This year at Fegans we are celebrating our founder James Fegans’ wife Mary. James Fegan started the Fegans Charity in 1870, and ran it until his death in 1925, he did so with his wife Mary at his side. Both devout Christians the couple saw it as their calling to help children so desperately in need, and on a day when we celebrate women’s role in society, in such an historic year, we remember Mrs Fegan.
Unfortunately, not much is know about Mary Fegan – we have made several attempts, with the support of the curators, to find out more about her life. This page will be updated with an online tribute as more facts are known. What we do know is this, Mary Fegan worked for the good of the children she saw around her that needed warmth, food and love.
Mrs Fegan, alongside Mr Fegan, was a ambitious fundraiser, gaining supporters for the cause in all areas of life. Mr and Mrs Fegan did not have any children of their own, however as Mothering Sunday also approaches, we remember that you don’t have to have your own children to be a mother, and Mrs Fegan took on all the duties of care to the boys of Fegans’ Homes that a mother would.
The image above is a publicity photograph from 1900. Sadly Mrs Fegan was killed alongside her niece Mrs Lovell Keays on the 7th October 1943 when an enemy bomb fell on their cottage, near to the Goudhurst Training Farm.