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Doctor Of The Lost

by Simon Blumenfeld

When Thomas Barnardo arrived in East London in 1866, he planned to train at the London Hospital before sailing to China to work as a missionary. The conditions he found in the East End stopped him in his tracks. The unemployment, poverty, overcrowding, drinking and disease were bad enough, but seeing thousands of destitute children living on the streets broke his heart.

Inside a year Barnardo had opened a ragged school and by 1870 the first of his homes was in operation. He faced opposition from jealous rivals and struggled to find the money to provide enough shelter, but following the death of a boy turned away due to a lack of space, he determined to never refuse any child again. By the time of his death he had helped tens of thousands of children and his work continues to this day.


Doctor Of The Lost is the fictionalised story of Dr Barnardo’s early years in East London. Author Simon Blumenfeld brings his character vividly to life – drawing on his friendship with Barnardo’s widow – while showing London at a time of rampant industrialisation, when a few became very wealthy at the expense of the many.

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