, and this was the signal for the boys to start their meal. The only time Boys saw Girls was on Sundays when the children attended morning, afternoon and evening Chapel.

The boys in particular were very regimented in their lives complete with their own military band. Over the years the Foundling Hospital produced 19 Bandmasters of Line Regiments.

In 1945 the school uniform was disbanded in favour of traditional clothes of the period. The boys in grey trousers and jackets, white shirts. grey socks. The girls in nice dresses and modern gym slips and blouses. This was quite an innovation for the children as with this change came a relaxation of the regimented life style.

Changes in Headmasters also signalled a move to a more understanding and caring approach in the way in which the Children were looked after. From the austere Dickensian attitude of the past where children were taught to be subservient to others and had no choice but to enter a life of service to the rich, came an understanding of the need to prepare the children to face the outside world with an education and knowing that each child had something special to offer the world. For the girls domestic service and the boys either military service or farm-work soon became a thing of the past.