H. Rider (Henry Rider) Haggard.

Regeneration: being an account of the social work of the Salvation army in Great Britain online

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six months in the Home, and was doing well.

E. F. Aged forty-eight; was the widow of a
professional man, whom she married as his
second wife, and by whom she had two children,


one of whom survives. She began to drink
before her husband's death, and this tendency
was increased by family troubles that arose over
his will. She mismanaged his business and lost
everything, drank heavily and despaired. She
tried to keep a boarding house, but her furni-
ture was seized and she came absolutely to the
end of her resources, her own daughter being
sent away to her relatives. E. F. was nine
months in the Hillsborough Home, and had
gone as cook and housekeeper to a situation,
where she also was giving every satisfaction.

The Maternity Nursing Home
Lome House, Stoke Newington

HER Royal Highness Princess Louise, the
Duchess of Argyll, defrayed the cost of
the purchase of the leasehold of this charming
Home. The lady-Officer in charge informed me
that the object of the establishment is to take in
women who have or are about to have illegitimate
children. It is not, however, a lying-in Home,
the mothers being sent to the Ivy House Hospital
for their confinements. After these are over they
are kept for four or sometimes for six months at
Lome House. At the expiration of this period
situations are found for most of them, and the
babies are put out to nurse in the houses of care-
fully selected women with whom the mothers can
keep in touch. These women are visited from
time to time by Salvation Army Officers who
make sure that the infants are well treated in
every way.

All the cases in this Home are those of girls
who have fallen into trouble for the first time.
They belong to a better class than do those who


are received in many of the Army Homes. The
charge for their maintenance is supposed to be
\ a week, but some pay only 5$., and some
nothing at all. As a matter of fact, out of the
twelve cases which the Home will hold, at the
time of my visit half were making no payment.
If the Army averages a contribution of 7$. a
week from them, it thinks itself fortunate.

I saw a number of the babies in cradles placed
in an old greenhouse in the garden to protect
them from the rain that was falling at the time.
When it is at all fine they are kept as much as
possible in the open air, and the results seem to
justify this treatment, for it would be difficult to
find healthier infants.

Five or six of the inmates sleep together in a
room; for those with children a cot is provided
beside each bed. I saw several of these young
women, who all seemed to be as happy and con-
tented as was possible under their somewhat
depressing circumstances.

The Maternity Receiving Home
Brent House, Hackney

Home serves a somewhat similar pur-
pose as that at Lome House, but the
young women taken in here while awaiting
their confinement are not, as a rule, of so high
a class.

In the garden at the back of the house about
forty girls were seated in a kind of shelter
which protected them from the rain, some of them
working and some talking together, while others
remained apart depressed and silent. Most of
these young women were shortly expecting to
become mothers. Certain of them, however,
already had their infants, as there were seventeen
babies in the Home who had been crowded out
of the Central Maternity Hospital. Among these
were some very sad cases, several of them being
girls of gentle birth, taken in here because they
could pay nothing. One, I remember, was a
foreign young lady, whose sad history I will not
relate. She was found running about the streets
of a seaport town in a half-crazed condition and


brought to this place by the Officers of the
Salvation Army.

in this house there is a room where ex-patients
who are in service can bring their infants upon
their holidays. Two or three of these women
were here upon the occasion of my visit, and it
was a pathetic sight to see them dandling the
babies from whom they had been separated and
giving them their food.

It is the custom in this and other Salvation
Army Maternity Homes to set apart a night in
every month for what is called a Social Evening.
On these occasions fifty or more of the former
inmates will arrive with their children, whom
they have brought from the various places where
they are at nurse, and for a few hours enjoy their
society, after which they take them back to the
nurses and return to their work, whatever it may
be. By means of this kindly arrangement these
poor mothers are enabled from time to time to
see something of their offspring, which, needless
to say, is a boon they greatly prize.

The Maternity Hospital
Ivy House, Hackney

THIS Hospital is one for the accommodation
of young mothers on the occasion of the
birth of their illegitimate children. It is a humble
building, containing twenty-five beds, although I
think a few more can be arranged. That it serves
its purpose well, until the large Maternity Hospital
of which I have already spoken can be built, is
shown by the fact that 286 babies (of whom only
twenty-five were not illegitimate) were born here
in 1909 without the loss of a single mother.
Thirty babies died, however, which the lady-
Officer in charge thought rather a high propor-
tion, but one accounted for by the fact that during
this particular year a large number of the births
were premature. In 1908, 270 children were born,
of whom twelve died, six of these being premature.
The cases are drawn from London and other
towns where the Salvation Army is at work.
Generally they, or their relatives and friends,
or perhaps the father of the child, apply to the
Army to help them in their trouble, thereby, no-


doubt, preventing many child-murders and some
suicides. The charge made by the Institution for
these lying-in cases is in proportion to the ability
of the patient to pay. Many contribute nothing
at all. From those who do pay, the average sum
received is los. a week, in return for which they
are furnished with medical attendance, food,
nursing, and all other things needful to their state.

I went over the Hospital, and saw these unfor-
tunate mothers lying in bed, each of them with
her infant in a cot beside her. Although their
immediate trial was over, these poor girls looked
very sad.

'They know that their lives are spoiled,' said
the lady in charge.

Most of them were quite young, some being
only fifteen, and the majority under twenty. This,
it was explained to me, is generally due to the
ignorance of the facts of life in which girls are
kept by their parents or others responsible for
their training. Last year there was a mother aged
thirteen in this Hospital.

One girl, who seemed particularly sad, had
twins lying beside her. Hoping to cheer her up,
I remarked that they were beautiful babies,
whereon she hid her face beneath the bedclothes.

' Don't talk about them,' said the Officer,
drawing me away, ' that child nearly cried her
eyes out when she was told that there were


two. You see, it is hard enough for these
poor mothers to keep one, but when it comes to
two ! '

I asked whether the majority of these unfor-
tunate young women really tried to support their
children. The answer was that most of them
try very hard indeed, and will use all their
money for this purpose, even stinting themselves
of absolute necessaries. Few of them go wrong
again after their first slip, as they have learned
their lesson. Moreover, during their stay in
hospital and afterwards, the Salvation Army
does its best to impress on them certain moral
teachings, and thus to make its work preventive
as well as remedial.

Places in service are found for a great number
of these girls, generally where only one servant
is kept, so that they may not be taunted by the
others if these should find out their secret. This
as a rule, however, is confided to the mistress.
The average wage they receive is about 18 a
year. As it costs them ^13, or 55. a week, to
support an infant (not allowing for its clothes),
the struggle is very hard unless the Army can
discover the father, and make him contribute
towards the support of his child, either voluntarily
or through a bastardy order.

I was informed that many of these fathers are
supposed to be gentlemen, but when it comes to-


this matter of payment, they show that they have
little title to that description. Of course, in the
case of men of humbler degree, money is even
harder to recover. I may add, that my own long
experience as a magistrate goes to confirm this
statement. It is extraordinary to what meanness,
subterfuge, and even perjury, a man will some-
times resort, in order to avoid paying so little as
is. 6d. a w : eek towards the keep of his own child.
Often the line of defence is a cruel attempt to
blacken the character of the mother, even when
the accuser well knows that there is not the
slightest ground for the charge, and that he
alone is responsible for the woman's fall.* Also,
if the case is proved, and the order made, many
such men will run aw*ay and hide themselves in
another part of the country to escape the fulfil-
ment of their just obligations.

In connexion with this Maternity Hospital, the
Salvation Army has a Training School for

* But the day before this proof came into my hands it was
my duty to help to try a case illustrative of these remarks. In
that case a girl when only just over the age of sixteen had been
seduced by a young man and borne a son. First the father
admitted parentage and promised marriage. Then he denied
parentage, and, apparently without a shadow of evidence,
alleged that the child was the result of an incestuous inter-
course between its mother and a relative. At the trial, having,
it seemed, come to the conclusion that this wicked slander
would not enable him to escape an affiliation order, he again
frankly admitted his parentage. In the country districts, at
any rate, such examples are common. H. R. H.


midwives and nurses, all of whom must pass
the Central Midwives Board examination before
they are allowed to practise. Some of the students,
after qualifying, continue to work for the Army in
its Hospital Department, and others in the Slum
Department, while some go abroad in the service
of other Societies. The scale of fees for this four
months' course in midwifery varies according to
circumstances. The Army asks the full charge of
eighteen guineas from those students who belong
to, or propose to serve other Societies. Those
who intend to go abroad to work with medical
missionaries, have to pay fifteen guineas, and
those who are members of the Salvation Army,
or who intend to serve the Army in this Depart-
ment, pay nothing, unless, at the conclusion of
their course, they decide to leave the Army's

At the last examination, out of fourteen students
sent up from this Institution, thirteen passed the
necessary test.

'The Nest'

WHEN I began to write this book, I deter-
mined to set down all things exactly as
I saw or heard them. But, although somewhat
hardened in such matters by long experience of
a very ugly world, I find that there are limits to
what can be told of such a place as ' The Nest '
in pages which are meant for perusal by the
general public. The house itself is charming,
with a good garden adorned by beautiful trees.
It has every arrangement and comfort possible
for the welfare of its child inmates, including an
open-air bedroom, cleverly contrived from an old
greenhouse for the use of those among them
whose lungs are weakly.

But these inmates, these sixty-two children
whose ages varied from about four to about six-
teen ! What can I say of their histories? Only
in general language, that more than one half of
them have been subject to outrages too terrible to
repeat, often enough at the hands of their own
fathers ! If the reader wishes to learn more, he


'THE NEST' 113

can apply confidentially to Commissioner Cox,
or to Mrs. Bramwell Booth.

Here, however, is a case that I can mention, as
although it is dreadful enough, it belongs to a
different class. Seeing a child of ten, whose
name was Betty, playing about quite happily with
the others, I spoke to her, and afterwards asked
for the particulars of her story. They were brief.
It appears that this poor little thing had actually
seen her father murder her mother. I am glad
to be able to add that to all appearance she has
recovered from the shock of this awful experience.

Indeed, all these little girls, notwithstanding
their hideous pasts, seemed, so far as I could
judge, to be extremely happy at their childish
games in the garden. Except that some were of
stunted growth, I noted nothing abnormal about
any of them. I was told, however, by the Officer
in charge, that occasionally, when they grow older,
propensities originally induced in them through
no fault of their own will assert themselves.

To lessen this danger, as in the case of the
women inebriates, all these children are brought
up as vegetarians. Before me, as I write, is the
bill of fare for the week, which I tore off a notice
board in the house. The breakfast on three days,
to take examples, consists of porridge, with boiling
milk and sugar, cocoa, brown and white bread
and butter. On the other mornings either stewed


figs, prunes, or marmalade are added. A sample
dinner consists of lentil savoury, baked potatoes,
brown gravy and bread; boiled rice with milk and
sugar. For tea, bananas, apples, oranges, nuts,
jam, brown and white bread and butter and cocoa
are supplied, but tea itself as a beverage is only
given on Sundays. A footnote to the bill of fare
states that all children over tweive years of age
who wish for it, can have bread and butter before
going to bed.

Certainly the inmates of ' The Nest,' if any
judgment may be formed from their personal
appearance, afford a good argument to the advo-
cates of vegetarianism.

It costs ;i3 a year to endow a bed in this
Institution. Amongst others, I saw one which
was labelled ' The Band of Helpers' Bed.' This
is maintained by girls who have passed through
the Institution, and are now earning their liveli-
hood in the world, as I thought, a touching and
significant testimony. I should add that the
children in this Home are educated under the
direction of a certificated governess.

My visit to this Refuge made a deep impression
on my mind. No person of sense and experience,
remembering the nameless outrages to which
many of these poor children have been exposed,
could witness their present health and happiness
without realizing the blessed nature of this work.

The Training Institute for Women

Social Workers


COLONEL LAMBERT, the lady-Officer in
> ' charge of this Institution, informed me that
it can accommodate sixty young women. At the
time of my visit forty-seven pupils were being
prepared for service in the Women's Department
of what is called ' Salvation Army Warfare.'
These Cadets come from all sources and in various
ways. Most of them have first been members of
the Army and made application to be trained,
feeling themselves attracted to this particular
branch of its work.

The basis of their instruction is religious and
theological. It includes the study of the Bible,
of the doctrine and discipline of the Salvation
Army and the rules and regulations governing
the labours of its Social Officers. In addition,
these Cadets attend practical classes where they
learn needlework, the scientific cutting out of gar-
ments, knitting, laundry work, first medical aid,
nursing, and so forth. The course at this Insti-


tution takes ten months to complete, after which
those Cadets who have passed the examinations
are appointed to various centres of the Army's
Social activities.

When these young women have passed out and
enter on active Social work they are allowed
their board and lodging and a small salary to
pay for their clothing. This salary at the com-
mencement of a worker's career amounts to the
magnificent sum of 45. a week, if she ' lives in '
(about the pay of a country kitchen maid) ; out
of which she is expected to defray the cost of her
uniform and other clothes, postage stamps, etc.
Ultimately, after many years of service, it may
rise to as much as los. in the case of senior
Officers, or, if the Officer finds her own board
and lodging, to a limit of \ a week.

Of these ladies who are trained in the Home
few leave the Army. Should they do so, how-
ever, I am informed that they can generally
obtain from other Organizations double or treble
the pay which the Army is able to afford.

This Training Institution is a building admir-
ably suited to the purpose to which it is put.
Originally it was a ladies' school, which was
purchased by the Salvation Army. The dining-
room of the Cadets was very well arranged and
charmingly decorated with flowers, as was that
of the Officers beyond. There was also a Cadets'


retiring-room, where I saw some of them reading
or otherwise amusing themselves on their Satur-
day half-holiday. The Army would be glad to
find and train more of these self-sacrificing
workers; but the conditions of the pay which they
can offer and the arduous nature of the lifelong
service involved, are such that those of a satis-
factory class are not too readily forthcoming.

Attached to this Training Institution is a Home
for girls of doubtful or bad antecedents, which I
also visited. This Rescue Home is linked up
with the Training School, so that the Cadets may
have the opportunity of acquiring a practical
knowledge of the class of work upon which they
are to be engaged in after-life. Most of the girls
in the Rescue Home have passed through the
Police-courts, and been handed over to the care
of the Army by magistrates. The object of the
Army is to reform them and instruct them in
useful work which will enable them to earn an
honest living.

Many of these girls have been in the habit of
thieving from their mistresses or others, generally
in order to enable them to make presents to their
lovers. Indeed, it would seem that this mania
for making presents is a frequent cause of the
fall of young persons with a natural leaning to
dishonesty and a desire to appear rich and
liberal. The Army succeeds in reclaiming a great


number of them ; but the thieving instinct is one
not easy to eradicate.

All these girls seemed fairly happy. A great
deal of knitting is done by them, and I saw
a room furnished with a number of knitting
machines, where work is turned out to the value
of nearly 2$ a week. Also I was shown piles
of women's and children's underclothing and
other articles, the produce of the girls' needles,
which are sold to help to defray the expenses of
the Home. In the workroom on this Saturday
afternoon a number of the young women were
engaged in mending their own garments. After
their period of probation many of these girls
are sent out to situations found for them by
the Army.

The Women's Industrial Home


THIS Home is one of much the same class as
that which I have just described. It has
accommodation for forty-eight girls, of whom over
1,000 have passed through the Institution, where
they are generally kept for a period of six months.
Most of the young women in the Home when I
visited it had been thieves. One, who was
twenty-seven years of age, had stolen ever since
she was twelve, and the lady in charge told me
that when she came to them everything she had
on her, and almost all the articles in her trunk
were the property of former mistresses.

In answer to my questions, Commissioner Cox
informed me that the result of their work in this
Home was so satisfactory that they scarcely liked
to announce it. They computed, however, that
taken on a three years' test for the subsequent
career of each inmate is followed for that period
90 per cent of the cases prove to be permanent
moral cures. This, when the previous history of
these young women is considered, may, I think,


be accounted a great triumph. No money contri-
bution is asked or expected in this particular
Home. Indeed, it would not be forthcoming from
the class of girls who are sent or come here to
be reformed, many of whom, on entering, are
destitute of underclothing and other necessaries.
The needlework which they do, however, is sold,
and helps to pay for the upkeep of the place.

I asked what was done if any of them refused
to work. The answer was that this very rarely
happened, as the women-Officers shared in their
labours, and the girls could not for shame's sake
sit idle while their Officers worked. I visited the
room where this sewing was in progress, and
observed that Commissioner Cox, who conducted
me, was received with hearty, and to all appearance,
spontaneous clapping of hands, which seemed to
indicate that these poor young women are happy
and contented. The hours of labour kept in the
Home are those laid down in the Factory Acts.

While looking at the work produced by the
inmates, I asked Commissioner Cox if she had
anything to say as to the charges of sweating
which are sometimes brought against the Army,
and of underselling in the markets. Her answer
was :

4 We do not compete in the markets at all,
as we do not make sufficient articles, and never
work for the trade or supply wholesale; we sell


the garments we make one by one by means of
our pedlars. It is necessary that we should do
this in order to support our girls. Either we must
manufacture and sell the work, or they must

Here we have the whole charge of sweating by
the Army in a nutshell, and the answer to it.

In this Home a system has been devised for
providing each girl with an outfit when she leaves.
It is managed by means of a kind of deferred pay,
which is increased if she keeps up to the standard
of work required. Thus, gradually, she earns her
outfit, and leaves the place with a box of good
clothes. The first thing provided is a pair of
boots, then a suitable box, and lastly, the materials
which they make into clothes.

This house, like all the others, I found to be
extremely well arranged, with properly-ventilated
dormitories, and well suited to its purposes.

The Inebriates' Home
Springfield Lodge, Denmark Hill

A I A HIS house, which has a fine garden attached,
-* was a gentleman's residence purchased by
the Salvation Army, to serve as an Inebriates'
Home for the better class of patients. With the
exception of a few who give their services in con-
nexion with the work of the place as a return for
their treatment, it is really a Home for gentlefolk.

When I visited it, some of the inmates, of whom
there are usually from twenty-five to thirty, were
talented ladies who could speak several languages,
or paint, or play very well. All these came here
to be cured of the drink or drug habit. The fee
for the course ranges from a guinea to los. per
week, according to the ability of the patient to
pay, but some who lack this ability pay nothing
at all.

The lady in charge remarked drily on this
point, that many people seemed to think that as
the place belonged to the Salvation Army it did
not matter if they paid or not.

As is the practice at Hillsborough House, a
vegetarian diet is insisted upon as a condition of


the patient receiving treatment at the Home.
Often this is a cause of much remonstrance, as
the inmates, who are mostly persons in middle or
advanced life, think that it will kill them. The
actual results, however, are found to be most satis-
factory, as the percentage of successes is found
to be 50 per cent, after a year in the Home and
three years' subsequent supervision. I was told
that a while ago, Sir Thomas Barlow, the well-
known physician, challenged this statement. He
was asked to see for himself. He examined a
number of the patients, inspected the books and
records, and finally satisfied himself that it was
absolutely correct.

The Army attaches much importance to what
may be called the after-care of the cases, for the
lack of which so many people who pass through
Homes and then return to ordinary life, break
down, and become, perhaps, worse than they were
before. The seven devils of Scripture are always
ready to re-occupy the swept and garnished soul,

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Online LibraryH. Rider (Henry Rider) HaggardRegeneration: being an account of the social work of the Salvation army in Great Britain → online text (page 6 of 14)