The Lucy Gastor Children's Home


By David Hall

This page was added on 15/08/2011.

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  • I was a child at Lucy Gasters home from 1944 till 1946. It turned me into a juvenile delinquent. An extremely brutal place for a six year old . A certain Nurse was a thief who raided kids parcels, (they were few) for sweets and chocolates and slapped children around with the full force of a 16 stone adult. Another woman thrashed us with her wire hairbrush on our thighs.
    It certainly coloured my attitude towards Orthodox Judaism; Loathsome place.

    By michael burke (24/04/2018)
  • Before the war the property was used for unmarried mothers.  Matron (thats what we called her) was very nice to us, but she had an Irish housekeeper, who lived in the cottage in the grounds who was like the wicked witch her name was Mrs Guthrie, and it was my duty to do the cleaning of her cottage.

    By rozalind greene (nee Joseph) (09/01/2016)
  • I was evacuated at Oxhey Hall Farm which was run by Rose Lucy Gaster I was there from 1943 to 1945 I was 11 years old and my name then was Rosalind Joseph

    By rozalind greene (02/05/2015)
  • Dear Jennifer, Helen and Neil,

    Sorry for the delay in responding- a bad deer tick bite interfered! I don’t know if England has the same problem of overpopulation of deer, which freely run through our garden and host the disease-bearing ticks but I’ll be more careful about using DEET in the future!

    I’m very grateful for all your comments. In reply to a request for more information on the wartime Lucy Gaster Children’s Home, housed in Oxhey Hall, I have sent Beverley Small a story with some of my recollections, and some photographs from my family album which she kindly agreed to share with you. 

    No doubt, the age, experience and circumstances of every child sheltered in the Home played a role in individual recollections. I was an infant when I was taken there and so it was essentially the first home I remember. Even though I recall being gently punished for a certain mischievousness (which seems to have followed me through life!) I have nothing but positive memories of the Children’s Home and the kindness of the nurses who cared for us. If Rose Gaster, the matron, was somewhat stern, she shouldered a great responsibility I realized later. She did indeed run a home for unwed mothers after the war. I feel that many people owe her a great debt of gratitude and I can tell you that she has made me a confirmed anglophile! The memory of the garden has never left me and when we acquired a house and a bit of property for the first time twenty years ago, it was a dream come true to have my very own garden- albeit it- low maintenance!

    Jennifer, I might be able to help you with a lead for more information on the Kindertransport (luckily, we had family in England and I wasn’t part of that) and I will write directly to the your email address.

    I would love to know more about your lives in Oxhey and would be happy to share some poems, stories, and photos, too, if there were a way without clogging up “Our Oxhey.” I enjoy writing light verse too and my husband, who did the fine illustrations, and I collaborated on a little book called, CRITTERS AROUND.

    Stay well. Till the next time!   Ruth, Great Barrington (in the Berkshires) MA

    By Ruth (Weissman) Heuberger (12/06/2014)
  • Hi Ruth, I was told that sometime during the war, my dad was send to live on a farm off of Hampermill Lane, Oxhe. I was also told that at some stage he lived in a children’s home for a while…maybe the same place??? I Googled it and posted pics of the area now and I was told it was the old Oxhey Hall site. So I now think maybe the farm, Hall and home were where my dad stayed. I have worked out that he could have been there anytime between 42 and 46. I wonder if somehow I could see the pics, particularly of the children… you never know, my dad could be in them. Meanwhile,I am now searching for The Lucy Gaster Children’s Home,so thank you for that. Helen.

    By Helen Howard (14/05/2014)
  • A local farmer (now deceased) – Roy Brazier told me that Oxhey Hall was a childrens home run by a Lucy Gaster long before his family took the farm over after WW2. He believed it had been used as a clinic for unmarried jewish mothers to give birth before thier babies were put up for adoption. I did enter into correspondence with somebody years ago, who had lived there- i’ll try and find out more…Neil

    By Neil Hamilton (14/05/2014)
  • Dear Ms Heuberger,

    I am seeking information about the home myself. I am a postgrad researcher working on the Kindertransport, and one of the children I am studying spent about 5 months there in 1940-41. she did not have a good experience, I’m afraid, and the correspondence in her file from Miss Gaster does not portray her as a very caring person. Therefore, I am most interested in your comments about her and your fond memories. The little girl’s name was Ewa Mohr and she was from Poland. She was about 5 1/2 when she was there. I would be most interested in further correspondence.

    By Jennifer Craig-Norton (13/05/2014)
  • I would be most appreciative if someone would reply to this comment because my heart beat faster when I saw the photo. There must be some connection! Was Oxhey Hall THE LUCY GASTER CHILDREN’S HOME during WWII? Rose Gaster the matron? If so…I lived in the home from 1939-1943. I can provide you with some outside photos of the small children, the Matron and the Nurses who cared for us and more. I have the fondest memories but would love to know more about the remarkable woman who ran the home. I believe she saved a lot of children from the horrors of the war. Many thanks for your attention, Ruth Heuberger, Great Barrington, MA USA

    By Ruth (Weissman) Heuberger (02/04/2014)