Ted

Ted was born in October 1933 and was fostered in Saffton Walden. He attended the Foundling Hospital School at Berkhamsted. After completing his National Service in the RAF he worked for several jewellery companies. He now lives in Herefordshire.

Ted Mitson outside the Foundling Museum
Ted Mitson's birth mother

Name Change

Audio Transcript

When I was 15 I went to live with the Mitsons … and Saffron Walden was a very small town - it's grown a bit - probably about, a small market town about 5,000 population. And everybody knew everybody else. And I joined the local youth club and, inevitably, my contemporaries at the youth club began to query, 'Well look, your brothers and sisters are called Mitson, why are you called Finney?' Now you have to realise in 1948 there was still a lot of stigma about illegitimacy. So I was aware and was not, not willing to admit to people that I wasn't related to or even what the circumstances were. Well we had, we had identity cards in those days and I went to local - I think it was like the local labour exchange - and took my identity card. 'What can I do for you young man?' I said, 'I want to change my name.' He said, 'Well, what you want to call yourself?' I said, 'I want to call myself Mitson.' He said, 'What, Edward?' So I said,'Yeah.' So he wrote me out a new identity card, wait for this, 'Edward Finney hyphen Mitson.' Overnight the little bastard had become rather posh because people think double barrel names are posh. So that's how it all started.