Dobbie's departure

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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Re: Dobbie's departure

Post by richardb »

Elvie wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:47 am
I agree, and i think that's part of the assurance needed from the school; -have the police been notified of all teachers who were moved on from the school in response to abuse allegations?
This is what we need to be told.

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Re: Dobbie's departure

Post by jtaylor »

Elvie wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:47 am
I agree, and i think that's part of the assurance needed from the school; -have the police been notified of all teachers who were moved on from the school in response to abuse allegations?
This is the single biggest question which they should answer now, to reassure Old Blues and others of their PROACTIVE cooperation? Or, that at the least the police have asked the question of current and ex-staff? This would likely involve asking/interviewing all the living SMT to list all the staff who left under a cloud, and share everything they knew that had taken place.
Once understood, the net then broadens our to every school/club/organisation they worked for, volunteered for etc and those organisations should be asked to inform their alumni and see what comes out from those places?
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Re: Dobbie's departure

Post by richardb »

I had rather assumed Julian that this information underpinned the police investigation and that the investigation had perhaps run from the end of the second world war.

As I have indicated previously, I am aware of an instance of a teacher from the late 1940s who was not welcome at the school.

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Re: Dobbie's departure

Post by Golfer »

Briefly returning to suggest some more probable reasons for Dobbie's departure.

He had decided to give up running the house after 9 years. It's hard work and 9 years is probably more than the average for a housemaster.

He would then have been merely an assistant chaplain at CH whereas he could run his own show at Shrewsbury.

Shrewsbury's salary scale was above CH - and likely to continue on a more vertical trend as CH financial troubles mounted, feeding in to a better retirement income.

Shrewsbury was his alma mater which holds an attraction for many.
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Re: Dobbie's departure

Post by TMF »

And evading complaints would be an entirely improbable reason for departing?!
During some of the gatherings boys were rated in order of their attractiveness, a girl was given alcohol and opened the bathroom door to find Dobbie "grinning at her" with his trousers undone. Fearing he wanted to have sex, she left. She told her mother after leaving the school, who phoned housemaster Neil Flemming but no action was taken.
See: http://www.chforum.info/php/viewtopic.p ... 5&#p140335
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Re: Dobbie's departure

Post by richardb »

For him there was every reason not to leave CH.

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Re: Dobbie's departure

Post by scrub »

Golfer wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:22 pm
Shrewsbury's salary scale was above CH - and likely to continue on a more vertical trend as CH financial troubles mounted, feeding in to a better retirement income.
I've heard this mentioned vaguely a few times before, but don't know much about it. As I understand it between the late '90s and early '00s there were issues or was it a longer timescale?

When I was there, besides the standard grumbling about food and accommodation, I don't recall any shortages of essentials and they didn't seem to be strapped for cash when they wanted pretty baubles.

Anyone know more?

But yeah, I agree with your point. It's fairly standard that if a better offer comes up when your current place looks like it's heading downwards, you jump ship.
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Re: Dobbie's departure

Post by Otter »

Hello.

Long-time lurker, first-time poster.

Dobbie was my housemaster for a time.

I was not abused by him, was not aware of the abuse at the time, and have no knowledge of the identity of his victims. While I am a milion miles from being anything remotely like a victim, it is truly shocking and physically nauseating to me knowing that he was abusing children in the building in which I lived and slept, while I was under his loco parentis; and due to the dates, I must have known some of his victims.

I was not one of his "favourites" (I agree with a post from someone on another thread that you could tell from one look at a boy whether Dobbie would "like" them or not). Despite him being my housemaster for several years, I barely remember any one-on-one time with him, such as a meeting. I remember him as being distant and aloof. I barely knew him. Such was the divide between how he treated those he liked (was attracted to) and how he treated those he was not attracted to.

When he left, there was no controversy or gossip, or nothing that I was aware of. it seemed legitimate - he had been at the school for a decent length of time and was moving on like countless other - innocent - teachers do all the time. Plus, as mentioned in a post above, he was returning "home" for the final placement of his career. Dobbie actually seemed immensely popular around the school. There is a picture on his Facebook profile (from 1 January 2016), of him returning to the school for a visit a decade or so after he left. His profile seems open for anyone (with a Facebook account) to see. It has been liked 121 times, and you can see from numerous admiring comments from Old Blues, who seemingly, from the words of appreciation and nostalgic comments, genuinely looked up to him and had no idea of what he was doing behind the scenes.

I made a cursory call to Sussex Police to share this very vague snippet - I might have been wasting their time but better to do that that not, and even if I was wasting their time, they did not act as if that was the case and they were truly courteous. I can't recommend highly enough for any victims to contact Sussex Police.
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Re: Dobbie's departure

Post by Golfer »

Otter wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:00 pm
It is truly shocking and physically nauseating to me knowing that he was abusing children in the building in which I lived and slept [MidA]
Was this part of the allegations proved in court?

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Re: Dobbie's departure

Post by Golfer »

RB?

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Re: Dobbie's departure

Post by Jim Rayner »

Golfer wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:04 pm
Otter wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:00 pm
It is truly shocking and physically nauseating to me knowing that he was abusing children in the building in which I lived and slept [MidA]
Was this part of the allegations proved in court?
I’m puzzled by why you think it’s important to establish whether this was proved in court.

You see if you change Otter’s sentence to introduce an element of doubt, so it says something like “knowing he was probably abusing children in the building in which I lived and slept.” or even “knowing he may have been abusing children in the building ...” that still doesn’t remove or reduce the sense of shock and physical nausea.

I say that because I feel something similar. I spent 3 years sleeping in a dormitory that was patrolled by Webb. The offences that he admitted and is doing time for occurred after I had left the school and in the dormitories of a different house. But I still feel shock and revulsion knowing that Webb may well have been committing the same offences in earlier years and could have been interfering with boys in my dormitory while I was sleeping there.

In this instance the detail of what may have been established in court does not matter. What’s been proved is that men like Webb and Dobbie were repeatedly abusing children under their care. And anyone who now knows their safety was entrusted to a child abuser has every right to feel shock, disgust, nausea and maybe much worse. For myself, I left CH over40 years ago and I’m surprised by the force of the emotional impact of learning what Webb was up to. I’ll get over it; I know there are others, who I probably knew and lived with, whose lives have been forever damaged by what they were put through.
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Re: Dobbie's departure

Post by richardb »

Otter and Jim have it spot on.
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Re: Dobbie's departure

Post by Golfer »

I actually thought it might alleviate the shock to some MidA OBs if it turned out that abuse did NOT occur in MidA during term time. This would not be inconsistent with the (admittedly incomplete) press reports of the trial.
As been mentioned by others, Dobbie retained considerable loyalty from his house for the most part, even at his trial.
I could believe that MidA in term time was exempt from abuse for a variety of reasons, but I am always prepared to change my mind if the facts change.
Had I been a member of MidA I would obviously now be in deep shock that my housemaster had been a serial abuser; however it might not be quite the same if none of my MidA friends had been abused and if any abuse had taken place elsewhere, or out of term. I do understand the strength and resonance of JR's testimony i.e. Webb had abused others in the very dorm that he himself had slept. My sympathies are with him and RB. And if members of MidA were abused, and it just didn't come out in the reporting, then I am happy to apologise to any such unhappy victims.
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Re: Dobbie's departure

Post by Observer »

I actually thought it might alleviate the shock to some MidA OBs if it turned out that abuse did NOT occur in MidA during term time. This would not be inconsistent with the (admittedly incomplete) press reports of the trial.
As been mentioned by others, Dobbie retained considerable loyalty from his house for the most part, even at his trial.
I could believe that MidA in term time was exempt from abuse for a variety of reasons,
What are you saying?

It was considerate of Dobbie not to abuse pupils in his own house during term time?

He at least had the decency to take his depravity elsewhere?

Jesus Wept. I am speechless.
Last edited by Observer on Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dobbie's departure

Post by richardb »

I am informed by one of Dobbie's victims that he was convicted of abuse in his flat in MidA.
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