Into the World

Most children left the Foundling Hospital School at the age of 14 or 15. Traditionally the girls went into domestic service and the boys joined the army, often as band boys, where they could use their musical skills. While the school system prepared the boys well for military life, the girls often felt lonely and isolated in their new positions. After the war the school broadened the options, particularly for girls, with many learning shorthand and typing and going into office jobs. Some children were also given the chance to continue their education at grammar schools. The experience of going into the world was both an exciting and a challenging one for young people who had led very enclosed lives, and activities such as managing money or meeting friends often posed real problems.

Alice

They did kit you out

We went into London, and bought clothes and this funny hat...

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Name Change

When I was 15

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Bob

No life experience

I had got... very involved with the... Evangelical Church of England...

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Helen

Sex

And we never learned anything about sex. Never lear-- mentioned the word...

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Ruth

Comfort zone

There weren't many options - you could become a short-hand typist or work in a...

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John

Nothing to cry about

I mean we didn't have a civilian ah uniform-- civilian clothes when we left the...

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Beatrice

Illegitimate, so had to go

Then I got a job -- yeah, I was working in an aircraft factory...

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