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Unmarried mothers

24 July 2020

July 23rd, 1920.

EARLY in the war the Government had to decide what degree of responsibility it was to accept in connexion with the women and illegitimate children to whom men serving with the forces were bound by ties of parenthood. From the official recognition of the claim of such persons the women concerned derived some sort of social status, and very quickly the term “unmarried mother’’ was passing a thousand times a day over the lips of social workers. It was clearly impossible to disregard the abject need of many such unmarried mothers. The extension of necessary assistance was a becoming act of charity. There is, however, more than one indication that the unmarried mother is receiving over-much encouragement. The Marchioness of Titchfield is, for example, appealing for funds for a hostel for unmarried mothers and their children. “Our scheme”, she says, “is in the nature of a residential club. We propose to take a house in the neighbourhood of the day nursery, where each mother can live in her own room with her child and either have her meals in a common room, or provide her own, going to work each day while the children are cared for in the crèche. Each room will be fitted with cooking facilities, and the ordinary rate of lodgings in the neighbourhood, i.e., about 12s. weekly, will be charged.” A club-room is also to be provided, and altogether married mothers of families may well compare their own lot with that of their more fortunate sisters. . .

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