There are other ways There are other ways
By Jim D.
Retired Australian Army career soldier and officer
November 9, 2004

I have lived in Australia most of my life but attended an English "bluecoat" school. I revisited that place in the early 80s and understood that my school records still stand; the maximum number of "cuts" in any one day, and the greatest number of canings in any one term.

I was born in a nazi camp for Channel Island internees, and from the age of four lived in a Nissen Hut in Hackney Wick in the East End of London. My father was crippled in 1948 besides having been interrogated by the Gestapo for a month, so Mum was the breadwinner and my maternal Grandfather, a blacksmith, was to a large extent my male role model.

I was accepted for a scholarship to this bluecoat "public" school in 1954 at the age of 10.

In my first term at the school I was caned on the hands 98 times with an average of four cuts each occasion, all by the same Master. I hasten to add that he was not the only person to administer CP to me in that first, or any other, term of that boarding school. The reason for his abuse? Whenever one particular person in my dormitory "played up" (moved around, spoke, read, or generally did not sleep immediately after "lights out") the Master threatened to cane the entire dormitory. So I just used to own up as the offender so that we all did not get a caning. I'd just trudge up the stairs to his rooms, and put my hand out and he would ascend to the upper flight of stairs, run down and hit my outstretched hand with a short bamboo cane. One learned after the first time to withdraw the hand immediately after the downwards stroke, as he had a knack of a swift upwards cut to catch your knuckles also - both only counted as one. I was permitted to change hands half way through the incident.

Later in my school career, about three years, I was caned by the same Master, receiving 36 "cuts" on my hands in one 24 hour period.

These were not the only occasions on which I was "disciplined" at school. Instruments used were: the rounders bat, gym shoe - both to the buttocks, a split leather strap, bamboo cane, a fistful of 12 inch rules, a military swagger stick, a birch cane - all to the hands.

I do not believe that I was a "bad" lad, perhaps silly and immature, but my only response to the Master responsible for the most notable beatings was "I'll not let that Welsh bastard beat me, my hands maybe, but me - never!"

The only outcome of these beatings was to make me stronger in my defiance and more likely to "offend" because I knew that they could not hurt me, my hands of backside maybe, momentarily, but me, no way.

I often think of these brutes, and perhaps they are all dead by now. I wish them all that they inflicted on me.

Corporal Punishment, especially by tool or instrument, is the weapon of those whom have never suffered it, or have suffered and deviously enjoyed it! I talk not of the parental smack, but of the sheer brutality of the deviant, such as the Rev. Marsden in the Australian Colony of Moreton Bay where he used to stand so close to the flogging triangle that pieces of human flesh used to fly off the victim and cling to his vestments.

I view my abusers as philosophical descendants of that deviant Reverend "Gentleman."

There are other ways...

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