Having lurked on this site for a while I thought it was about time to tell some of my own accounts of my years in boarding school during the late 1960s and early 1970s in southern England. I won’t say the name of my housemaster or the school as it still operates, though under a different name. This is my first account of how I remember those times and I have tried to include as much as I can of the details of what happened and what I was feeling at the time. Later on, I was to embrace my experiences and enjoy CP in my private life too.
I spent 3 years there from the age of 13 through to 16 due to my father being posted abroad and my parents believing I would be more settled staying in England.
The school itself was an imposing building set on a large estate, and I was beyond apprehensive at being left in such an unfamiliar and intimidating establishment.
Of course, like all schools at the time, corporal punishment was in use and in some schools frequently used and not always as a last resort. I had received it previously, but only ever a few whacks of the slipper across my school trousers. Now I was in big school and the prospect of the cane was a very real one. As it turned out, though I didn’t know it at the time, I was to become very well acquainted with one particular master’s collection of rattans.
The school was split into houses, like many British schools. Our house master was the formidable Mr D. I soon learned that it was an open secret Mr D relished applying his rattan canes to the backsides of the teenage boys under his charge.
Back then, I was a small but athletic boy which seemed to fit his ‘type’, and as such made me one of his favorites. Later on, this would give me certain privileges not available to the other boys, but it would come at a heavy price.
Mr D was housed in accommodation down the corridor from our dormitory where he had a bedroom and a study. It was a regular occurrence for boys who had been reported to him for any offence, including trivial matters such as being late for a class or being disrespectful, to be summoned to report outside his quarters at 8.00 pm having changed into their PE kit minus top and underwear. If more than one boy was waiting, then it was forbidden to chat to your fellow miscreants and no one dared further punishment.
My first time was a solitary one, having been reported to him for persistent daydreaming. I found some of the lessons hard to concentrate on as they were inherently dull and I was more suited to practical lessons and sports.
I duly reported to face my penance having first got changed into my PE shorts, socks and plimsolls, with the cold air of the corridor enhancing my feeling of vulnerability on my bare torso and legs. After being summoned inside his study, the warmth from the fire was some relief from the goosebumps that had covered my body. The study itself was cluttered with books and papers; there was the stale smell of Mr D’s pipe. The fireplace was to the right, providing blessed heat as you entered, and his desk positioned straight in front from where he now presided, his academic gown covering his portly figure.
“Hands on head, boy,” he said as he fumbled around finding his pipe and tobacco.
As I did so, my humiliation reached boiling point standing half-naked in front of him. It was then I noticed the coat stand. On it, there were a number of crook-handled school canes hanging from its array of coat hooks. I imagine the positioning of this display was to instill a feeling of dread to any poor boy who was unfortunate enough to be standing before him awaiting their fate, and I also suspect he got a good deal of satisfaction in that.
Fear was now my overriding emotion. I had seen the results of those canes from the unfortunate recipients back in the dormitory and knew he gave no mercy to the tender young backsides of the boys he thrashed. I was now only too conscious of my own backside clad in the thin cotton of my PE shorts.
Pipe now filled and lit, he puffed away as he sat down and gave me his full attention.
“Have you been thrashed before?” he said.
“I’ve been slippered, sir,”
“No, I mean caned, boy.”
“No sir, never.”
Reaching over to his coat rack, he unhooked one of the pliable canes, flexing it as a demonstration of how supple it was, and placed it in front of him on his desk.
“Well, you’re going to be thoroughly thrashed this evening, boy. You are not here to daydream, are you boy?”
I wanted to beg and plead, but I knew it would be futile.
“Are you not finding the lessons interesting enough for you?” he asked, a puzzled look on his face.
I replied: “Yes sir.”
I was not stupid enough to tell him the truth that I wasn’t, but then that led me to the trap as, of course, if I was finding the lessons interesting then why was I blatantly not engaging in them.
“Do you think they are beneath you? Would you like me to set you extra work that is more fitting your high academic level?”
His sarcasm was obvious and the questioning was torturous.
“Oh no, sir,” I said, panicking. The thought of that was unbearable.
“So then, boy, perhaps a thrashing will help you to pay more attention in future?”
“Yes sir,” I found myself saying. My eyes were now drawn to the long thin cane laying on the desk in front of me.
“Six, boy,” he said, followed by: “Can you touch your toes?”
“Yes sir, I think so.”
“OK, put your feet shoulder-width apart and touch your toes, boy.”
With nothing else I could do, I reluctantly spread my feet as instructed to the required shoulder-width apart, bent over and, stretching out, I touched the top of my plimsolls with the tips of my fingers. Now I was just wanting to get this over with and retreat to the dormitory as quickly as possible.
I heard him get up and pick the cane up; the cane that he had so kindly demonstrated was both long and flexible. He moved round the desk and as he did so he swished it, making me jump. I gritted my teeth and vowed to take the strokes as well as I could.
Once he was positioned behind me, he pulled on the hem of my shorts and for a moment I thought he was going to bring them down, but to my relief it seemed he was just ensuring they were tight across my bottom. At least I wouldn’t suffer that indignation this time.
I concentrated on the carpet, studying the weave to take my mind of what was happening the other end. I felt the cane tapping my now drum-tight shorts.
“Count them off, boy,” he informed me as the cane was drawn back and I heard a swish followed by an almighty crack as the cane burned deep into the middle of my buttocks.
I gasped as the pain built into an excruciating burning line. I was in a panic now, how could I take five more?
“Count the stroke off, boy, or shall we repeat it?”
“No sir. One, sir,” I quickly said.
“Good,” was the reply as the swish then crack set another burning line across my suffering cheeks. I cried out but was sure to count the stroke off. Swish crack number three was delivered.
“Urrrgg!” I cried out and counted: “Three, sir.”
By now, my knees were buckling and I was told to keep them straight. I forced my knees to lock out. The heat from the fire and my exertions of dealing with the pain was beginning to make me sweat. I saw the tip of the cane come into view, disturbing my concentration on the carpet weave as he pointed to my hand now grasping my lower shin.
“Tut! Toes, boy,” he boomed.
Such was my distress I hadn’t even realised my error, and I quickly removed my hand and touched my toes again. At this point he leant down close to my left ear whilst placing a hand on the back of my bare left knee, cupping his large hand around and using his thumb to gently circle around my kneecap in a strangely comforting, but also disturbing, way, and he whispered something that sent shivers down my spine.
“If you’re having trouble obeying simple instructions, then perhaps you should see me again to tomorrow evening for more practice.”
I was stunned into silence and remained trance-like, determined to take the rest of the strokes without moving.
“I’ll follow the instructions, sir,” I said without really knowing what more practice meant. More of the cane, or just practicing the humiliating touching-toes position?” Either way, I didn’t want to find out.
He rose slowly and stood for a while. I felt his intense gaze on me as I remained as still as I could. Swish crack, the fourth came without warning and low across the top of my bare thigh. The pain was so intense I cried out but stayed in position, counting off: “Four, sir,” under gritted teeth.
I wondered if he was disappointed; the low cut was, to my mind, an attempt to catch me off-guard, and it very nearly worked!
Stroke five was delivered, thankfully across my bottom, but was delivered full force. I grunted and said: “Five, sir.”
“Is that your leg twitching, boy?” he said as he tapped the back of my knee on my right leg with the tip of his cane.
The twitching was involuntary and I strained to lock it out. He ran the cane up my legs, then stopped where stroke four had emblazed itself at the top of my thighs. There the cane lingered, and as he drew back I gritted my teeth as another burning line was placed across the tender bare flesh. I howled as the pain intensified, but remained in position and counted off that awful final stroke.
“Well done, boy. You may stand, hands on head.”
I stood with my hands on my head, panting and tearfully wanting desperately to rub my bottom. He replaced the cane and filled out the punishment book. Before I was dismissed, he gave a final lecture about my future behavior and that he was going to keep a very close eye on me and, as I was to painfully learn, he meant every word.