Letter to the Head Master

This section was setup in August 2018 in order to move the existing related discussions from other sections into this new section to group them together, and separate from the other CH-related topics.

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sejintenej
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Re: Letter to the Head Master

Post by sejintenej »

Although Dick T has shown that CH is not alone I also find the statement in February 2018
The government declined to give an interview but said that in 2016 they held a public consultation about whether it should be introduced, and they will publish its findings in due course.
disturbing and it looks like HM Government is hiding abuse
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Re: Letter to the Head Master

Post by Foureyes »

Richard,
If/when you send your letter I think that you should include a very strong prompt for the Head to get out into the open and seize the initiative As a former journo (among other things) I know that if a subject writhes/squirms/prevaricates it makes them easy meat for a determined scribe/interviewer. After the Court cases there can be no question that some very evil things happened - it is all out in the open, already - so it would be far better for the Head to issue a statement that C.H. admits these cases and is setting up (has already set up?) a formal enquiry to investigate what went wrong. how it was allowed to happen, and to impose measures that it will never happen again. He should also announce an independent (i.e., non-Old Blue) chairman and that the report will go to the Council of Almoners and not just to him.
As an American general once said: "The key to success is to get in there firstest with the mostest." (A great general albeait a bit weak on English grammar).
If the Head hesitates on this he will be on the back foot for the next three years; if he acts now he will be clear of it in six months.
David :shock:
PS. Whatever happens the chairman of the enquiry should not be a bishop - I do not need to spell out why.
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J.R.
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Re: Letter to the Head Master

Post by J.R. »

sejintenej wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:50 pm
Although Dick T has shown that CH is not alone I also find the statement in February 2018
The government declined to give an interview but said that in 2016 they held a public consultation about whether it should be introduced, and they will publish its findings in due course.
disturbing and it looks like HM Government is hiding abuse
I think HMG in the past, and probably just as much now, have plenty of skeletons they want consigned to a dark cupboard, never to see the light of day. I could name some prominet MP's, but do not wish to defame those, who, having passed away, cannot defend themselves.

There are certainly some living politicians, serving and retired serving who'd just love to go on 'Room 101' with Frank Skinner and bury some of their emerging indiscretions, (allegedly, to quote Ian Hislop.)
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: Letter to the Head Master

Post by rockfreak »

michael scuffil wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:25 am
The common thread that ties them all together is that the school did nothing but simply moved them on.

Let's not be anachronistic. It used to be taken for granted that any institution would seek to protect its own reputation. Not so much by cover-up and denial, but simply by not hanging out the dirty washing in public. (The Sunday tabloids wallowed in stories of dodgy vicars and schoolmasters, of course, but only if they came to court; you can see why great effort was made to stop them coming to court. The serious press wasn't interested.) When Buck resigned for (in his words in a letter to Edmund Blunden) 'loving not wisely but too well' (!), everyone in ColB was told why (I think), but nothing else was said, and certainly not to the press (which had reported on his drink-driving conviction a few weeks earlier). In a letter to my parents, I said that my Latin teacher had left suddenly, and as I'd already reported the drink-driving with some hilarity, I allowed them to think the two were connected.

In Buck's case, however, one might ask why the school saw fit to give him a memorial service with full military honours, so to speak.
As I've emailed you Michael, the full story on Buck has still to come out. I am the only person registering on this site who was there in Col B when it happened and I contacted JR and filled him in and said that he might not want all this dirty linen washed in public and what to do? So he said OK and locked the thread titled AH Buck. OK by me. But since then so much has come out that I'm having second thoughts. You're right about Buck getting his reputation massaged later on after Seaman died, and indeed it asks questions of the much vaunted Seaman that Buck was just allowed to go away and get a job at Oxford University Press (given by a sympathetic Old Blue I believe) without prosecution. Even the poet laureate got roped in Buck's defence! But surely determination and cunning goes with the territory with these people doesn't it? I can blow the gaff on this one too but the moderators have to allow it. Unlike some others on this site I don't believe that the survival of the school is paramount.

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Re: Letter to the Head Master

Post by michael scuffil »

Buck was just allowed to go away and get a job at Oxford University Press (given by a sympathetic Old Blue I believe) without prosecution

We are talking about 1956, when prosecutions for institutional sexual abuse were almost unheard of (precisely because of the damage it would do to the institution). I hardly think one can blame Seaman or anyone else at CH for not going it alone when even the parents made no complaint to the police (who, I suspect, would also have discouraged taking the matter further).

Buck, I believe, earned a pittance at the OUP. But what was the alternative -- what was then called National Assistance? He had to live on something. At least he wasn't working with boys.

Buck's later rehabilitation (80th birthday dinner, memorial service, in 1980 and 1987 respectively, i.e. under Baker and Poulton (? or was it Hansford)) is much more problematic, and there I think the school has more to answer for.
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Re: Letter to the Head Master

Post by J.R. »

I don't know the exact date of Bucks' disappearance as a disgraced housemaster. I do know that when I went up to Coleridge B from Prep B, Buck's name was rarely mentioned, and when it was, usually only in hushed tones by senior boys who must have had memories.
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: Letter to the Head Master

Post by michael scuffil »

It was on 6 May 1956 (as recorded in his published letter dated the following day to Edmund Blunden). He was my Latin teacher on the LF, and for the rest of term we were taught first by the grecian Jasper Griffin, and then by the Vicar of Itchingfield.
Th.B. 27 1955-63

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Re: Letter to the Head Master

Post by rockfreak »

I know of one occasion when the police were called Michael. I had a friend who was at somewhere like Lancing or Hurstpierpoint in the 1950s where the HM was in the habit of giving the boys alcohol and groping them. Someone called the police and when HM saw them coming he threw himself out of an upper window and killed himself.

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Re: Letter to the Head Master

Post by J.R. »

rockfreak wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:39 pm
I know of one occasion when the police were called Michael. I had a friend who was at somewhere like Lancing or Hurstpierpoint in the 1950s where the HM was in the habit of giving the boys alcohol and groping them. Someone called the police and when HM saw them coming he threw himself out of an upper window and killed himself.
Sounds like a good script for 'Barnaby' of 'Midsomer' fame !
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: Letter to the Head Master

Post by richardb »

To get this thread back on track...

The police said that they investigated back as far as the 1940s. That means:
(i) they picked an arbitrary start date: or
(ii) they were given a specific complaint, whether by the school or directly by a victim.

My money would be on the police having been told that a teacher misbehaved in the 1940s who turned out to have died.

I would also wager that the school went through the old files and identified all complaints of sexual abuse before then giving details to the police so they could investigate.

Webb started in the mid 1960s and is now in his mid 70s so teachers from the 1940s and 1950 would now be in their 80s or 90s if still alive.

It isn't necessary for us to know the identities of either the perpetrator or the victim in any of this. The school should know the numbers of staff who left in dubious circumstances and show be able to give us the figures.

No witch hunt needed. Just numbers, not name.

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Re: Letter to the Head Master

Post by bakunin »

It would certainly be useful to have the names though. It would be illuminating to track the careers of all these abusers across the network of boarding schools in the UK - where they worked before CH, where they were moved on to - I wonder if there are any particular feeder schools and dumping grounds (was CH one?) for dubious teachers.

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Re: Letter to the Head Master

Post by J.R. »

bakunin wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:09 pm
It would certainly be useful to have the names though. It would be illuminating to track the careers of all these abusers across the network of boarding schools in the UK - where they worked before CH, where they were moved on to - I wonder if there are any particular feeder schools and dumping grounds (was CH one?) for dubious teachers.
That is quite a frightening thought !!
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: Letter to the Head Master

Post by Richard »

There are two important differences between abusers’ departures from CH described in this thread and that of AH Buck.

(1) As soon as possible after Buck’s last improper approach to a boy in a dormitory a monitor reported the event to the HM (Seaman).
(2) Within a few hours Buck left CH.

Whether he was summarily dismissed, was invited to resign, or spontaneously resigned I do not know. Certainly for his departure there was no waiting till the end of term. His totally inappropriate activity was well known by boys and there had been previous similar incidents, which I believe were never reported to anyone in authority.

I must add that he was pitied by many. In fact a few years later we were approaching each other on a pavement in Oxford. He recognised me and tactfully crossed the street, his usual manoeuvre in those circumstances. I then also crossed the road and, as we came closer to each other, spoke to him. In our short conversation he emphasised how most grateful he was for the interaction. That was my only contact with him after he left CH.

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Re: Letter to the Head Master

Post by rockfreak »

I had a different version Richard, having been in Col B at the time. A 13-year-old friend of mine told me that he had been reticent about going back for the start of the summer term in 1956 and his mother dragged out of him why this was the case. He was one of those to whom Buck paid particular attention. His mother took him back to school and I imagine then went straight in to see Seaman. Within a few days Buck was out and Seaman came in to house prayers that evening to tell us that Buck had been dismissed for reasons of sexual misconduct. Not "overfamiliarity with one boy" as has been mooted, nor even for peeing over the headmaster's front door (as was at one time alleged). No one in the house was remotely surprised.
As for monitors blowing the whistle, well I can't say about that. I can only tell you my own information as I recall it after all these years. Suffice to say that the monitors knew about this for terms beforehand. It was a kind of standing joke. As far as these things can be a joke. They use to balance the metal lav end mugs on the inside door handles from the emergency stairs so that when he came in p*ssed as a rat at night they would fall off with a great clatter.
Post War Blue has mentioned the laissez faire atmosphere of the house at that time where bullying was rife, and I've no doubt that Buck's own loucheness encouraged the same atmosphere in the house. A pity because he had his good points but just another example of how long this sort of thing can be treated as normal in a closed institution.
So I've blown the whistle now on a thread that was otherwise locked. Will this post go the same way as my limerick?

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Re: Letter to the Head Master

Post by yamaha »

A.H. BUCK
Unread post by J.R. » Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:37 am

IN VIEW OF CERTAIN INFORMATION RECEIVED BY ME THIS MORNING, I AM DELETING THE A.H. BUCK THREAD.
Perhaps in the present mood/public interest it will be reinstated. - wonder what the info. was?

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