My late husband was raised in the Sisters of Nazareth Orphanage for boys in Southend-On-Sea. His mother gave him up when he was 15 months old. The story he was told was that she was a maid working in the household of Lord Bertrand Russell and he got her pregnant and she was subsequently (and consequently) dismissed. There is no record of Michael John Crosbie’s birth, but the nuns told him that as far as they knew, this was the truth. Michael’s baptismal certificate (of which I have a copy) was signed by a guardian named John Crosbie and mother, Catherine Crosbie. Michael learned that later in life, Catherine married a man with the surname Hall and they lived in the Queensborough district of New Westminster, British Columbia. In fact, Michael obtained the address of the house they lived in and we went there together to see the house. We bravely knocked on the door and told the fellow who lived there in 1997 that his mother had lived there at one time. The man invited us in for coffee and a chat.
Back to Southend. It has been my ambition to visit the orphanage in Southend and take photos of it. This goal was reached on June 28, 2016 when my cousin, Jenny, drove me there. Here are some photos of Nazareth House that was once a Roman Catholic Orphanage, but now is a home for the elderly.
Here are photos of the orphanage
Here are some photos of the beach at Southend-On-Sea
Here are some photos of Cliff’s Pavilion