Title ID 7649Collection ID1003
Title[Founders Day: Duchess of York at Centenary Celebrations at Spurgeon's Orphan Home]
Date18 June 1934
CollectionChilvers Family [?]
Genre/TypeProfessionalFilm/Video companyNon-fictionCommemoration
KeywordsChildren Charities Commemorative Events Royalty Uniforms Performing Arts
RegionalGreater London
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionMr. Chilvers [?]
CameraMr. Chilvers [?]
ParticipantsHRH The Duchess of York; HRH Elizabeth, The Queen Mother
FormatBlack & White Silent
Duration2 min. 44 sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


A short Pathe Gazette newsreel showing The Duchess of York at the Spurgeon's Orphan Home Founders Day on 18th June 1934. The children sing and perform choreographed marches to a large audience.


A title reads: "Founders Day: Duchess of York present at Centenary Celebrations, Spurgeons Orphan Home. Pathe Gazette." The Duchess of York wearing a fur stole, gloves and hat receives a bouquet of flowers from a young boy and girl, who curtsey and bow. Panning shot of the seated crowd follows. The audience listens to a large choir of children of mixed ages accompanied by an orchestra . Girls in pinafore dresses and white shirts march in formation with rifles and flags, later performing a marching dance with lengths of fabric.


Contextual information

A home for fatherless boys was opened in Stockwell, London, in 1867, after donations were given to preacher Rev. Charles Haddon Spurgeon. The boys were to be given a Christian upbringing, in line with his suggestions for religious education advovated in an article appearing in C.H. Spurgeon's publication "The Sword and the Trowel". Girls were later accepted to the school, and a home in Margate and later Birchington Hall in Kent were purchased. With the evacuation of children from London at the outbreak of World War II, Spurgeon's London Orphanage closed. All boys moved to Godalming and all girls to St. David's, Reigate. Following the 1944 Education Act, all Spurgeon children were required to attend schools outside the homes. In 1953, all children moved to Birchington, which closed in 1979.

Related resources


Spurgeons Homes: One Hundred Years 1867-1967

Location: Surrey History Centre


Surrey History Centre archives

Collections include Spurgeons homes, Stockwell, London, Reigate and Birchington, Kent: DVD of film footage and photographs c.1939-1954

Spurgeons Care Homes

Holds records of children who passed through their care, film footage, memoirs and photographs. Location: Rushden, Northamptonshire


British Pathe

Founders Day film accessible online at the British Pathe historical archive


Website of Spurgeons with information about the organisation's work vulnerable children in the UK