The Children

The Kenneth Hutton Story

Wednesday 7.40a.m. on the 27th February 1952 the nurse on the maternity ward at Simpson memorial hospital Edinburgh, Scotland cried out to my father “it’s a boy”. I was given the name Kenneth Law Hutton and I was second son to my mother Kate Margot Rubas Hutton born 7th December 1930 and my father Robert Baird Hutton born 22ndAugust 1924. My mother was of German decent and my father was Scottish, both my parents served in the Second World War where they met while my father was stationed in Germany with the British army.

After the war they both returned to Scotland and got married on the 18th September 1948 shortly after my brother Albert Robert was born in 1949 and they all set up home on a council estate in Edinburgh. A couple of years down the line I was to come onto the scene, followed shortly after by my sister Anita Christine born 24th October 1953.

Over the next four years we all lived as one big happy family well that’s what it seemed to be from the outside looking in. Little did people know that the family was slowly disintegrating. Unfortunately for us my father was a heavy drinker, and to my knowledge unable to hold down any job for any length of time. During 1955 and 1957 my mother walked out on the family three times, and on each occasion it was said that she had gone with other men. Then finally on Wednesday the 20thFebruary 1957 she left for the last time and was not seen or heard of for many years, it was very late that night when my father returned home to find the three of us all huddled together and alone, I was five years old. My father tried his best to take care of us with the help of our grandmother who came over from Germany to look after us but it was all too much for both of them. Finally there became no option but to put us into care and our once happy home was to be a thing of the past.

On Monday11th March 1957 my brother Albert was sent to live with my grandmother, my father’s mother, whilst my sister Anita and I were put into the care of Dr Barnardos Homes and admitted to Haldane House, Bogside by Alloa near Edinburgh and was there to stay for the next four years during which my father visited only the once. In July1958 my mother applied though a solicitor to regain custody of her children but it was short lived and by August 1958 our parents had disappeared off the face of the earth, and that was the last contact we were ever to have from them. Fortunately for us our German grandmother still showed an interest and was to visit us many times traveling from Germany to Scotland always with a smile and gifts for both of us, but after a while the years caught up with her and at the age of 72 she was finding it hard ,so gradually her visits became less frequent .

During those four years Anita and I were boarded out many times and told it would be the last and introduced to our new parents to be. Each time I took my little sister by the hand hoping that these were the ones, But it wasn’t to be and after the third time we thought we were going to be institutionalized forever, little did we know that Barnardos were trying to relocate us with our fathers sister Christina but on receiving a letter from her telling Barnardos she already taken the older one Albert after the Scottish grandmother died and wasn’t interested in either of us two

Then in February 1961 shortly before my ninth birthday we were told once again we going to be boarded out and hand in hand off we went again but this time it was to be different neither knowing that this was to be a turning point in our young lives as we were introduced to our prospected foster parents Mr. and Mrs. I’Anson.

After a short holiday with the I‘Anson’s we returned to the home once again but this time asked if we would we like to go and live with them. Naturally our answer of course was yes. Finally after four years of coming and going we moved into our new home on Saturday the 15thApril 1961.Mr and Mrs I’Anson lived in Falkirk Stirlingshire and had one daughter called Doreen aged 18yrs who became our big sister. During our stay at Falkirk our grandmother came over from Germany and stayed with us for one month. By now she was the only family we had from our old life, The I’Ansons had become our parents and we called them mum and dad. We were all one big happy family and still have fond memories of those early years in Stirlingshire.

At the age of 12 years my brother Albert was kidnapped on the 29th August 1963 from outside my aunts house in Edinburgh and all hell was let loose, the police were called and Anita and I were put under police protection for a time it was assumed my mother had come to get children but there was no actual proof and thought that she had taken Albert back to Germany with her, we now that she must have because he’s well and living in London.

All was going well until our new parents decided that they wanted to emigrate to Australia and as they were not our legal guardians we could not go with them. They went ahead with their application but at the same time approached Barnardos and asked if we could go with them. They were successful in their application and Barnardos said they would try to send us with the next group of children being relocated to Australia. This meant we would have to go back into care for a short period of time. Finally the day came when we all packed our bags and moved to Malton in Yorkshire on the 27 of July 1964 and waited for our parent’s departure date.

The departure date was confirmed as the 3rd March 1965 so while they flew of to Australia, we were sent to live in London to the Dr Barnardo’s village home in Barkingside. It was a sad time and at the back of my mind wondered if we would see our new mum and dad again.

A special thank you to Tony Diamond for trying so hard, to get us all together and give us the courage to tell some of our stories to others.

Click below to download the rest of Kens story – Australia.

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Some exclusive pictures to accompany the book

A Pebble On The Beach


Thank you very much for sending me a copy of Pebble on The Beach. My Goodness, you have been through the mill! Well done for all of it and for managing to turn it into a very inspirational read.

– Fiona Phillips X