Foundlings at war

Foundlings served in the First World War in a wide variety of roles. Many Foundling boys went into military bands, which were part of a musical tradition dating from the earliest days of the Foundling Hospital.

Poppies to commemorate the foundlings who served in WW1

Former Foundling girls were among millions of women who worked and volunteered in jobs, which were previously reserved for men. Others collected for charities to support serving men and their families.

Thirty-seven former Foundlings lost their lives serving in WW1, and their names are commemorated on our roll of honour. Most were men who served in the British Army or Royal Navy but the list also includes one woman and two merchant seamen. All the names are inscribed in the Book of Remembrance, which is displayed in the Weston Gallery at Coram’s headquarters.

Foundlings at War at the Foundling Museum

In addition, between 2014 and 2016 the Foundling Museum exhibited a series of displays examining the historic links between the Foundling Hospital and the military. The displays were the result of Foundlings at War, a major research project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Find out more on the Foundling Museum website.

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