BROTHER ELWIN, BROTHER HUGH, BROTHER JAMES

I thought it was important to make a separate post of this new statement below from an Old Boy.  This now makes four accounts of sexual abuse by Brother James at St Joseph’s. (As well as endless accounts of his extreme violence.)  The implications of Brother James’s comment, ‘I can see you’re not ready,’ is  troubling and confirms his role as a serial sex offender as well as a violent psychopath.

If I had confirming evidence in my own case against James,  e.g. a witness, I would have already taken legal action against the De La Salle Order.  Unfortunately, it’s a solo crime, but sooner or later the right case will come along as it does with other schools, and action can be taken.

I was reflecting today that I wish there were other sites or places where the crimes of the De La Salle Brothers and the Catholic Church in Ipswich could be recorded. I’m very happy to list them here because I know one day soon they will have to be acted upon, especially as the testimonies grow in numbers.  But some Old Boys may prefer sharing with a different body.

For the record, I’m only aware of three options. But do say if you know of more.

1)The police. By far the best option if the De La Salle brother or lay teacher is still alive and compos mentis.   Many of them are still alive, so if you’re a survivor and you can handle it, please don’t leave it too long.  I can assure you from personal experience the police will take your statement seriously.

2) Diocese Catholic Safeguard Officer. In my opinion and personal experience, they are there to safeguard the Church, not survivors. I tried them some years ago and found the Officer was a complete waste of time and full of b.s. They might argue that the DLS brothers fall outside their jurisdiction. The Church’s ability to buck pass is impressive.  But I would be very happy to be proved wrong.

3)The De La Salle Order. Its current head is Brother Laurence Hughes who has stated publicly how concerned he is for the well-being of children.  See a past post. I’ve just read three harrowing accounts of his extreme physical violence against children when he was a teacher at St J’s.  One account, where Laurence takes a bowler’s run up to beat a child, is identical to the violence the psychopath Brother James used on a boy.  A man like this is a disgrace and should clearly resign, but until he does I don’t see how the DLS can take complaints of abuse seriously.

It goes without saying that the current  St J’s  would go into Pontius Pilate mode and say any complaints against the school are nothing to do with them. They’re very happy to draw on the great achievements of the school’s past but not its serious crimes against children.

It’s surprising how many famous and influential Old Boys who were at St J’s at the same time as myself but have nothing to say about the appalling abuse which we all know was endemic at the time. It may not have happened to them personally, but they’d have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to have seen what going on.  At the time, with gallows humor, we’d all make jokes about Brother Solomon being sent to the DLS Jersey ‘reformatory’. Shipwrecked sailors arrived on the island, saw Brother Solomon, and ran from him in terror.

Now is the time to speak out, even if it duplicates what’s already been noted. It helps to confirm the truth beyond any reasonable doubt.

I’m reminded of the phrase: If you are able to speak up and you don’t, then you are implicitly condoning it.

THE LATEST ACCOUNT:

I’m coming to this very late. I had a fair bit of contact with Brother Elwin as I was Head Choirboy in the year or so leading up to his death, and I lived a long way from Ipswich so spent half term holidays at the college. During half term he would sometimes set up practice sessions with me and get me to sing music outside the usual Catholic repertoire. I was obviously lucky or just unattractive to him as even in those 1:1 situations he was never other than appropriate. I wish I could say the same of Brother Hugh. Actually I am slightly worried that I might be misremembering events because I have seen no reference to him as an abuser but when I was in the 3rd or 4th form he was in charge of our dormitory, and at night regularly positioned himself in a chair next to one particular bed after lights out and abused it’s occupant. One of the boys with a quick wit came up with a re-working of the tune to Dad’s Army which parodied this activity. Was Brother Hugh’s surname Leyland? I was groomed for a time in my first year by I think Brother James (I have buried the memory very deep) and ended up naked (him still dressed) in the laundry room off our dormitory, but bizarrely he then said “I can see you’re not ready” and told me to get dressed and didn’t touch me. That was my one and only near-miss although I was on the receiving end of much brutality during my years (1967 to 1973).

1 thought on “BROTHER ELWIN, BROTHER HUGH, BROTHER JAMES

  1. Brutality is certainly something I recall. Beatings for minor errors. I recall brother Hugh very well, as a small boy at Oak Hill and then later at Birkfield. He always seemed to be around after games near the showers and carried out shower inspection. In other words wandering up and down the shower cubicles commenting on the state of genital development. He was a big man a bully and was simply intimidating. As a day boy and a ‘non-catholic’ there was thankfully no abuse I suppose it was because catholic indoctrination could not be applied although it was certainly attempted. I realise now there was definitely discrimination, it was like being the lowest form of life. Brother Hugh would have known what was going on as did a lot of the other brothers for example Benet, Gregory, Terence, they were guilty by allowing things to occur, and as for that psycho Peter the less said the better.
    I think your latest external contributor must have been the year below me. I recall Brother Elwin very well, I couldn’t sing so again I was thankfully overlooked.
    It would be helpful to get in contact with him as we would probably remember each other.

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