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Birching and "Severe Caning"at Charlie ChaplinsSchool

March 6 2007 at 10:13 AM
Bozo 

Accounts of CP at Charlie Chaplins old school as mentioned in his memoirs are still forthcoming.
The school was called the "Cuckoo Ragged School" and was situated in Hanwell
West London.It was closed in the early 1930s and most of the outbuildings
fell into disuse.
During Chaplins' heyday it was an enormous institution housing nearly 1000
pupils of both sexes apparently with many dormitories.In fact it was to all and intents and purposes the only school in that part of West London at all.There being no public school except Harrow.Most did not go to a secondary school in 1898.Detailed description of the punishment are coy.
The general consensus seems to be that caning was used,with more serious cases being caned more severly by the headmaster and that for "ultra serious"cases birching was used-it states.However what constituted "severe"punishment is left to the readers imagination as is the modus operandii for the birching.This could have been anything to a few twigs over a clothed backside to a fully nude leather strapped -down- on- a - wooden trestle prolonged birching(50 strokes?) deliquent reformatory style for both boys and girls in a large gymnasium or classroom attended by several teachers,nurses and a chaplain,the sounds and screams echoing throughout the whole school grounds as the hissing birch,possibly soaked i saline descended on the naked back and secured buttocks of the unfortunate victim who must have been absolutely terrified prior to,during and after the "birching".
This is more likley as the school had a considerable grounds staff and resources and was neighbour to a nearby primitive huge long standing Lunatic Asylum.As this School was the major institution for the whole of West London it merits study as a centre of abuse and brutality that todays local residents seem quite unaware of.The rambling grounds and numerous workshops
and store houses and outbuildings make it resemble an early fore runner of a concentration camp!

 

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