K D Anderson and the Cane

A former master recounted the following tale to me:

Shortly after joining the School and having had no previous experience of public or grammar schools of our ilk he was made a form master. At the end of his first term in charge he duly read all the boys’ reports written by each subject master and added a brief commentary. One boy whom I shall call Martin had a rather poor report and he wrote that this lad needed to work harder and pay more attention.

He thought no more about it until he was summoned to the Headmaster’s study where he found the said Martin standing in front of KD. The latter proceeded to say how disappointing it was to read the Form Master’s remarks given that Martin’s father had been to see him to ask for extra lessons. Clearly the boy had not met expected standards and he turned to Martin to say that he had been awarded three strokes of the cane. At that he told the boy to place his hands on the desk and bend over. KD approached from behind and flipped the blazer up to reveal the target area. Unfortunately, in doing so he dislodged a packet of cigarettes from Martin’s pocket.

This did not please KD who immediately “awarded” him six strokes and proceeded to administer the punishment. Our master had never witnessed corporal punishment before and felt a little uncomfortable; the boy even more so, no doubt!

In spite of initial reservations, he quickly appreciated the value of such correction and its overall impact on the school’s discipline and work. Some fifty five years later he is appalled at the waste in boys’ education due to a near total absence of discipline in many establishments and teachers inability to tackle the problem in the face of lack of support from parents and the establishment.