John’s family lived at 10 York Place, Longmore St, Balsall Heath. There were 7 children in the family,, the youngest being only 4 months old.
John was 14 years old at the time he was taken into the Homes in 1895, described as “”very dejected appearance, very ragged, clothes pinned to keep them together.” His father had been a soldier but was currently unemployed. John had more or less left home to live on the streets and said he slept in a “shutter box” in Bell St. He had been taken to Dr Barnardos 3 nights previously but they apparently let him go when he refused to tell them about his parents. The Middlemore Admission Register notes, sarcastically, ”They did not clothe him or cut his long hair which was full of lice”.
John was emigrated to Canada in 1896. All the rest of the family stayed with their parents.