Robert Wade (No 73)

Robert was born in London on 20.2.1937.  Like many boys, he still remembers his Fegans number.


Robert’s single mother couldn’t cope with him and he was placed in the care of Fegans at the age of four.  Having abandoned her son, she never saw him again, and Robert recalls she spent most of her life avoiding any contact with him.


Robert spent from 1942 until 1948 at Yardley Gobion and then was at Stony Stratford until 1953.  His final year being looked after by Fegans was spent at Buxted.


With no brothers or sisters, his outstanding memory of being at Fegans was feeling ‘different’.  He once tried running away from the home.  He got as far as the adjoining field!


Fegans staff did have an impact on Robert.  Mr Somersall, put a smile on his face, Captain Flood was a ‘fair man’ and Mr Fullerton is well-remembered for teaching classical music appreciation.  Robert says that he enjoyed school.


Football, cricket, hockey, athletics and swimming were all enjoyed by Robert at Fegans and he remembers watered down jam and baby heads (suet pudding) as some of the culinary delights!


Whilst he enjoyed holiday trips to Goudhurst in Kent and Dungeness, the chores he had to endure in the home consisted of washing and polishing floors, and sweeping the playground.


Yes. Boys get into mischief and Robert admits to midnight swimming and stealing sweets from the local shop!!!


When he had left Fegans he trained as a metallurgist.  The training was paid for by his employer (electrical industry).  He has since worked for Plessey, for the motor industry, and was a quality control manager in Toronto and a factory manager in Holland.  For the last 20 years he worked self-employed with his son Robert.  Robert currently lives in Lowestoft, Suffolk.


Robert married Vivienne in 1965; they emigrated together and married in Toronto.  Sadly Vivienne died in 1987.  In 1998 Robert then married Kathleen, a school headmistress.


Robert’s first son was born in Canada in 1966.  His second son Paul was born and died in 1973; a cot death, aged just three months.  Paul is buried in Holland and Robert still visits his grave.  Words from Robert….. “Without doubt, the worst experience ever in life.  My background in Fegans may have helped me at such a time”


Robert Wade

(Dec, 2017)


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