Unseen photos of charity’s first foster children - including nine-year-old who was sent to Godmanchester - are released

Herbert Ransom at age nine, left, and again at age 13, after spending time in Godmanchester.

Herbert Ransom at age nine, left, and again at age 13, after spending time in Godmanchester. - Credit: Archant

Children’s charity Barnardos has released previously unseen photos showing some of the first children to be fostered in England, including a child who spent time in Godmanchester.

The charity is celebrating its 150th birthday and is marking the milestone by looking back to its early days, and revealing some of the stories of its first fostered children.

One of those children was Herbert John Ransom, born in May, 1877, in London.

When Herbert’s father died of dropsy (a condition where fluid accumulates in the body causing swelling) his mother, Ann, struggled to provide for her seven children. Her own poor health stopped her from taking on much work which left her with a meagre charwoman’s earnings of 7s per week and a parish supplementary allowance of six loaves and 6s per week.

Sadly this was not enough to care for all of her family so Ann made the decision to ask Barnardo’s to admit all four of her sons, while the three girls stayed home at Manor Park, London.

Herbert, who was just nine-years-old, spent three days in an infirmary in his first three weeks with Barnardo’s. His records show he was just 3ft 11” tall and weighed three stone 6 lbs.

He boarded out for four months in Godmanchester before moving to a placement in Loughton, Essex for three years.

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After nine months training back in Stepney, his time in Barnardo’s came to an end as he moved into employment in 1890.

Some 21 years later, the 1911 census indicates Herbert’s own wife had died leaving him with two young sons living in West Ham, London.

Herbert was 83 years of age when he died in 1963.