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School CP - May 1938

Corpun file 25185 at

Daily Mirror, London, 17 May 1938, p.10

Damages for "Will Hay" Schoolboy

A BOY of eleven who was punished by a schoolmaster for flicking pellets at him -- "Just like Will Hay," the boy said -- gave evidence at Wandsworth County Court yesterday in cross-actions. All the boys, he said, were doing the same, but he was the only one to be found out.

In one action Mr. Charles Richard King, schoolmaster, of Church-road, Barnes, was awarded four guineas school fees claimed from Mr. John Nicholas Patrick Conlan, architect employed at the Office of Works, of Nowell-road, Barnes and in the other Mr. Conlan was awarded four guineas damages with costs, against Mr. King for an assault on his son Peter. He claimed £25.

Mr. King said that Peter had been at his private school since he was five and a half. His parents took him away without giving the proper term's notice.

"Lost Control"

Cross-examined by Mr. S. Levine, for Mr. Conlan, Mr. King said the boy was bright and intelligent, and had made good progress, but was "an awful liar."

He had caned him whenever he needed correction, but never at all seriously.

Mrs. Conlan said that on one occasion the boy came home "deathly white" and absolutely exhausted. She examined him and found five red weals and two bruises on his body.

Afterwards Mr. King agreed that he lost control of himself.

Click to enlarge

Peter Conlan said that since being in Mr. King's class he had had detentions nearly every day. Once it was for flicking pellets at Mr. King while his back was turned, "Just like Will Hay."

Once Mr. King gave him ten strokes with the cane. He then stopped, but afterwards thrashed him again until he was tired out.

Judge Haydon: Did you count the number of blows he gave you? -- No, I was in such pain.

More than fifty? -- About fifty.

Mr. King declared that most of the boy's allegations were purely imaginary. He had been very lenient in regard to caning.

Judge Haydon said Mr. King was obviously a most excitable man and somewhat exceeded what was proper in giving chastisement to a boy of such tender years.

Mr. Conlan, who said that he was a Justice of the Peace and a councillor, described Peter as a very truthful boy.

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