In 2018 Barnardo’s published 125 year-old photographs of disabled children.
When Barnardo died in 1905, there were 7,998 children in the care homes – and some 1,300 were disabled. These previously unseen photographs, going back more than 125 years from the charity’s records, tell some of their stories.
Kate McLoughlin was born in 1882 in Nottingham, and was admitted to Barnardo’s at the age of seven by the local vicar. Her father had been in prison several times, and was in jail at the time. The family of five lived in one room which the local vicar described as, ‘the most utter squalor and filth’. It was ‘the very worst home’ he knew in his parish. Kate’s mother battled alcoholism, and while she was out drinking, her first child drowned in a bucket of water, and another was seriously burnt. When Kate was just a baby, she fell out of her mother’s arms, and subsequently suffered hip disease and deformity. After care and training in the homes, she went into domestic service in 1905