Boarding School Punishments

From: Rod Birch

As  a  boy, I attended a strict boarding  school  where  corporal punishment was quite the normal consequence of misbehaviour.

At  Junior School, we were punished in class by spankings  across our shorts, usually in front of the class.  For serious classroom misbehaviour, we were reported to our Housemaster for punishment.

Each  Housemaster  had his own methods, but always  punished  our bare  bottoms.   My  Housemaster used  a  leather  strap,  giving anything between 6 and 20 strokes, with the boy across his  knee. These  punishments always reduced us to tears and left marks  for several days.

Very serious offences were dealt with by our Headmaster, who only used a large gym shoe.  We were usually beaten across our shorts, being made to touch our toes in the centre of his room.  Normally he  gave  3 strokes for the first offence in a term and 6  for  a second. As he used his full strength, most boys didn't return for a third time.  Those who did, though, always wished they hadn't!

One of my friends, Chris, had the misfortune to visit the head  3 times one term and told me what happened....

On  being told to enter, Chris was given the usual lecture  about his  behaviour and then the Head told him icily that as a  senior boy  (he was nearly 13) he should be setting a good example  and, as he had not, then he was to be made an example of!

The next order rocked the boy on his heels.  He was told to  take down  his shorts and pants, an order virtually unprecedented  for Head's Punishment at this school. Very worried now, Chris did  so and was told to bend over the arm of the large armchair.  Once in position,  Chris felt his shirt being pushed right up  his  back, and  the Head's large hand rested on his lower back, keeping  him position.

The  slipper then landed with great force on Chris' bare  bottom, causing him to yell out.  Never had he felt such pain.  The  next five  strokes were just as hard and Chris says he yelled  out  at each one.  We other boys knew this as his screams could be  heard throughout  the junior school!   At the end of this  very  severe punishment,  Chris was in floods of tears and his  bottom  really was  black  &  blue  for  days.   He  never  got  another  Head's Slippering,  but did manage a few more visits to his  Housemaster who used a tennis racket on bare bottoms and thighs to keep Chris and others in order.

At the Senior School, we simply got the cane on our trousers, but Middle School was not much different from Junior.  Masters  could punish  as  they  wished, within reason, and  the  vast  majority preferred the gym shoe on bare bottoms.

The  French  master was one such teacher.  A  fairly  easy  going chap, he nevertheless insisted on slippering boys who kicked over the traces.

Any one reported for slippering had to do so in the afternoon and report  in gym kit as an extra 'hassle'.  We went inside and  the normal  lecture always followed.  That over, we had to  kneel  on the seat of one chair, then bend right over it and then place our heads  and  hands  on the seat of another  chair  with  its  back against  the back of  the one we were kneeling on.  This  brought our  scantily  clad bottoms very high in the air  and  also  very taut-  an ideal target for his gym shoe.  The  protection  didn't last long, though, as the shorts were then slowly lowered by  the master,  who always punished bare.  Then he would walk  round  to his desk and open a drawer to take out his huge gym slipper.   he often slammed it down on the desk as he came back, causing us  to jump and our bums to quiver in anticipation of what was about  to come.

Then  came the barrage of very hard slaps.  As we were now 13  or older,  we  could take the whackings better than when  in  Junior School,  but even so these slaps were not light.  We  were  never told how many slaps we were to get.  This particular master  gave either  4  or 6 slaps and you were expected to stay  in  position until  told  to rise.  Any boy getting up before the end  of  his punishment was given extra strokes- to rise after 4 slaps, when 6 were intended, meant you got an extra 2, giving 8 in all.

We always dreaded that awful gap after 4 strokes, hoping that was it,  because we were always pushed to last the final two  strokes without crying, older or not!  If we did get the full 8, our bums were marked for days afterwards.

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