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School CP - April 1956

Corpun file 24677 at

Daily Mail, London, 4 April 1956, p.7

Four caned boys struck north in shame

Scotland for peace

By Daily Mail Reporter

Click to enlarge

TWELVE of the best, right on the traditional spot, for ten schoolboys. The pain didn't trouble them much. But the shame hurt.

It bothered four of them so much that they ran away from Derbyshire, heading for Scotland.

When John Hollis, 15, and Malcolm Roope, 14, learned that the whole of Tapton House School, at Chesterfield, was talking about their whacking they packed rucksacks and started their 200-mile tramp.

Two others, Robert Morgan, 15, and John Gilhooley, 15, left with them but after one day returned home.

Turned back

All four reached Wakefield, about 50 miles from home, last Wednesday. Then Robert and John, fed up with the rigours of open-air life, turned back.

Said Robert yesterday: "The plan was to go to Stranraer and hitch a lift aboard a ferry to Northern Ireland.

"We were going to stay there until we were 18 to allow time for the talk to die away."

Of the caning administered by headmaster Arnold Jennings -- he caned ten boys for pranks in Chesterfield -- Robert had this to say: "They can't just hope to avoid the disgrace by running away. They are only making it worse.

"Twelve strokes is a lot, but we deserved it and we got it. That's the end of it."

First job

Malcolm Roope's parents received a letter from him posted in Barnsley. His mother said: "He had his Post Office savings book with £23 in it. The letter told us not to worry."

John Hollis's father said: "John has left school now and should have started his first job today. I thought he had just gone hiking."

Both boys -- still missing last night -- have been on camping holidays in the Lake District before. John is a Boy Scout.

Chesterfield's education chief, Mr. Arthur Greenhough, frowns on corporal punishment in schools.

Last night be said: "It is discouraged, but it is left to the discretion of the headmaster."

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