It seems little snippets of my memoirs are filtering around the world, this is about the severe punishment meted out at my naval college when I was a youngster. Even using fictitious names for the college and staff it now emerges that the person whose grandfather was the perpetrator has communicated with me and requires more info. The message reads.
Ed has left a new comment on your post "A Dire Warning To Would be Drug Traffickers": July:08, archives.
Thank you very much for posting your info about the Naval training school. I think I know which one it really was as my grandfather was the flogger mentioned. I am sorry to find out he was such a nasty character but would love to know more about him please get in touch if you can - my email is (censored)
Sunday, 14 September 2008 10:39:00 AM EST.
Replying to your request for further info on Flogger Campbell.
The title 'Flogger' was not known to me while I was a student.
It surfaced within a pamphlet written by a former student whom I knew. At the moment I am franticly searching for it among my hoarded treasures. From it I gathered, that the school experienced a major insurrection around 1949, Many boys 'doing a bunk' and eventually being caught were severely punished with many strokes of a large rattan cane by yours truly, it seems he was brought to book, however, I shall search for this info and send on should I find it.
Captain Campbell the school supervisory officer, was a former Lt/Cmd retired when I went there 16:12:1936 - 7:1:42. He was called up during the war but returned shortly after the death of Admiral Sir Edward Eaton-Ellis (hope I got the name correct ) Pop Admiral as he was called filled the war time gap as the school boss.
The Con job. Ok now I shall inform you it was *I Leslie Jxxxxx Bxxxxxxx who wrote the book mentioned shortly.
Hope the info which follows this letter will be helpful.
You may contact me also at,* (censored)*
The gymnasium at Watts
There is no doubt that the Barnados sea schools were very good and very successful. On the discipline front the procedure at Russell Cotes and then Parkstone as it became was the usual defaulters' report and then between three and six 'cuts' in the gymnasium over the horse, in private but with the inflicting Petty Officer plus three officers. No ritual or special dress and executed very formally and properly. At Watts up to 1926 it was done with trousers off and the boy strapped over a four-legged horse and biting on a lump of cloth, and always with either the entire school or the defaulter's division mustered to witness it. Afterwards it was over either naval shorts or P.E. shorts in the gym. Cdr 'Flogger' Campbell was in charge between 1934 and 1940, and then back again in 1943 following a war wound. The wound did not appear to impede the movement of his right arm! He usually meted out the canings himself in his own study, and there were reported instances of it being on the bare. Campbell was dismissed in 1946 . The reason was the result of 37 boys enjoying a mass absconding, which was more for devilry and a bit of apple-scrumping than anything else. The less resolute came back within an hour or so and were locked in a basement cellar. It took two days for the remainder to be brought back. It seems that Campbell held the equivalent of a court martial and every boy was sentenced to 12 cuts of the cane. The canings took over two hours to complete, done in the basement cellar with the vaulting horse taken there complete with canvas strappings. The boys were caned on their bare backsides and it was said that their yelps could be heard in the classrooms. Two boys, on being released, ran off again and when caught by the police one of them revealed the state of his buttocks. A police doctor was brought in and then a complaint went to Barnados. Campbell retired on grounds of 'ill health' shortly afterwards. That is the only known instance of abuse at Watts, otherwise the discipline was very strict but fairly imposed.
I did hear that Campbell retired to live near Watlington at place called Brightwell in Oxfordshire. but not too sure, as it was 2nd hand info.I hope the info I have sent is satisfactory. ....... Vest ........ or J L Spencer.my pen name.
Thank you so much for replying so quickly. It really is amazing how the internet helps with these things. My mother (Captain Campbells daughter) was sent off with her mum and twin sister to Boars hill during the war. Captain Campbell divorced my grandmother and I know a lot less about him than my grandmother and her family. I'm beginning to think my mother was so quiet about him because he was such a nasty character.
I am getting the family tree together and I will send you more information as I get it. Its funny that you are from Oxfordshire as that is the part of England that meant most to my mother. She is buried in Berwick Salome (which I think is quite close to Chalgrove) along with her mother.
I am in an internet cafe now so I can't write for long but I will get back to you again soon.
This email address is the best to use for me. I use my hotmail account only when I have to leave an email address somewhere where it might get picked up by spam robots.
Thanks very much for all the information you have already sent.
Ed: It seems your Mothers final address in the 50s was as I thought, all places mentioned were within a straight 3 miles of one another.
Sunday, 14 September 2008
To advise that Vest (Les Bowyer) passed away this morning. Regards, Chris (Son).
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