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Waking up with a pain in my ankle – thanks again Warwick bloody school: where do we stand on its historic sexual abuse?

Tom Winnifrith
Sunday 17 July 2022

45 years ago I was pushed back into that freezing outdoor pool at Warwick School behind the “new gym” as I tried to haul myself out. There was no real malice by the three boys who did it (Petley R, Townsend & Moffatt A) but what happened was part of a culture of bullying which teachers just overlooked. Moffat A was, in particular, a real bully in my years in the junior school. Both his parents taught there and so that was just part of life, part of what made Warwick such an appalling place. On this occassion, my ankle caught between the iron bar that went around the pool and the edge of the pool. As I struggled for breath the ankle became horribly twisted. I could not walk for many weeks. It has never fully recovered.

I twisted it badly playing basketball at Oxford. And again, effectively ending my playing career at London Irish. And on cold nights or after extreme stress it can swell up again. Driving 2,000 miles from Wrecsam to Greece in three days last week caused a lot of stress as it is my right foot. And thus I wake up today with one ankle noticeably bigger than the other. Bugger you Warwick.

That almost prompts me to start naming the paedophile teachers at Warwick which it did so much to protect. My abuse – at the hands of sadistic bastard Geoffrey Eve – was physical. Natch’ Warwick protected him. But my campaigns on that matter have helped to unearth all sorts of sexual abuse at Warwick.

In his excellent series on historic abuse at public schools, Alex Renton makes the point that perverts were never lone wolves. If you had one at a school, you invariably had a number. Warwick, of course, pretends otherwise.

Warwick is aware of one serial abuser who, for reasons I shall explain at some point, I nor it, can name. Natch, after he buggered around at Warwick for a while, it passed him on with glowing references to teach at another school.  One of the things Renton also says is that the pupils all knew so why did the teachers not know? The answer, of course, is that they did know at Warwick and elsewhere but did nothing either because they were also perverts or, in most cases, because one cannot rock the boat at a fine old school such as Warwick, founded by Edward the Confessor. Floreat, floreat, schola Warwicensis and all that bollocks.

I know that my work in shining a light on Warwick’s shameful past has made me deeply unpopular with certain former teachers who do not want the school’s reputation tarnished and so back the cover-ups not the whistleblowers.

But other than the man who will be named at some point and is still alive I now have enough to name three other masters (two dead, one , I think, alive)  as paedophiles. And there are two other teachers whose desire to beat the naked bottoms of young boys makes them, at best, suspect. Or perhaps like communal freezing showers watched keenly by certain masters, that was just part of the Warwick experience?

I have enough to name names. The problem with a couple of these cases is that the boys whose experiences I am aware of will not go to Warwick to force it to expend its enquiry which it has finally started. And that means that Warwick can pretend that nothing happened, that there was not an active group of paedophiles on its staff just one bad egg.

Until Warwick reaches out to OWs with an admission that it had a widespread problem so that more victims come forward, it can thus pretend there were no victims other than those of the “lone wolf” who cannot, pro tem, be named.

Though my swollen ankle makes me curse Warwick I shall not name anybody until I have returned to Britain and made a road trip to the grim North to check up on whether the “3rd man” is alive or dead and hopefully, if the former, to confront him. Thereafter I will start naming names.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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