William French

William Stephen French

William now lives in Dorset, but was born on 25th April, 1949 in Northampton.

He came to be in the care of Fegans when his mother died. She was only 29 and had three sons and two daughters. Her family simply could not cope, so the two girls were adopted and the boys were sent to Fegans. William remembers little of his time at Fegans and when looking back thinks it is because he was so traumatised by the disintegration of his family.

He initially went to Stony Stratford in January 1959. In August 1961 he was moved to Beechwood House, Heathfield and on the 4th August 1962 he returned to his home, by then he was thirteen years of age.

William remembers that once he scaled the wall of the home and ran away; luckily for him he was soon returned by the local Police!

When thinking about the staff at Fegans he recalls that “Captain Flood always seemed to be there”.

Like most old boys, he remembers having to do chores. His most vivid memories are of bed-making and cleaning.

Yes, he also got into mischief. He was with a group of boys when they were chased out of a local sweet shop, because someone was stealing sweets!

When Stephen left Fegans and went out into the world of work, his first job was working in a factory. He then decided to join the Grenadier Guards and served for twelve years before becoming a Police Officer for a further twenty three years. He is currently a magistrate and works as an Associate Priest, in the Church of England.

He married Diana and to date, they have three children and three grandchildren.

William French
(October, 2016)