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Judicial CP - June 1938

Corpun file 25040 at

Daily Mirror, London, 21 June 1938, p.1

"I forgive him. I want to marry him," declares Phyllis Lucas, of the youth who "branded" her as you see below.

Birched youth tells how he "branded" his girl

BIRCHED yesterday for "carving initials of love" with a penknife on the wrist of his sweetheart, aged eighteen, a youth told the "Daily Mirror" last night:--

"She is mine. I am hers. As they thrashed me, my mind was for her only. That's how I stuck it."

Royston Lee Blanchard, wincing as he spoke hours after the twelve strokes ordered by the St. Helier, Jersey, magistrate, knew that for three years he must never even speak to Phyllis Joyce Lucas.

They will wait for each other, these two, on whom the Court imposed the silence.

Blanchard, dark, curly-headed, seventeen, knows that if he speaks to Phyllis Lucas before she is twenty-one, he will receive another twelve lashes of the birch

Last night Phyllis, her wrist inflamed with the "R" and "P" scars made ten days ago, told the Daily Mirror:

"I forgive him. I want to marry him when we are old enough. I remember his penknife biting deep into my flesh. The marks that are there are mine and his.

"The marks that are there are mine and his," says Phyllis. These are the marks -- the initials "R.P." cut in her arm.

"Mother does not want me to see him, but I love him still. Perhaps, when I am twenty one she will relent. I am sure that we still love each other.

"This morning, when I heard that he was to be birched, I was sad, but I felt proud, because I knew that the punishment that he was receiving was for me, the punishment for loving me."

Did Not Want to Hurt Her

Photographed after the birching he endured "for her only" . . . Royston Lee Blanchard, aged seventeen.

Blanchard told the Daily Mirror: "We have known each other for nearly three years. I did not want to hurt her. I love her. But I thought after that nothing would separate us. She is mine and I am hers.

"This morning I was thrashed. It hurt, but not as much as I thought it would. The doctor examined me. He said: 'You'll be all right.' Then came the birch.

"The lashes didn't hurt until I felt the sixth one, and then it seemed to bite into my back.

"I don't want people to think that I was cruel. People have done this sort of thing before, only they call it tattooing. This I thought was no different.

"While I was birched my mind was centred on Phyllis only.

"I'll Ask Her Forgiveness"

"Certainly, I shall obey the law for three years, and then I shall go to her and ask her forgiveness. I shall tell her that I want our friendship to go on as it was before this awful thing happened."

Click to enlarge

The Court was told that Phyllis said no word to anyone about the branding -- even wrote to Blanchard afterwards -- but her father found out. Her mother said she had been informed at the hospital the marks could only obliterated by grafting new skin.

Phyllis, small, dark and timid, promised the Court she would have nothing more to do with her sweetheart.

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