The Salvation Army Boys' Home, Nedlands (West Subiaco) was established in 1918. From at least the 1930s, boys aged under 6 to 16 years were admitted, including boys who were wards and private children. In 1965, the Boys' Home was renamed the Hollywood Children's Village as the Home moved from dormitory to cottage-style accommodation.
The Salvation Army Boys' Home was located on a site in the Perth suburb of West Subiaco (Nedlands) that had previously housed the Karrakatta Prison Gate Farm (1906-1918). It began in 1918 with the admission of 36 school-age boys who were transferred from the Collie Boys' Home (Collie No.2). Not all boys were 'State Boys', many were admitted by their families. Many boys were sent out to work under service agreements from the Home.
The Salvation Army's magazine, The Victory reported in 1919 (1 October, p.294) that 69 boys were at the Home, that a majority of them were 'State Boys', and they had a 'very proficient Band'. A month later, another article (1 November, p.352) said that the Home had 'been visited by the influenza scourge', and the annual report of the State Children Department recorded that one boy died in that epidemic.
The boys were expected to participate in the religious activities of the Salvation Army and it was reported in 1919 that the boys from the Home would march the 15 minute journey to the new Corps building in Subiaco, 'headed by their Band', every Sunday morning.
From 1920 until it amalgamated with the Hollywood Primary School in 1959, the Salvation Army ran a school at the Boys' Home.
In 1921, the Home was described in Salvation Army historical records as a Home for 'probationary boys'. 'Probationary' seems to be a term used by the Salvation Army to classify children who were in need of care and protection.
In October 1924, the Salvation Army's newspaper War Cry published a poem written by CH Brooks of Wikepin. The poem recalled a visit to the town by the boys from the Nedlands (West Subiaco) Home, and praised the 'ladder work', 'Swedish drill', 'Human pyramids', and 'Shadowgraphs' performed by the boys. The poem also mentioned the boys' onward journey to Narrogin.
From the 1930s, the Salvation Army Boys' Home took boys from under 6 to 16 years of age.
During World War II, the boys and staff were relocated to what had been the Seaforth Salvation Army Girls' Home.
Documents held in the Salvation Army Heritage Museum WA and items in Western Australian newspapers show that the Home was supported by Perth community leaders. For example, a performance by the BP Band was described in 1959 as an annual event for the boys, which had been organised 'several years ago' by the local member of Parliament (and, later, Premier) CW Court MLA.
In 1964, and probably in other years, boys from the Home sang Christmas carols in department stores in Perth.
In 1965, when the Hollywood Children's Village was being built on the Nedlands site, the Boys' Home was described in a Perth newspaper as being 'old and dilapidated'. In 1965, the institution was renamed 'Hollywood Children's Village' and dormitory-style accommodation was replaced by a cottage parent model.
The Salvation Army Boys' Home was mentioned in the Bringing Them Home Report (1997) as an institution that housed Indigenous children removed from their families.
1918 - 1965 Salvation Army Boys' Home
1965 - 1994 Hollywood Children's Village, Salvation Army
Sources used to compile this entry: Annual report of the State Children Department, State Children's Department, [Perth, W.A.], 1908-1927. 1920, p.4.; 'Australasia Epitomised', The Victory, 1 November 1919, p. 352; 'The Chief in the West', The Victory, 1 October 1919, pp. 293-294; 'West Australia', The Victory, 1 September 1921; 'Festivities at Salvation Army Home', The Claremont-Nedlands Observer, 13 January 1960; 'Major returns to manage old home', 10 January 1968; Information Services, Department for Community Development, 'pp.476-478, Table 45: Children and Young People at the Salvation Army Boys' Home and Hollywood Children's Village, Certain Years between 1920 and 1991', Signposts: A Guide for Children and Young People in Care in WA from 1920, Government of Western Australia, 2004, http://signposts.cpfs.wa.gov.au/pdf/pdf.aspx; Kirkham, Lt-Col John C, Southern Soup-Soap-Salvation, a compendium of Salvation Army Social Services in the Australian Southern Territory, The Salvation Army Australia Southern Territory Territorial Archives and Museum, 2003. pp.80-81; 103, 126.; Nedlands Boys Orphanage, 1951 [Image]; ; Salvation Army Heritage Museum WA: 'Serving the community in Western Australia', 1966?-1969? (fundraising pamphlet) Cottesloe Girls Closed Social Work (1898-1998) file, documents titled 'The Salvation Army - Nedlands'; The General's Representative Leaves Australia. Mens Home Social Work Closed (1968 - 1990s) file, document 'Hollywood Senior Citizens Village'. Seaforth Boys Home Closed Social Work (1921-2012) file, document titled 'Nedland Boys' Home' (c.2000). Nedlands Boys Home Closed Social Work (1906-1990s), 'New workshop' (1968), 'Every Penny Helps' (1965). Hollywood Children's Village (1960s-1990s) file, 'Closure of Hollywood Children's Village' (1994).
Prepared by: Debra Rosser
Created: 15 March 2011, Last modified: 5 September 2017