OLD DEVONPORT . UK
www.olddevonport.uk
 

  Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: February 23, 2016
Webpage updated: October 27, 2018

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ROYAL UNITED SERVICES ORPHAN HOME FOR GIRLS

On and as from January 1st 1907, by gracious permission of His Majesty the King, the Royal British Female Orphan Asylum was renamed the Royal United Services Orphan Home for Girls.  Miss Dunn was the Matron and Miss Charlick was the head Schoolmistress.  Other teachers were the Misses Gurnett, McKenzie, Wright and Moore.

In 1931 the Army and Navy Villas at Newquay, in Cornwall, were purchased for use as a holiday home.  This became known as Alexandra House.

Part of the building was taken over at the beginning of the Second World War to house the Polish Navy Southern Command, under the command of Captain Nahorski, which became part of the Royal Navy for the duration of hostilities.

A plan to convert a property called "Abbotsfield" at Tavistock was abandoned in September 1948 because of the high maintenance and staff costs and the house was sold to Tavistock Urban District Council.  There were at that time only 40 girls in the Home and during the following decade the word "Orphan" was dropped from the title, it then becoming the Royal United Services Home for Girls.   The decline in numbers was to some extent stemmed by the admission of children needing temporary care while their fathers were on active service.

By 1963 there were only 15 children in residence and in 1964 boys up to the age of 9 were admitted in exceptional circumstances.

In August 1970 it was decided to close the holiday home in Newquay and on Friday February 1st 1974 the Orphanage closed, with the remaining residents being moved to new premises, known as the Alexandra Home, at Saint Budeaux.

The old building at the top of Albert Road then became offices for the Ministry of Public Building and Works, later renamed the Property Services Agency.  It has now been converted in to private apartments.