The History of Wandsworth Common


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Edward VII and Queen Alexandra visit the RVPA for Girls, 1907




Queen Victoria...
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King Edward and Queen Alexandra...
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Girls with King an Queen and dignitaries
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Morning Post — Thursday 25 July 1907

THE ROYAL VICTORIA PATRIOTIC ASYLUM. JUBILEE COMMEMORATION. VISIT OF THE KING AND QUEEN.

The Jubilee of the foundation and endowment of the Royal Victoria Patriotic Asylum, Wandsworth Common, as a national memorial for the benefit of orphan daughters of the nation's soldiers, sailors, and marines, was commemorated yesterday.

The proceedings were graced by the presence of their Majesties the King and Queen, who gave marked evidence of their interest in and appreciation of the beneficent work that has always been the great characteristic of the institution, which owed its beginning to the initiative of Queen Victoria. It is hardly possible to assess by figures merely the value of that work, but some idea, at all events, is conveyed by the statement made by the Duke of Connaught, the President of the Royal Patriotic Fund Corporation, that during the past fifty years no fewer than 2.413 girls have been admitted into the institution, receiving a sound elementary education and a practical training fitting them to earn their own living in domestic employment, and that the most gratifying reports have been received from employers of those who have passed out — undoubted testimony of the good service rendered by the girls.

[WHAT A SENTENCE!]

As his Majesty emphasised, is impossible to overestimate the good that has been done, and it may confidently assumed, as it is certainly desired, that yesterday's Royal commendation will further stimulate public sympathy in this branch of philanthropic effort.

A large and representative gathering was present, guests invited including Earl Nelson, General the Hon. Sir Neville G. Lyttelton. Admiral A. L. Winslow, Sir Henry Kimber, M.P., Colonel Sir E. W. D. Ward, Sir George Hay ter Chubb, Sir Richard Awdry, Sir William Lancaster, Mr. D. J. Shackleton, M.P., Mr. Koarley, M.P., Mr. G. D. Kelley. M.P.. Mr. A. H. Gill, M.P., Dr. Pollock (Head Master of Wellington College), Mayors of Wandsworth and Battersea, the Rev. H. B. Riley (Head Master Emanuel School), Captain Cooper-Key (Superintendent of Greenwich Hospital School). Colonel A. N. Murray (Commandant the Duke of York's Military School). Lieutenant Bosanquet, R.N. (Secretary of the Marine Society), Mr. A. Shirley Bonn, Canon Erskine Clarke, Mrs. Poulden, representatives of the Education Department of the London County Council, and the following members of the Royal Patriotic Fund Corporation: Mr. W. Hayes Fisher (chairman), Lord Methuen, Admiral Sir Cyprian Bridge, Admiral Sir Nathaniel Bowden Smith, Sir Francis Mowatt, Colonel Sir James Gildea. Sir Frank T. Mar/.ials, Mr. Arthur Henderson, M.P., Mr. H. G. Fordham, Mr. C. H. R. Stansfleld. Mr. J. WillisBund, and Mr. F. B. Wyatt: while the committee of management of the Royal Victoria Patriotic Asylum was represented by Lady Harrison, Lady Walker, Mrs. Lyster, Mrs. Fox. Major-General W. B. Cumberland, and Mr. W. Castle.

?? in its power to succour and relieve, far the funds disposal will permit, the necessitous widows, orphans, and other dependents of your Majesty's Navy and Army.

Speech by his Majesty.

The King reply said: "I have to thank your Royal Highness for your loyal address welcome. No nobler use could have been made the Royal Patriotic Fund than by the establishment of the splendid work beneficence known the Royul Victoria Patriotic Asylum. impossible to overestimate the good which has been done your efforts afford careful instruction so many young girls between the ages of seven and sixteen. When they leave you they are qualified to take position in the world which enables them to earn their own living, and they are not likely to forget the careful training they have received at yonr bauds. l am confident that you fully realise the grave responsibility which attaches to your work, and that thorough investigation you are careful to acquire intimate knowledge of the circumstances of each case submitted to your care. I familiar with the good work performed by your Corporation apart from this Orphanage, and of its constant endeavours to assist those whose husbands or fathers had met their death while in service. I pray that by God's Blessing the success of your efforts may long be continued.-'

The Queen Presents Prizes.

Radge brooches and prizes were then presented by her Majesty. The names of the recipients were announced the Secretary, who stated that five of the girls who were sixteen years of age were leaving the institution, and they were to receive what was regarded the badge of honour. It was given for good conduct in special degree, and knew that it was highly prized every girl who possessed it.

The other prizes included three gained for cooking in competition with girls from all the schools in the Metropolis, and five gained in religions Instruction in competition with girls in other schools the Diocese. The presentations over, the children, under the conductorship of Mr. Seymour Dicker, sang "Rule Britannia, " and they acquitted themselves admirably.

Commemoration Tablet. Their Majesties were then conducted the Play Hal! and the Infirmary, and their return the front of the main building the King unveiled a mural tablet in commemoration of the jubilee of the foundation of the asylum.

The inscription on the tablet was follows; His Majesty King Edward VII., accompanied by her Majesty Queen Alexandra, visited the Royal Victoria Patriotic Asylum 21th July, 1907, to commemorate the jubilee of its foundation and endowment out of the Patriotic Fund 1857, by command of her Majesty Queen Victoria, as a national memorial, for the benefit of the orphan daughters of the nation's sailors, soldiers, and marines."

As their Majesties left the building the band played "God Save the King," and the return journey was commenced amid the enthusiastic cheers of vast concourse of people.

Arrival of their Majesties.

The King and Queen, who were accompanied Princess Victoria, and attended by Lord Colebrooke, Sir Arthur Davidson, Captain the Hon. Seymour Fortescue, R.N., and the Marchioness of Salisbury, arrived by motor car promptly noon. They were heartily cheered by thousands of people who had gathered the vicinity, the crowd being very large on the long stretch of roadway, from which, looking across the railway, an excellent view of the asylum obtained. On the lawn in front of the well-known building the band from the Royal Hospital School at Greenwich played National Anthem. The Duke of Connaught, who was accompanied by the Duchess of Connaught, received their Majesties at the main entrance and presented members of the Executive Committee of the Royal Patriotic Fund Corporation and the Committee of Management of the Asylum. The Queen had on a pale mauve flowered muslin dress, with insertions of lace, a heliotrope feather boa, and a toque with shaded velvet pansies. Princess Victoria was wearing a pale blue and whitce-striped monsseline dress, a black hat with marabout plumes, and a pale blue feather ruff. The Duchess of Connaught's dress was of black and white striped silk.

Address from Wandsworth.

Before inside the building their Majesties were approached the Mayor of Wandsworth, who very fittingly presented address from the borough in which the asylum is situated. address stated:

We rejoice that your Majesties have shown in the welfare of this institution the same warm intorest with which it has been honoured by her late beloved Majesty Queen Victoria and many other membora of Koval Family, to whose sympathy nnd support it deeply indebted. The silo of the institution comprises 40 acres, formerly part of the common which is surrounded, and an open space is of groat value to the large population of the two adjoining Boroughs of Battersea and Wandsworth. During the years which have elapsed since the institution was established this population has increased from about 60,000 to over 500,000, and is still rapidly increasing. is less than a month since your Majesties graciously opened in adjacent borough the Union Jock Club, also for the benefit of men serving the Army and Navy, and your presence on this Interesting occasion is another inatanco of the readiness of your Majesties to promote the success institutions established for the advancement the best interests of the Servioes of the Crown.

The King's Reply.

His Majesty handed the following reply: On behalf of the Queen and myself have to thank you for your loyal and dutiful address. I am glad take this opportunity of meeting the representatives who have been chosen by people to regulate the affairs of this important borough. The object of my visit to which you allude with much sympathy is one which must appeal to all those who have the welfare of their country heart. The men of Navy and Army have ever boon distinguished for bravery and devotion, and no public effort is more worthy of support than the endeavour to provide for the orphan girls of those who have died in the service of their country. I rejoice in the success of institution which bears the name of Queen Victoria, dear and ever to lamented mother. I wish it every success in the future. I share with you the gratification which must all feel in the promotion of this worthy and patriotic object."

Record a Great Work.

A procession was then formed, and as the Royal party entered the large dining hall where the guests had assembled the throe hundred girls in the Orphanage, who were drawn on each side of the carpeted way, — sang the National Anthem. The children, dressed in their Sunday best, " and beaming with delight, made up charming and realistic picture. Their Majesties having taken up their positions on the platform, the Duke of Connaught read the following address May it please your Majesty, — I have, on my own behalf President and on behalf of the Royal Patriotic Fund Corporation, to thank your Majesty for graciously visiting the Royal Victoria Patriotic Asylum In commemoration of the jubilee of its erection and endowment in 1857 by command of her Majesty Queen Victoria.

Upon a mural tablet at the entrance of this building there is the following inscription: This Asylum for the Orphan Daughters of the Soldiers, Seamen, and Marines of the Realm is erected and endowed by command of Queen Victoria from part of Patriotic Fund formed in 1854-55 by the Donations of the People of Great Britain and Ireland, the British Colonies and India, aided by many contributioos from other parts of the World.

During the fifty years which have elapsed since 1857 2,413 girls have been admitted into the institution, receiving sound elementary education and practical training fitting them to earn their own living in domestic employment. most gratifying reports have been received from employers of those who have passed out testifying to the good service rendered the girls. Since the Patriotic Fund was raised other funds have passed under its administration, and now the Royal Patriotic Fund Corporation, of which I have the honour to be President, administers funds for the benefit widows, children, and other dependents of offleers and men of your Majesty's Navy and Army.

During the fifty years which have elapsed since the foundation of the original Patriotic Fund 12, 164 widows, 15, 784 children, and 2, 216 other relatives of officers and men of your Majesty's Navy and Army have benefited to the extent of £3, 296, 927. At the beginning of this year there remained on the books of the funds 4, 102 widows, children, and other dependents, and I desire to assure your Majesty and your Majesty's subjects throughout the Realm that the Royal Patriotic Fund Corporation is imbued with deep sense of its duty to do all that lies

On 30 Jun 2022, at 15:42, Philip Boys wrote:

Daily Telegraph & Courier (London) — Thursday 25 July 1907

PATRIOTIC ASYLUM JUBILEE. WS MAJESTY'S SPEECHES.

Among the many oeretoonies which the King end Queen have honoured by their presence in this fast waning season, none surely has been of greater interest, or more picturesquely conceived, than that which took place yesterday at the Royal Victoria Patriotic Asyhim. It may be recalled that his Majesty accompanied Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort at the laying of the foundation-stone in 18.57, and it was in recognition of this notable anniversary in the of the institution this Royal visit was promised. The event naturally occasioned the ut most enthusiasm in the distract, and there was a profuse display of flags from the houses Dear the asylum, while on Wandsworth-common large crowds were assembled, who gave hearty welcome. On either side of the main entrance of the imposing building, which is such familiar object to all travellers on the London and South-Western Railway. two large Union flags were draped, and on the lawns before it the band of the Royal Hospital School at Greenwich was stationed. The King and Queen, accompanied by Princess Victoria, and attended by Lord Colebrook., Colonel Sir A. Davidson, and Captain the Hon. Seymour Fortescue, came from London in motor-care. Meanwhile the Duke and Duchess of Connaught had arrived, and! his Royal Highness, in his capacity of president of the Royal Patriotic Fund Corporation, formally received their Majesties. With the Duke of Connaught were the members of the corporation, including Mr. W. Hayes Fisher (chairman), Admiral Sir Nathaniel Bowden Smith ichairman of the Committee of Management), Admiral Sir Cyprian Bridge, Earl Nelson, Sir William Lancaster, Alderman A. Barnes, Mr. H. G. Fordham, Colonel Sir James Glides, Mr. Arthur Henderson, M.P., G I Lord Methuen, Sir F. T. Menials, Sir Francis Moran, Mr. C. H. R. Stanafield, Mr. J. W. Willis Bond, and Mr. F. B. Wyatt. Of the Committee of Management there wens present Mr. W. Castle, .major-General W. B. Cumberland, Lady Harrison, Lady Walker, Mrs. Lyster, and Mrs. Fox. The Queen accepted lovely bouquet of malmaisons from Wreath Bayley, the girl who has been longest in the school, and Mabel Poole, as a representative of the chief prise-winners, offered another of roes to the Duchess of Connaught. The scene within the huge dining ball that met the oyes of their Majesties was singularly pleasing. On either side of the broad redcarpeted way the little " Daughters of the! Brave" were drawn up in triple line. A very large proportion of those now in the institu' tion lost their fathers daring the South African War, and there are few of the campaigns that the responsibilities of Empire have thrust upon us in recent years which are lot recalled in the roll of the 300 bright-faced little inmates. In the first line were the youngest girls, all wearing new blue serge skirts and red and white strip ed cotton blouses. The older girls in the two lines behind them had similar skirts and blue and white plates blouses, all having a bright new red tie. The costume has been modified to meet present ideas since the foundation, for there were ladies present who could recall the straw " coal-scuttle " bonnets, with green strings and " curtains "of earlier days. Under the conductorship of Mr. Seymour Dicker, musical director of the London County Council day' training colleges, the girls sang two verses of the National Anthem, and at the last note turned with soldierly precision to face the King and Queen, who had now reached the Her Majesty worn dress of painted muslin in a very soft shade and bold patterning of mauve, inserted and trimmed with fine lice. A feather boa exactly corresponding in shade accompanied it, and the toque was of heartsease, shaded from pale heliotrofe to deep purple. A dream of pale blue and white mouaseline was worn by Princess Victoria, with a ruff of blue feathers, and her hat of crin had blac brim and white crown, and was trimmed with a Izsge cluster of white marabout, tipped with black. The Duchess of Connaught was in black and white striped silk, and in her black bat was a sweeping white ostrich plume, while she had a white feather stole. Among others on the dais were Admiral A. L. Winslow, representing the First Lord of the Admiralty, General the Hon. Sir N. G. Lyttelton, Colossal Sir E. W. D. Ward, Sir H. Kimber, M.P., the Mayors of Battersea and Wandsworth, Admiral H. P. de Kantaow, Sir George Hayter Chubb, and Mr. T. J. Taylor, chairman of the Education Committee, London County Comma The Duke of Connaught read the fellowiag address: May pleasyour Majesty, I hare on my own behalf, as president, and on behalf of the Boys! Patriotic Pond Corporation, to Unlink roar Majesty for geliciortely visiting the Royal Victoria Patriotic Asylum in oommemoration of the Jubilee of its erection and endowment in 1E67, by command of her Majesty Queen Victoria. Upon a mural tablet at the entrance of this buildthem is the following inscription: Thin asylum for the orphan daughters of the soldiers, seamen, and marines of the realm is erected and endowed by coirenand of Queen 'Mora from part the Patriotic Fund formed le 185446 by the donations of the people of Great Britain and Ireland, the British Colonies, and aidel by many contributions from other parts of the solid. Dorms t_e fifty years which have elapsed since 1167. 2, 413 girt, _are been admitted into the Piste'slieu reeeiving a sound rlomentary education and a practical training fitting them to earn their own living i domestic employment. The most gratifying reports bare born received from employers of those bare gamed out, testifying to the good service rendered by the;irls Since the Patriotic Fund was raised other funds have passed under its administration, and now the Royal Patriotic Fund Corporation, of which I hays the honour to be president. administers twenty-one hmds for the benefit of widows, children, and other tiei — enri, ltS of Akers and men of your Majestyn Navy and Army.. Dunn, . fift years which have elapsed elute the foundation the original Patriotic Fund, 12, 164 — Hosts. 15.784 otoldron, and 2, 216 other relatives of officers and men of your Majesty's Navy and Army base benefited to the extent of £3, 296, 927. At the het:innate of this yisar there, remained on the books of the funds 41(2 widows, 4, 522 children, and 221 other dependents. and I desire to assure your Majesty and your Majesty's subjects throughout the realm that the Royal Patriotic Fund Corporation is imbued with deep sense of its duty to do all that lien in its poser to suercur and relieve, as far as the funds at Alerted wdl permit, the neoessitoue widows, sepias', and Mher dependents of your Mayesty's Navy sad Army.

The King's reply was as follows:

Sir — I thank you, your Royal flightless, for your loyal address of welcome. No nobler nee could have been made of the Royal Patriotic Fund than by the establishment of the splendid work of beneficence known as theß Victoria Patriotic Asylum. It is imposat to overestimate the good done by your efforts to afford careful instruction to so many young girls between the ages of seven and sixteen. When they leave you they are qualified to take a position in the world which enables them to earn their own living, and they are not likely to forget the training received at your hands.

I am confident that you fully realise the grave responsibility that attaches to your undertaking, and that thorough investigation and careful inquiry ace made into the circumstances of each case submitted to your care. I am familiar with the good works performed by your corporation, apart from this orphanage, and your constant endeavour to amain those whose husbands or fathers have met their death while in my service. I pray that by God's blessing the success of your efforta may long be continued.

Colonel Young then stepped forward, and announced that the Queen had most graciously consented to present thirteen of the chief gained by the girls during the year. To five of them had been awarded for good conduct the much-coveted and greatly-prized badge of the school, met as a brooch; three were gained in open cookery competitions with girls from all the schools in London and fits in equally open competition with the schools of the diocese of Rochester, were given for foligious knowledge. The happy nailed forward by sum and tie WOKE 'with the kindest of amass, handed to each her,:, prize.

Then the children /Lang " Rule I Britannia" with a charming effect of a Bolt chorus, and the Royal party left the dais to 'impact the infirmary and the play hall, proceeding thence to the front of the building, I nhere his Majesty unveiled a mural tablet with following inscription: Nano= Krim Pima's VII., accompanied by grim visited the Royal Victoria Patriotic Asylum, 24th July, 1907, to oommernorate the Jubilee of its foundation and endowment out of the Patriotic hind in 1857, by command of HER MAJESTY QUEEN VICTORIA

as

NATIONAL MEMORIAL

the benefit of the Orphan Daughter

of the Notion's Sodom flokilera, and Marmon. Great gratification was afforded to the Borough Council of Wandsworth by his Majesty's ready consent to receive at the Asylum an address from the mayor aldermen, and councillors. This was presentedtod by the mayor, accompanied' by representatives of the council, and expressed warm welcome, and mentioned that the site of the institution comprises forty acres, formerly part of the common, by which it is surrounded, and as an open space is of great value to the large population 'of the two adjoining boroughs of Battersea and Wandsworth. During the fifty years which uave elapsed since the institution was established this population has increased from about 60,000 to over 600,000, and is still rapidly increasing.

The King handed the following reply: On behalf of the Queen and myself I thank you for your loyal and dutiful address. I am glad to take this opportunity of meeting the representatives who have been chosen by my people to regulate the affairs of this! important borough. The object of my visit to which wni allude with so much sympathy is one winch mast appeal to all those who hare the welfare of this country at heart. The men of my Navy and Army have ever been distinguished for bravery and devotion, and no public effort is more worthy of support than an institution which endeavours to provide for the orphan girls of those who have died in the service of their country. I rejoice in the success of an institution which bears the name of my dear and ever-to-be-lamented mother. I wish it every success in the future, and I share with you the gratification which we all must feel in the promotion of Lam worthy and beneficent object.

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