Medal from School for the Indigent Blind

Contributed by Mark Brooks

Medal from School for the Indigent Blind

This medal was award to my great uncle, Samuel James Brooks, when a pupil at the School for the Indigent Blind, St. George's Circus, Southwark. The school was started in 1799 by four philanthropic gentlemen. Eventually it moved to new premises in Leatherhead in 1902.

His time at the school is a mystery. All records were destroyed when it closed in the 1980's.

Samuel (known as Jim) started at the school aged 8 in 1889, possibly financed by the Thame Union. Relatives of his mother living in Bermondsey helped out during school holidays.

He studied music & became an Associate Member of the Royal School of Organists. He left the school to be the organist & choir master of the temporary Oxshott Church.

Samuel died at Oxshott in 1910 after 3 years of T.B. A marble plaque to his memory is in the current St. Andrews Church, Oxshott.

I don't know why he was awarded the medal which has "S. J. Brooks May 1902" on the reverse.

Samuel's handwritten name is written in some music books suggesting that he was partially sighted. He would travel frequently between the school and later Oxshott and his home in Oakley, near Brill, Buckinghamshire to stay with his parents, Charles and Sarah Brooks

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  • 1. At 09:53 on 1 February 2012, gordonwatling wrote:

    To Mark Brooks:- I have been looking into the history of my family and had diffulty with my Great Uncle. With the help of the RNIB we have traced him to his school Imagine my surprise to see your article. My Great Uncle's name is George Frederick BROOKS and was born in 1882. He was at the same school at the same time and they surely knew each other haing the same name. Wondering if they were related!! My Great uncle was at the Junior school from 1892 - 1898 and then moved up to the senor school. We can't find him on the 1911 census and wonder where he would have gone. He died in 1956 and he was dearly loved by me and I have his treasured Braille watch. How can we get in touch to share knowledge?
    From Mavis Watling Kent ( I am on facebook would that help?)

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  • 2. At 10:10 on 1 February 2012, gordonwatling wrote:

    To Mark Brooks from Mavis Watling, Just realised that my ancester lived in Brill on the Common his name was William Brooks born 1766 and married Esther Showler she came from Thornborough Bucks. ARE WE RELATED AFTER ALL? Please be on Facebook

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St. George's Circus, Southwark




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