The Last Foundling

The Last Foundling

Book - 2014
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When she fell pregnant in London in 1938, Jean knew that she couldn't keep her baby. The unmarried daughter of an elder in the Church of Scotland, she would shame her family if she returned to the north in such a condition. Scared and alone in a city on the brink of war, she begged the Foundling Hospital to give her baby the start in life that she could not.

The institution, which had been providing care for deserted infants since the eighteenth century, allowed Jean to nurse her son for nine weeks, leaving her heartbroken when the time came to let him go.

But little Tom knew nothing of her love as he grew up in the Foundling Hospital - which, during years of the Second World War, was more like a prison than a children's home. Locked in and subject to public canings and the sadistic whims of the older boys, there was no one to give him a hug, no one to wipe away his tears.

A true story of desertion and neglect, this is also a moving account of survival from one of the very last foundlings. It stands as a testament to the love that ultimately led a family back together.

Publisher: London : 2014. Pan,
ISBN: 9781447253266
Branch Call Number: B 362.732092 M'KEN
Characteristics: 306 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 20 cm


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d2013 Oct 28, 2016

Well written and moving!

Jul 21, 2016

An excellent portrayal by the author of his life as an orphan in England. The unbearable loneliness of having no family haunts him throughout his early years, as well as the hardships of being institutionalized. There are, however, intervening times of happiness in various foster homes.
Although this was the situation for many of these orphans, they pale when one researches the plight of orphans throughout Canada during the same period of time. The monstrosities committed to "the Duplessis Orphans" by the government and Catholic Church are beyond belief but true. Also, the same type of abuse and genocide by The United Church and Catholic Church (and others?) to our Indigenous children in residential 'schools' is truly beyond criminal.
It is reported that it is far easier to adopt a child from a foreign country than through our Children's Aid Societies that many just give up. I personally know such a married couple who tried.
In summary, as we know, every baby/child needs a loving, nurturing family in order to achieve personal growth and stability. Fostering, although there are many well-meaning 'parents' is only temporary. It can also be a lucrative business - whereas adoption means true commitment.

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