MORE ST JO’S MEMORIES 1954 –  1957

Thanks for more valuable memories, Herb, featured below.

I’m guessing the art teacher would be Mr Krajewski (I bet I spelt that wrong. Pronounced cry-eski). He did lean in close – I remember when  he showed me how to paint a landscape, but I always felt I could trust him, so I didn’t mind.He was a great art teacher and I was pretty average, but I believe Brian Eno (the musician) credits him as an inspiration before he went on to Ipswich art college. I’d guess Krajewski had been in the Polish army because he once took us for PT and vaulted over the horse with effortless and athletic ease. Not so me!

I think you’re right about long term memory – although I didn’t appreciate my therapist’s explanation! She said the older you get, the harder it is to keep the bad stuff down even with prozac etc. It starts in mid-40s, often with a mid-life crisis like divorce, a death etc and then more and more memories start unraveling.  So, in my case, I figured it was better to open Pandora’s box and just get all the poison out. I had no idea how much, but better out than in, as they say.

Thanks again, Herb, and all the best to you and other Old Boys of St Jo’s for the very happiest 2022.

Pat,  I’m not too informed of the slight built Brother de la salle.  He did not teach any of my classes and he spent most of his time with the older boys.  The dorm for him and the older boys was attached to Birkfield house and I rarely had cause to go there.  Brother Damian and the main office were in Birkfield House.  I recollect one side of the house was ‘out of bounds’ for the boys.  Of course, that rule made it even more interesting to curious minds.  Nothing there really, it looked like some sort of patio or rest area. A meeting with Brother Damian was usually a strong discipline or high level of corrective measures.  I heard rumors of caning but never witnessed it.  I met with Brother Damian on two occasions and I was pretty scared both times.  The first meeting had to do with my behavior and he sternly recommended that I apply myself more with my studies because I was not reaching my full potential and he expected more from me.  The second meeting with him was even more interesting.  It was a short meeting and he was basically inquiring as to my sexuality and knowledge of activities at the school.  There were games the older boys played and I rejected my one and only invitation to participate.  It was popular talk of the older boys having mutual masturbation gatherings and contests of who could urinate the furthest, etc.  I made me wonder where they learned such activities.  The last person on my recall list was a lay person who taught art.  He was not an intimidating person but when observing students art work he seemed to crowd into ‘personal space’ for a closer look.  I don’t recall his name and art class was my only recollection of him.

Again, Pat, thank you for your praise of my memory.  I’m 79 years old and they say that long term memory is easier to access with age.   Actually, my recall was enhanced from a two-week holiday my wife and I spent in Briton in 1996.  I spoke about my experiences in the UK as a youngster often and we agreed to take a “once in a lifetime” trip.  She wanted to see the usual sights that Americans seem to drift to; tower bridge, Buckingham palace, the guards, the queen (right!), and a full English breakfast.  I, on the other hand, wanted to rekindle friendships made in Newmarket and Burwell.  Two weeks were not near enough time.  We found several old friends and had the opportunity for long conversations. Yes, we went to St. Jos.  Nothing much had changed but I was impressed by the modern expansion of many new buildings.  There was no one around and I assumed the boarders were home for summer term break.  A priest found us wandering the grounds and approached.  He seemed young but was very accommodating.  He told us that the DLS were not in charge, nor present, anymore and the school now accepted girls.  I was not aware of these facts.  He gave us a tour of Birkfield House and I was astounded at how I forgot the majestic staircase in the entry.  I asked the priest if we could access any old photos or records from years gone by.  I was hoping for a possible roster of former students and the possibility of contacting them.  He strongly discouraged my research request and told us there were old archives but were stored away and could not access.  Interesting.  Best of luck to you in your quest, Pat.  I’ll follow the blog and likely comment once in a while.   I wish I could offer more but I think I’m drained for information.  Your cause is very worthy and I only wish I could do more.  Happy New Year to you and yours, Pat, and my God bless you and your efforts.  Herb

Alan Dershowitz using the DARVO technique

BBC platforms Alan Dershowitz on Ghislaine Maxwell trial outcome (full)

Dershowitz uses classic DARVO technique – see below. Two Catholic lawyers used the DARVO technique on me when I was 14 years old. So watching Dershowitz was a valuable trigger and got me in touch with my original memory.

How I hated those lawyer bastards but I firmly believe I will get payback on their evil Catholic organisation in due course.

I’m sure Catholic Laity and Monks elsewhere would have used DARVO on others, so I’ve copied the Wikipedia entry below.

Hope it’s useful to you and Happy Hunting abuser scum in 2022!

DARVO is an acronym for “deny, attack, and reverse victim and offender”. It is a common manipulation strategy of psychological abusers.[1][2][3] The abuser denies the abuse ever took place, attacks the victim for attempting to hold the abuser accountable, and claims that they, the abuser, are actually the victim in the situation, thus reversing the reality of the victim and offender.[1][3] This usually involves not just “playing the victim” but also victim blaming.[2]

The acronym and the analysis it is based on are the work of the psychologist Jennifer Freyd, whose webpage links to an article explaining that the first stage of DARVO, denial, involves gaslighting.[1][2][3]

Jennifer Freyd writes:

…I have observed that actual abusers threaten, bully and make a nightmare for anyone who holds them accountable or asks them to change their abusive behavior. This attack, intended to chill and terrify, typically includes threats of law suits, overt and covert attacks on the whistle-blower’s credibility, and so on. The attack will often take the form of focusing on ridiculing the person who attempts to hold the offender accountable. […] [T]he offender rapidly creates the impression that the abuser is the wronged one, while the victim or concerned observer is the offender. Figure and ground are completely reversed. […] The offender is on the offense and the person attempting to hold the offender accountable is put on the defense.[4]


I am indebted to HERB, an American retired Law Enforcement officer, who was a boarder from 1954 to 1957.  I wish I had his memory and eye for detail!

The priest Herb refers to would have been Father Jolly. I was an altar boy, too, but at St Mark’s on Chantry Estate from around 1959 – 60.  Previously we went to the chapel at St J’s from 1958 or 1959 and Jolly was definitely the priest and he’d held that post for some time.

Good morning, Pat.  Central Standard Time 8:50 A.M.  Your blog has rekindled many memories and your invitation to relate the good, bad, ugly, school life at St. Jo’s has brought to mind many thoughts about that place.   Ref anonymity?  Use what ever information from me that you deem useful.  If I omit things intentionally, I’ll let you know.  Otherwise, help yourself.   A little info on how I ended up at St. Jos:  When my stepfather was transferred to Mildenhall from the US there was no room on the base for dependent housing.  The US Air Force was shuffling troops around and housing became jammed with people coming and going.  As a result, we lived in an apartment in Newmarket.  I was unable to attend American school on the base because of overcrowding so I was enrolled in Newmarket Secondary Modern School.  An anxious 13-year-old American kid without baseball???  Unthinkable.  And, football?  Looked like the yet popular game of soccer.   My mother said “no big deal, we all speak English”.  Of course, I could not understand but a few words, phrases, and the slang drove me nuts.  My math was terrible and counting money in the pre-decimalization age added to my misery.   After a short period of time we moved to Burwell and I was sent to St. Joseph’s College Birkfield in Ipswich. 

Your blog has opened my mind to several situations I nearly forgot about.  I’ve also learned (from your blog) that the de la salle brothers have last (sir) names.  I had no idea, I thought they chose a saint’s name to honor much the same manner as most orders of nuns do.  So, I’m at a loss to positively identify these so- called men.  The brothers I recall were Brother Damian (the headmaster), a small slight man named Brother de la salle, Brother Peter, and Brother Lawrence (sp).  Brother Peter taught French, English, and lots of sports interactions.  I admired him for his leg speed.  He would pull his cassock up to his knees and run as fast as the wind.  Amazing speed and all the whilst dribbling a football.     It seemed that most of the boys grew up around a football and could do all sorts of maneuvers with it.   It was foreign to me and when I made attempts to master it I tripped and fell down a lot.  Rugby, on the other hand, was a lot of fun.  I was small but maintained good upper body strength and found rewards playing hooker in the scrum.   My only other sporting forte was cross country running.  I ran everywhere and loved it.  The school placed a lot of value on sports.  The brothers were feared and, as I mentioned, corporal punishment was the way everything was disciplined, and there was plenty of it. 

Brother Peter caught me in class on more than one occasion that required my attention to be “adjusted:”  On this particular occasion I was lifting my desk top, so as to not be seen, and whispering to the boy next to me. Brother Peter saw the no talking violation and “invited” me to the head of the class for ‘three of the very best’.   He held my head by holding it with his left hand and gave me three very hard blows to my left side of my face.  I’m sure he was aware of my high tolerance to pain and really “teed off” on me.  My ears rang for a week that would envy the bells at St. Paul’s Cathedral.  My face swelled up to the point they would not allow me to go to town that Saturday, I even had a pink testimonial but still not allowed to leave the college.  One of the lady cooks prepared a cold, wet cloth to press on my face to reduce the swelling.  It was not the only time I was slapped in the face but this one time was the very worst.  One other point that Brother Peter concerned me was he was in charge of the showers.  As you left the showers he would inspect you for cleanliness.  Hands out, arms outstretched, turn them over, exam fingernails, asked several of the boys if the cleaned “down there.”  It was notable that he told the boys who were not circumcised to pull their foreskin back for “further inspection.”  And, he had that sort of gaze during the entire showering time.  I did not trust him but he never bothered me except for punishment. 

Brother Lawrence taught math and English.  He was also our dormitory overseer.  He had a room just off the side of the boys.  Our class rooms were on the ground floor on what I believe is/was called wing 55.  I’m not real sure of the name but can point it out on google earth.  The dorm was on the second floor and our class had half the space on first floor.  There were three rows of eleven beds, with wall lockers on one wall and sinks of the other, windows to the southeast (I think).  We each had daily chores that had to be completed before heading to the chapel for mass, then off to breakfast.  For breakfast we all had oat meal or some sort of porridge dispensed from a large metal pitcher, tea, and toast.  On Sunday we were allowed eggs scrambled.  I don’t recall anything special about the other meals.  Brother Peter was our meal monitor and was seated at one end of the room on an elevated table and chair.  He was served eggs, toast, tea, and bacon at every breakfast.  And, he made no effort to hide it.  The boys were seated at large tables with 4-5 boys on each side facing one another. 

 Brother Laurence would often times leave the dorm 15-20 minutes after lights out.  I assumed he was going to prayers or who knows what he was up to.  I noted that on about half the nights one of three different boys would shortly follow after him.  I had suspicions but as long as I was left alone i figured it none of my bushiness.  Brother Laurence was equally “into” punishment and his favorite target was the backside with the use of a slipper or tennis shoe.  I was amazed how large his feet were.  On one of his absences a few of the boys got into a pillow fight after lights out.  The swinging of pillows was eventually totally out of control and, I venture to say, that every single boy was involved.  On comes the lights and guess who?  The entire dorm was a mess, pillows broke open, scattered all over, beds tipped over and awry, and several boys pleading that they were not involved.  Too bad, Brother Lawrence announced that everyone was to queue up for three of the very best on the back side.  I thought that I might avoid a hard beating if I found my way to end of the line in hopes that he would be tired after wailing 33 boys rears.  Not a clever idea as it turned out as he was still going strong and worked himself into a rage.  It almost seemed he was enjoying the mass punishment. 

We had a priest that said mass, heard confessions, taught catechism, and selected his favorite alter boys.   It was rumored that the alter boys nick a bit of wine from time to time, so naturally, I wanted to be selected.  It never happened.  American boarders were seldom selected for the really desired chores and activities.  I was warned to avoid the priest if at all possible.  I don’t recall his name.  Not much help there but your description in your blog could easily fit

There were 8-10 American boys but none were my age so I was able to stay separated.  The only difference was the American boys were allowed to wear long trousers regardless of their age.  The rest of the younger boys wore shorts and long socks.  Everyone wore gray uniforms, trousers, white shirt, and ties representing their house.  More on the houses later.  The blazers were matching gray to the trousers except in the warmer terms when we were allowed to wear a light weight blazer, red and blue striped, with the school emblem sewed on the pocket.  With the motto Labore Et Tentacitate on the emblem.  I recall when the houses were formed.  I have no idea the logic behind the selection process but all the boys were assigned to one of four houses.  I only recall two house names, Sherwin and Canberra (sp).  I was assigned to Sherwin and our colors were blue and white.  Canberra was green and black.  We wore ties that were our house colors.  The houses were basically the sports team (or work group) you were assigned.  The brothers encouraged fierce competition among the houses.  Again, I played rugby for Sherwin house.  I had plans to play hooker on the school team and travel to matches with other schools, however we moved back to the states before I had a chance.  I’m quite sure I would have been selected to the team and able to wear the red and white colors. 

I made friends easily and had a friend from Pakistan who had a brother at Oak Hill.  He was quite a good runner and, on a few occasions, we would sneak off and run to Oak Hill to see his brother.   I was aware of Oak Hill because I knew a couple of American boys who were there and was able to visit them.  Small wonder we never got caught doing that.   


In preparation for the independent Investigator, I’ve previously summarised the evidence on this blog concerning Brothers James, Kevin and Solomon. Also, school chaplain Father Jolly and the Knights of St Columba and their close links to the DLS.

But it shouldn’t be assumed that the abuse is limited to these rotten apples.

There were many more DLS abusers noted on this blog and elsewhere.   

My concern – and I believe the concern of others – is that there could be a damage limitation exercise to just deal with those criminals as ‘scapegoats’  in Ipswich alone and then claim the matter is dealt with.

That won’t work.

It’s far more wide-ranging and systemic. And if there is a damage limitation exercise, it will only mean ANOTHER investigation LATER because I’m not giving up until the whole rotten orchard is exposed.

Another damage limitation technique is to claim that DLS corporal punishment was ‘normal’ for the times. That won’t work either. It was abnormal and any attempt to spin it away will result in an avalanche of anger from Survivors. See for example, this post with Old Boys’ views about corporal punishment:

I realize the investigation has to be realistic and set some boundaries. Nevertheless, the DLS is a multi-million pound organization and owes it to survivors to look into these matters properly and comprehensively.

It’s also worth noting that the four abusers detailed on this blog were clumsy criminals. They made mistakes and that’s why they’ve been discovered.

Brother James was a psychopath; he couldn’t control his behaviour. Father Jolly forgot to retrieve the tape recorder he left in the confessional. Brother Solomon and Brother Kevin were such insatiable paedophiles, abusing countless children, and they could not suppress their criminal lust. 

(I have seen evidence that Kevin and Solomon were still in close contact in the 1990s after they had both left the DLS when Solomon was clearly as predatory as ever.)

By comparison, most paedophiles are smarter and better at hiding their tracks.   See the section on DLS Lay teachers.


It would be wrong to investigate Ipswich DLS alone. Two other DLS schools at least are intimately connected with St J’s Ipswich.

As previous evidence has indicated, London Beulah Hill DLS was probably far worse that St J’s. Ipswich.

St Peter’s Bournemouth DLS was also a major concern – not least because it was the start of an escape route for abuser Brothers to flee to France if the police were closing in on them.

London was also where the private hospital was located where DLS victims were treated. Did these young victims, under the aegis of the Knights of St Columba,  come from DLS schools all over the country? 

It should be possible for an investigator to discover by looking at the hospital records.

So where to draw the line?  At just those three schools? An ex De La Salle Brother had this to say:

‘maybe it would have been better if the (DLS) schools in London, Portsmouth, Ipswich Bournemouth, Jersey, Liverpool, St Helen’s, Manchester had never been built.’

In my opinion, ALL DLS schools should be investigated in order to confirm or reject that systemic abuse took place across the whole of the UK and not limited to just Southern England.

Most of the Old Boys at other DLS schools are unaware of  this site, but that is changing and more evidence and testimonies are likely to be forthcoming.

These are just some of the examples I’m aware of:


1)London DLS Blackheath. One survivor had previously complained to the DLS at Oxford about inappropriate violence at the school and was fobbed off by the DLS brother in charge.  

 I believe this survivor has now passed his testimony to SCOE  : Catholic Safeguarding responsible for religious organizations. This is separate to DLS Safeguarding.  (I will look at the confusing nature of  these twin overlapping safeguarding organizations in my next post)

2)Liverpool DLS

This is a testimony from the 1980s: ‘ i too went to a De La Salle school in Liverpool although it was not a boarding school there were Brothers, of worst sort you could imagine. They were brutal sadistic pedophiles in which one of them was convicted twice of sexual assault named brother Paul.’

3) St  Gilberts  DLS school. A Survivor of this school has informed me when DLS teachers served their sentences for crimes they committed there, they were then sent to another DLS school in Scotland. If correct, this is evidence of systemic abuse.

4) St Ninian’s. See next section item 3 below.


1. Brother Elwin was the headmaster at St J’s Ipswich, mid 1960s, when there was a major cover-up of Brother J’s psychotic sexual violence. As the account describes,’ there was Brother Elwin naked on his bed with a naked kid of only about 12 sitting on his stomach.’

This testimony has been on my site since March 2020!  So the DLS and SCOE will be aware of it. Yet no one has been in touch to respond or ask to contact the Survivor.  This is a DLS headmaster.

Ignoring this account alone for over a year amounts to systemic abuse by the DLS today.

Apart from the account above, Brother Hugh is also referenced here:

‘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?’

2.Brother Leo. Headmaster St J’s Ipswich. 1960s. Three testimonies on my site of his sexual abuse. He was known as a ‘nocturnal groper’. Here’s the testimony by DN in the comments section of my post  ‘In the La Sallian Tradition 3’:

‘Normally we would fall asleep quickly being 13 or 14 but that night I stayed awake watching Bro.Leo (headmaster at the time) who opened the door to leave but then closed it and stayed still in the corner until he thought we were asleep. I assumed he would walk to the other boy’s bed but instead he came to mine and molested me. Only when I rolled over a couple of times did he stop. The next day I went with the other boy to father Jolly and told him the story. He told us to stay at his house while he went on his own to the Headmaster. Later he came back to say the HM denied it but for our information he was leaving at the end of the term for other reasons!! Father Jolly then took us to the HM’s study and we had to relate the story to his face. He denied it and we left. That was the last I heard of the matter.’’

Once again, Father Jolly is centre-stage in these DLS systemic abuse cover-ups.

3. Joe Homan when he was a DLS Brother at Oakhill. Late 50s approx.There are several accounts of his extreme violence to children on this site. I also have a  testimony of Homan’s serious sexual assault on a pupil at Oak Hill.  I can facilitate that Survivor contacting an Investigator.

This interview below relates to Homan after he left the order:

Recent interview on ABC TV in Australia has some horrible stuff about Homan (about 10 minutes in):

Nevertheless it strengthens the case that Homan should be investigated for his conduct when he was a De La Salle Brother.  It confirms his extreme violence.

4) St Ninians DLS. Brother Thadeus & Brother Benedict.

The DLS headmaster brother Thadeus ‘set up an elaborate scheme where another boy on promise of release said he did it.’ So Brother Benedict putting a child’s hand in a vice was blamed on another child.

Despite the very recent conviction of Brother Benedict, the systemic abuse involving the headmaster Brother Thadeus does not appear to be addressed and there is no personal apology to the Survivor. Why not?

This all looks to me like a continuation of systemic abuse by the DLS today.

5) This is the view of an ex De La Salle brother about abusers in his order:

‘In my opinion, the biggest disgrace is the cover up with regard to the individuals (albeit a minority) of abusers. Men like this tend to be quite cunning and the rest of us in the rank and file did not know what was going on, beyond a sense of unease, which we were too reticent to share with outside agencies or with the ecclesial authorities at higher levels.’

When systemic abuse is present, it makes reporting abuse difficult and that is  what happened here. Everyone kept quiet. It’s hardly surprising when DLS headmasters like Brothers Leo, Thadeus and Elwin (see above) are sexually abusing children and/or are part of an elaborate criminal cover-up.


Lay teachers were hired by the DLS and are thus their responsibility.  This is confirmed by the DLS acknowledging they are currently looking into lay teacher Mike Mercado.

DLS lay teachers therefore need investigating as well as DLS brothers.   Especially the cover-ups,

At least as many abusive DLS  lay teachers have been mentioned on this site as DLS brothers.  But – generally – they are mentioned briefly in passing and there is less secondary confirmation from Old Boys. Based on my own experiences with DLS lay teachers in the 1960s, I’d say this is because lay teachers were so much better at covering their tracks than abusive DLS monks.

This is not a comprehensive over-view of lay teacher abusers below.

If I’ve missed anyone important, do say and I will add them.  Two lay DLS teachers are excluded from the names below for legal reasons.



I’m still collecting evidence on two other abusive DLS lay teachers in this period.  I’ve spent a fortune on therapy over the years and the biggest percentage is  processing my encounters with these two individuals, more so than Brother James and Father Jolly. It’s still a work in progress but what I can say just now is my encounters with these two teachers is once again evidence of DLS systemic abuse.



I understand from an Old Boy there are abuse issues relating to at least one lay teacher from this era.  This, too, is a work in progress for the Survivor.

There’s also this testimony from another Old Boy:

‘I was at St Joe’s for many years. I remember them , Bros Cecil, James, Hugh, Damien, Owen, Gerard, Soloman, Denis Robert, Gregory, Benet, Cuthman, Peter, Terrence and others. They seemed all to have some sort of attitude or psychological problem or were perverts. Having spoken to others over the years about this it does seem that all the Del a Salle Schools and Catholic Schools were all the same. I am quite sure all the stories are pretty much true. The film Catholic Boys captures it pretty well. I’m in contact with a number of people from the 60s and early 70s from St Joe’s, I think some have tried to give details to the police. Interestingly and rather oddly one of the number listed above is still around and his partner (female) works for the police in relation to child abuse. Talk about poacher turned game-keeper! He waxes lyrical now about abuse saying ‘it only takes good men to do nothing etc etc’. He knew what was going on when he was at St Joe’s and did nothing. The pious hypocrite.’



(Mercado has been covered previously.)

Two abusive PE staff and another lay teacher were mentioned to me in a recent email from an Old Boy. He has contacted Ipswich police.

There is another testimony regarding a further lay teacher:

TONY HARDY. Lay teacher St J’s Ipswich. Era 1986 – 1990. Sexual and physical violence.  One testimony in comments – see: CS commented on ROLL OF DISHONOUR:

I attended St Joseph’s College from 86 – 90. I was at the school when David Hennesy became headmaster, he was a very relaxed guy and I liked him a lot. After our GCSE’s a few of us got our ears pierced – stupid, but hey we were crazy teenagers. We were in Birkfield house, Tony Hardy was the housemaster. He was a well known drinker and had a ferocious temper. After being told to take our ear rings out which we ignored as we were so close to school holidays we thought nothing more of it. One night Hardy had been out at a BBQ and came back after lights out, he pulled me and the other lads who had pierced their ears out of bed and made us stand in the corners of his living room. We were made to stand there when he went on a screaming rampage around the house. He came back to his quarters where we were all waiting frankly sh*tting ourselves. One by one he called each of the lads into his bedroom where he gave them all slippers. He then made me stand in a cupboard which he locked me in and then again went on another rampage around the house, when he came back hen made me stand in his bedroom drop my pyjama bottoms and then took a cat-o-nine tails out of his draw. He lashed me about 10 – 12 times with it till I was bleeding. The next morning when in the showers the other lads saw the state of what had happened to me and they took me to see Mr Hennesy, when we explained what happened he sent us to his cottage on the grounds and Hardy was got rid of that day. My parents were dealt with by the school’s solicitors and unbelievably agreed that as long as he never taught there again, wouldn’t involve the Police.

This is a cover-up by the DLS in the late 80s.

Harding may still be alive. If so, that makes this testimony especially important.

I will now  look at what the next step is on DLS abuse investigation. How does the investigation proceed?  How can we Survivors help? Who do we  get in touch with?  My next post.


First up, I’m ONLY relating the evidence here in the context of systemic De La Salle abuse.

Because I’ve seen too many accounts of Catholic religious orders thwarting  accusations with  ‘No. That’s not our responsibility. It’s the diocese/ the school/ the individual.  It is nothing to do with us.’

But this is very much to do with the De La Salles.

It demonstrates the organised nature of cover-ups within the order.


Central to this De La Salle systemic abuse cover-up is Father Bill Jolly, St Joseph’s College chaplain, parish priest for Chantry council estate, and a Knight of St Columba.

Jolly’s father, a passionate religious zealot, was the founder of the Ipswich Knights of St Columba province before the war.  This is not an irrelevant footnote. The Jollies had wealth and status in the Catholic community and Father Jolly – the owner of a yacht moored at Pin Mill –  was no ordinary Knight. He was de-facto ‘the Crown Prince’, the heir to his father’s organization. This helps explain why he took such a central role in the events below.

Jolly was also a sexual abuser himself. But only, AFAIK, as parish priest of Chantry Estate where he exercised a ‘droit de seigneur’  on selected poor and vulnerable children on the council estate like myself. But this was outside the remit of the DLS so I have not related it here.

However, I still think it’s useful to briefly describe the man. He was a calm, aloof,  detached, ascetic man with an upper class accent. The actor Charles Dance always reminds me of Jolly.  Jolly’s cold, laconic and remote character contrasted with his occasional nervous and high-pitched giggle. He was a diabetic who had several coma episodes in the time I knew him. I’m told he was also a heavy drinker. He gabbled his way through the Mass, without any feeling and at high speed and – as a devout Catholic altar boy – this troubled me greatly. I was reassured by my mother that did not detract from his holiness but I was never convinced. Especially when he abused me. He lived in a cottage on the edge of or inside the DLS school grounds. He had a housekeeper there: Mrs Head, a Catholic widow.

Whatever his terms of employment with the diocese or the DLS, he was facilitating systemic DLS abuse at the school.

This included using his role as school chaplain: taping pupils’ sexual confessions in the DLS school chapel. This means he was abusing pupils of St Joseph’s College who were the responsibility of and in the care of the DLS.

Therefore Jolly is very much the concern of the DLS.

In fact, he is as much the concern of the DLS as lay teacher Mike Mercado whom the DLS are currently (December 2021) ‘looking into.’



In this account – in 1964  – St Joseph’s pupil ‘X’ was violently sexually assaulted by Brother James. He was sent to a private hospital in London to recover. This hospital seems to have been arranged by and under the control of the Knights of St Columba.

Jolly visited  X there to discover just how much this victim of DLS sexual abuse remembered. So Jolly was acting as a Knight and the DLS liaison person.  X relates:

 The left hand side of my head had been shaved and I was wearing some sort of white netting over my head. A couple of days went by and I was asked if I was well enough to see a Priest. I said I didn’t feel up to it but Father Jolly just seemed to barge his way into the room and greet me like a lifelong friend. I did not want to speak to that man so when he asked me by my name how I was feeling I had a brilliant idea I said “what did you call me, is that my name who are you.” I started shouting Nurse Nurse – I do not know this man please ask him to leave. He kept insisting I knew him very well and kept asking if I remembered how I got here. I told him I could not remember him or anything else and I wanted him to leave.

The Nurse came back and was very professional indeed and told Father Jolly he must leave because he was upsetting me and she would not take no for an answer. He waited outside the door to my room and asked the Nurse what is going on with that boy quick as a flash she said someone had given him a massive overdose of anesthetic and he is lucky to be alive. Father Jolly said surely he will recover his memory in time she said there was not much hope less than a 10% chance I’m afraid he was left too long before he got proper treatment. Father Jolly left after that.

The Nurse came back in the room and gave me a huge smile and said that sorted him out. I asked her why she had lied and helped me – she smiled and said I went to a Convent boarding school and I recognize his kind a mile off and besides I have seen all the welts on your hands arms and back and I’m pretty sure I know how you got them.


This next  account happened approximately a year after the assault on X.  He had now returned to St Joseph’s and normal school life. After a transgression involving the track run, he was sent to clean the school chapel as a punishment.

Unlike my own memories which are ‘patchy’, Old Boy ‘X’ has an impressive photographic memory. You will see it in this account : his enviable detail about even small things like the track run.  As he explains:

I go into great detail because it may jog someone’s memory to confirm my account. I was both cursed and blessed with a photographic memory that is a great asset for examination purposes but a nightmare for the rest of your life when you simply cannot forget the things you desperately want to get out of your head.

X  now tells how he overheard Jolly in the confessional talking to a school boy penitent:

“Impure deeds what do you mean, boy? Impure deeds? You can’t lie to God, you know, if you want my absolution” and “do you mean you’ve been playing with yourself – well do you, if so you must tell me” “and how many times” and “have you been playing with any other boy” and “what is this other boys name”.’

Later,  X cleans out the confessional and:

I was absolutely flabbergasted to find one of those old cassette tape recorders the ones with the four or five piano keys on the front lying on the floor. It was open and the tape cassette had been removed but the machine was still very warm. I simply could not believe that a priest would record the confessions of children.

X later concludes:

The recording of those boys confessions could be of no other use than to alert the Brother Director of the College – in case a victim of sexual abuse wanted desperately to be in a state of grace and obtain absolution and ease his tormented soul.

If X is correct, then this is evidence of systemic DLS  abuse.

It’s possible it was also for Jolly’s own gratification.  

This evidence cross-references with my own experience of Jolly as a sexual abuser and an organizer of  paedophile events with the Knights outside the school.

Once again, a personal abuser and also involved with systemic abuse.

 As Jolly’s assaults on me didn’t happen on DLS property, I have not detailed them here, but they are available to an investigator.


The Knights describe themselves today as “A lay Order of Catholic men, pledged to support the Church and clergy.”

As I’ve shown, that support is regardless of the cost to children.  Children are expendable in order to protect the good name and reputation of the Church and its religious orders.

Once again, I need to stress that I am only concerned here with how the Knights worked in partnership with the DLS. Or were the Eminence Gris behind the DLS.

And how they facilitated DLS systemic abuse.

Then and now the Knights are a secretive order so my assessment of the relationship between the Knights and the DLS has to be confirmed but the events speak for themselves.

If any Knight would like to explain things further, their views would be most welcome on this site. If required, their anonymity will be respected.

Criminal matters relating to the Knights – and not directly involving the DLS –   have already been forwarded by Catholic Safeguarding to the police’s Operation Hydrant.

Catholic Herald and other accounts confirm that the Knights were responsible for the setting up of the school before the war. Either as financiers or brokers, it’s never made clear. But it’s obvious from the evidence that the Knights and the DLS are closely intertwined and this helps explain the background to X’s account and the way the Knights got involved.



This is once again X’s account of Brother James sexual assault on him.

In further private correspondence with X he has related to me MORE aspects of Knights/DLS systemic abuse.  Thus a Knight later arrives at the hospital, sees X’s wounds, and exclaims, ‘Oxford shall hear of this!’  Oxford is the DLS HQ.

X describes the Knights in further comprehensive detail. As this was in private correspondence with me, I haven’t featured it here.

But I can provide an investigator with the relevant information if necessary.

But, frankly, I think the above account tells an investigator everything they need to know.

There are many revealing aspects of systemic abuse here alone which an investigator would need to unpack and shouldn’t require further analysis by me.

But to emphasise just four elements:

*A boy nearly died and this crime was covered up by the DLS and the Knights.

If he had died it would have been manslaughter.

*This private hospital had been used before and probably since to deal with victims of Catholic child abuse. This has profound implications that are surely relevant to a police investigation. That hospital needs identifying and when (or if)  it was no longer used. We can’t just take the word of involved organisations – the DLS and the Knights – that it stopped.

* X’s school fees were paid for by the Knights and/or the DLS.  The Knights acted as an arbitration service providing compensation for X’s injuries.

To quote X:

“Well I cannot tell you the details of the deal I got but I was most insistent on one thing I was not going to be expelled from St Josephs. They agreed to everything but insisted I must never return to St Joseph’s again, guess who won the argument but with a lot of conditions attached.”

*Brother James carried on teaching at St J’s, despite his evil crimes.


Neither my older brother nor I passed the eleven plus, our widowed mother had no job and we were poor.  Yet, astonishingly, our school fees  to go to St Joseph’s  – approximately for 4 years each – were paid by the Knights.  Why?  We all know there is no such thing as a free lunch – especially where the Catholic Church is concerned.

Unravelling the reason is still a work in progress, which is outside the terms of this inquiry.  Thus far.

But I mention it because it is further evidence that the Knights paid school fees under dubious circumstances.


I envy X’s  photographic memory. By comparison, mine is patchy. Thus after Brother James assault on me at age 12, I remember exploding with anger to my mother and refusing to be silenced. Then suddenly I was presented with a brand new, top of the range bike, with twist gear grips, no less! But how? We were poverty-stricken.  I have dim memories of the Knights providing this luxury gift and being told some nonsense about joining their ranks as a Squire when I was older. I lack X’s  detail, but I remember that bike and how it shut me up.

Just as X was silenced.

The Knights seem to be the troubleshooters whom the DLS call in when their crimes are likely to be reported – which I most certainly intended to do. 


The DLS  and the Ipswich Knights of St Columba have known about X’s account for over a year.

I know this is correct from insider sources. And it is a most serious allegation. It should have been acted upon immediately.

According to Catholic Safeguarding, if they become aware of any abuse, historic or current, it is, as a matter of procedure, reported immediately to the police.

So the DLS and the Knights will have similar Safeguarding procedures. Yet they did nothing.

Not enough evidence? How much more evidence would you need than the testimony of a man with a photographic memory?  

Anyone who is innocent, or believes their organisation was innocent, would have also responded with an inquiry, an explanation or a rebuttal. Or an acknowledgement that is was, alas, true.

Instead, both organisations have kept silent, until social media and newspaper pressure have forced the DLS to appoint an investigator.

Without that pressure, the DLS would have remained silent, hoping the allegations would just ‘fade away’.

Even now, the DLS response  is impersonal (no communication with this site), guarded, minimal, mildly sceptical, mildly hostile and guided not by their consciences, but by their Suits.

A pathetic DLS apology derided by all Survivors was written by their Suits.

The Knights also have nothing to say except to flippantly invite me along to their ceremonies.

My understanding of ‘systemic’ includes where there is an organised cover-up, a silencing (e.g. through an NDA), or an investigation is thwarted by being ignored by an organization, obscured or not reported to the police.

 This is therefore a form of systemic abuse by both organisations today.

After Christmas I’ll write a final summary of other evidence of systemic abuse by the DLS, featuring lay teachers, other DLS teachers and other DLS schools.

Then I will forward the evidence files to the relevant organizations for the independent investigator.

Thanks to everyone for your valuable input and testimonies. You’ve made a huge difference already. And there is more to come.

This is never going to go away and they know it.

Have a great Xmas and I’ll do my best to forget this horrid business during the festive season. Hope you can, too.   All the best Pat


I want to be sure the Independent Investigator appointed by the De La Salles to look into their crimes has all the key testimonies. There are so many on this site, I’d hate the Investigator to miss important ones. So there’s a SUMMARY below on Brother  Solomon/Mike Mercado. If I’ve missed anything crucial, or made a major error, do let me know. Or if you have an additional testimony about Brother Solomon that is important. Your details – as always – can remain confidential and anonymous if you wish.

If the Investigator wants further confirmation, provided the Old Boy in question gives me permission, I can put them in touch, but the evidence against Solomon is so overwhelming in most cases it should not be necessary.

Mercado was a pupil at Beulah Hill in 1941 – 43.  Then, as Brother Solomon, he taught at St Joseph’s Birkfield Ipswich: late 50s to 1960/1.  Sacked ostensibly for drunken abuse, he went to DLS Jersey briefly. Then he took up a new post at  St Joseph’s Beulah Hill. In 1965 he lost his job and he was expelled from the order. After a short pop career there was an interim period where he may have gone to ‘The Missions’ : Boys Town in India. In the 1980s he went back to St Joseph’s Ipswich as lay teacher Mike Mercado. Once again he was sacked, ostensibly for drunkenness.



There is an account of Solomon sexual abusing a group of boys that can be read in the link below. I have the original account which is more graphic and detailed and proves beyond any reasonable doubt that he was a twisted and evil pervert.

Solomon was ‘Prefect of Discipline’ and so had ample opportunity to pursue his perverted caning fantasies as described above.


 There are 21 pages of accounts of DLS abuse on a Crystal Palace supporters site. Many feature Brother Solomon. See Brother James – the evidence – for the link. They need careful study by an Investigator. I’ve extracted two accounts below but there are many more.


Solomon groomed and abused a pupil PAUL WILKINS who years later wrote a book of poetry about Solomon’s crimes. (The Truths of Unremembered Things. Amazon) On the Crystal Palace thread, Paul describes in shocking detail the nature of his relationship with Solomon which continued into Paul’s adulthood and lasted until Solomon’s death.

Here’s one account about this on the Crystal Palace thread:

Solomon was not a nice person. I recently got to know a lovely man, Paul Wilkins, who boarded at the same time as me. Paul had become an alcoholic and had suffered a number of nervous breakdowns before he found some peace with himself and went to work at a School in Ireland. He died last Christmas after a short illness.

Paul told me in detail of the abuse that he had suffered as a result of this man. Solomon tried it on with me as well when I started at the School, but I told my father who made a complaint and Solomon ignored me after that.

Solomon was a nasty piece of work: a bully and an abuser.

Comment by JamesM ( member )  22nd June 2011 … and another quick follow up. The documentary on the BBC last night ‘Breaking the Silence’ reminded me of this thread and DJA’s posting on the Forums a week or so ago. I decided to publish an email I received from Paul Wilkins (mentioned below) who suffered a great deal at the hands of Solomon. His account is very well written – but it makes disturbing reading. If DJA or anyone else is interested, they can read the letter here: w* Again, I have replaced one of the w’s with an asterisk, so the link will now be deleted. If you want to read the report, please copy the link and replace the asterisk when pasting into your browser. James 


This account is also on the Crystal Palace thread.  

I was a pupil at St Joseph’s College, Beulah Hill, from 1955 to 1965 – I can confirm that it was an absolutely terrible experience – and in 1961, as if there weren’t enough very strange, totally weird, ‘Christian’ Brothers (all from the ‘De La Salle’ order) – they brought in Brother Solomon (they already had Brother Leo and Brother David, niether have been mentioned in these columns but I can honestly say, both horrendous, merciless, harshly-appalling people).

Brother Solomon was allowed total freedom by the school and by the order as ‘Master of Discipline’ – everything that has been said here about this man is true, however it all only just touches on his evil brutality, his mental and sexual perversion; I would say he was at least twenty times worse than anyone has stated here – over a period of four years he became worse and worse and by 1964 he was out of control. Despite what clearly must have been known by those in authority, he was allowed to continue with his sinful, vicious, atrocious, criminal, immoral, debauched, perverted, abhorrent, detestable, monstrous, foul, vile, disgraceful ways for a further full year – it was absolutely scandalous.

Finally, during the summer holidays of 1965 Brother Soloman was dismissed from St Joseph’s and at the same time expelled from the De La Salle order. Within a very short time he became known nationally as ‘The Swinging Monk’; he was in the Sunday papers and on Records, TV and Radio being described as pianist ‘Mike Mercado’.

Today he would have been in court, subsequently locked up, after just a couple of days in any school; he got away with it for so long by intimidation and because in those days, if you dared to say anything against this “incredible” school (in your Catholic parents view) you were immediately set-about by your father, as I was on several occasions – including once when I phoned my father (a complete bully) from the phone box at Crown Point and described an incident that had only just occurred in Bro’ Soloman’s locked and curtained office; “Stay right there, it’ll take me an hour to get to you!” shouted my father as he slammed down his phone – some time later, as he pulled up and dived out of his car I thought to myself (I was still in the phone box) this is it, at last, this will be the downfall of this terrible man, Soloman, but alas, my father ripped open the red glass-paned door and totally laid-into ME, beating me almost unconscious; I was lying on the ground as he turned for his car, shouting at me “get back into that school and don’t you ever tell such lies about people again, or I’ll beat you to death”; and then he sped off. I was helped into a nearby sweet shop by a GPO telegram boy who had seen the beating and so was very sympathetic but terrified for me of my father, saying you’d better get cleaned up and back into school in case he comes back….

I would say I was one of probably less than a dozen boys regularly (daily) picked on by Brother Soloman but those awful times have, on and off, affected my whole life – as a young 13 and 14 year old boy I was completely traumatized on many occasions, and left with absolutely no support from home, and that has returned to haunt me at various different stages of my life.


After his pop career, Mercado then went on to work to raise money for Boys Town in Southern India, run by the notorious abuser Joe Homan, an ex DLS brother. St Joseph’s Ipswich also helped raise money for ‘ a new tractor’ for Homan. I have a harrowing account of Homan’s abuse while he was a DLS brother.  He carried out a terrifying sexual assault on a child at St Joseph’s Oak Hill Ipswich.

I believe Mercado visited Boys Town to ‘assist Homan’, but in reality he was a sex tourist.  The new post-Homan regime at Boys Town are very helpful and may have records to help an investigator.

The close links between St J’s Ipswich, Mercado and Homan at Boys Town suggest there was something systemic going on between them.  It’s still a work in progress and cannot yet be proved, but I hope someone will come forward to tell us more.



Comment on Crystal Palace site by Old Birkfeldian ( member )  28th June 2011:

Mike Mercado worked as a housemaster at another St.Josephs – namely St Joseph’s College Ipswich – in the 1980’s. After complaints for again being a bit ‘hands-on’ he was removed discretely, I am saddened that he was allowed to teach there with his previous history, the damage he did was immeasurable.


The Ipswich Star account



The way Solomon was moved around from Ipswich to Jersey to Beulah Hill. Then returns to Ipswich as lay teacher Mercado.  His application to become a DLS brother again was turned down, but – even though he was notorious – he was still allowed to teach children. That suggests a typical Catholic abuse cover-up. 

I recalled as an eleven year old that he was briefly sent to a ‘reformatory’ in Jersey in 60/61 and an Old Boy of St Peter’s confirms there was a ‘rat line’ to Jersey for abuser brothers to escape the police.



Mercado’s farewell letter is full of hints about cover-ups. I’ve tried to unpack it here:

He also threatens, ‘I am fully aware of what goes on within the Order’

The Ipswich Star account also confirms a cover-up


Deleted – as I’m looking again at that evidence (arbitration service offer to Solomon)


At Beulah Hill they knew and did NOTHING  about Solomon for at least a year!

Here’s what that Survivor said again:

over a period of four years he became worse and worse and by 1964 he was out of control. Despite what clearly must have been known by those in authority, he was allowed to continue with his sinful, vicious, atrocious, criminal, immoral, debauched, perverted, abhorrent, detestable, monstrous, foul, vile, disgraceful ways for a further full year – it was absolutely scandalous.


The DLS must have known about my blog and allegations about Brother Solomon for years yet did nothing until the media pressure became too great.

Accusations on the Crystal Palace site have been there since 2011 with Old Boys relating how they were actively trying to find out more about Solomon.

It’s unbelievable that the DLS didn’t know about this past interest in Solomon either on the Crystal Palace site, my own, or elsewhere and are only now looking into it.

Why now?

Answer: Because it’s in the media. So they are FORCED to act.  

This and so much else makes me and many other Survivors wonder how far the DLS have really changed today as they claim.


First, a view from PETER, which I agree with. As I’ve written in the past, I witnessed extreme ad hoc violence which went far beyond the ‘normal’ violence of the times.

don’t see how the corporal punishment can be put in the context of it being legal then. It was much more force than necessary; random and there was no punishment book as required then by law. The beatings were not done with a regulation cane… they were performed with items illegal even then to use, plimsoles, sawn off chair legs and bare hands and fists, and of course the blackboard duster. Also much of what I’ve posted is accurate about Br Solomon, but seems to be contested. As no one seems to acknowledge any of my posts I may as well withdraw from the group.

I’m so sorry, Peter, if I missed some of your earlier comments that needed responding to. Do please send again. Your views are really important to me.

In particular, your views on Brother Solomon. If I get a moment, I’ll go back and see if I can find them. But I make a point of showing every perspective on the De La Salles.  Thus a week or so ago, there was a long comment from OPUS who thought this blog was a Witch Hunt. Of course it’s not. We all just want to get to the truth and have the De La Salles acknowledge what happened and apologise. Properly. Not the Suit written nonsense they offered a few weeks ago.

Secondly, the view of FIDDLER 73 which again says it all

Please consider this an acknowledgement of your post. As a boarder at St. Peter’s, Bournemouth, from Jan 1956 to July 1967, I was present when some of the sexual abuse discussed here was going on. I only know that now thanks to the efforts of Pat Mills and his growing team of corroborators. I and my close friends at St. Peter’s were utterly unaware of any sexual abuse. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t going on, but I can’t confirm it did. The corporal punishment that you refer to certainly did play a big part in daily school life. Rattan canes, fists and bare hands were routinely used. Blackboard dusters too. As to whether this was legal at the time, who knows? The legal status of things in those days was not often a topic of conversation, certainly not in my circles. Abuse certainly was widespread and few are the St. Peter’s boarders with no scars to show for it.

Next, some more information on Brother Solomon from CHRIS. I didn’t know he had applied for re-entry to the De La Salles and got turned down.

 Solomon definitely did not come to Beulah Hill in 1971 as a layman; might have landed up in Ipswich (St Joseph’s Birkfield) in the 1970’s.and I met the then Mercado in about 81’/82 in the dining room there; he was turned down for re entry into the Order in 1979 to 1980 school year,, to my certain knowledge, by the then District Council for the ‘London District (Province(

I was practically a member of the Brothers’ Community in 1971, after my O Levels that summer

Finally, some views from another IPSWICH OLD BOY. It was a really brutal school in the 1960s. Perhaps when Chris visited as a De La Salle brother in the early 80s they were more circumspect, and the violence went on behind closed doors. Like that account I previously posted about a1980s lay teacher who used a cat of nine tails whip on a boy.

I agree that it was an age of corporal punishment but that cannot be allowed to minimize the scope of the constant violence and abuse. Whatever the rules of society were then they did not cover what went on at St Joseph’s.Do not attempt to minimise what happened to some of us just because it didn’t happen to you. That is just going to create another problem of denial for the bastards so that they can get away with it.

I am not crying victim. I was a very scared kid, I was also quite disruptive but none of that measures up to the the amount of abuse , violence and the sexual abuse .

 In the chemistry class I was never allowed to participate AT ALL I had to be at the back of the class and watch the rest. In art( at which I had some potential), I was NOT allowed to take part.

I figured all this because I was not a Catholic. In athletics, I was not allowed to take part although I was potentially pretty good. Teachers’ pets were in charge of accessing if you were good or not. I remember trying out for the javelin with the rest of the no hopers. When I told the accessor students to stand back a couple of times and being mocked as being pre-judged hopeless I threw the spear and it went over their heads by a foot. Scared the hell out of them.

There were at least a class full of boys like me who ended up in an EXTRA ENGLISH class being run by Bill Moss who was really a nice guy then because he was just new at the school. He simply read to us. He treated us with respect.  The first was “The BAFUT BEAGLES” by Gerrald Durrell. Then My Family and Other Animals. He then read Homer. This opened a new door for me with a lifelong interest in literature.He then became ambitious and got us to write essays and poetry which he published in a school magazine. We can’t have these boys doing anything like this, they are supposed to be un-educatable. So it was stopped, no explanation and so were his extra english classes. We were then taught english by a youngish brother ( name began with a C and it was an unusual name). This guy was the most constantly, reliably,sadistic. I was guaranteed at least one severe beating a week if not more from him for an entire year. He broke what was left of my spirit completely. It got a lot worse, I could not concentrate in any class and was incapable of doing any home work. I think that this is when my parents sent me to board there. Criminal.

I may have this in the wrong sequence but it all happened. Expensive education. The boarding didn’t last long, I nicked home to cook lunch for myself when I knew my parents would not be there.

I could see the house from the school.

The chapel incident( old hut). James was laying into one of the boys for a percieved crime during mass, usual fists and boots. The bell rang for the consecration of the host or whatever it is. James then goes to his knees genuflecting and then lays back into the boy and then picks him up and throws him through the door. That hut was a long way off the ground. 6 feet or so.

I remember you mentioning this last incident before. It bears repeating!  Thanks to you and everyone for these memories of DLS corporal punishment. We don’t want the Independent Investigator concluding ‘it was normal for the times’ and this and previous accounts demonstrate that it was far from normal. It was horrific and obscene.


My thanks to Chris for giving us more of his valuable insights into his old order. SEE BELOW.

There’s a great deal there to reflect on which helps us all understand what was going on.

I probably misled you, Chris, on Brother Kevin. It looks like he went to France in 1968, so he wouldn’t have been in Jersey in 1960 (unless he went through the escape line twice) But all the other dates fit with Old Boys’ recollections and my own.

Although Solomon was expelled from the Order in 1966 and Beulah Hill and went on to have a short-lived pop career, it sounds like he came back to Beulah Hill as a layman in 1971.

If so, that would explain why so many Beulah Hill Old Boys had confusing dates on him.

Yes, I agree that the DLS education was brilliant for many pupils. Good to know about Professor Pollard. There were several famous and successful Old Boys contemporary with me at St Joseph’s Ipswich.  They’ve never spoken out about what happened there, although we all of us knew about the abuse. It was everywhere. I’m sure the reason is connected with their success in life. They don’t want to bite the hand that fed them.

By comparison, I’ve realized my own DLS education was actually rather poor – especially in the subjects I excelled at: History and English. I basically taught myself in those subjects. Then I became a magazine journalist and received a brilliant training when I was 20.  Consequently, my own modest success in life is very much counterculture and anti-establishment. Thus I regularly lecture at universities and war museums (even the Imperial once!) with an anti-war message and my popular culture comics, novels and other media work are known for their subversive sub-text.

I’m sure my life choices are all connected with experiencing abuse at the hands of clerics, DLS and the Knights of St Columba. It left me with a deep suspicion of authority and the establishment. But it’s worked out okay for me. I managed to turn lead into gold. Sadly, so many other victims of Catholic abuse were not so lucky and I grieve for them to this day.

Thanks again, Chris, for opening up to us all!

Kevin Dillon, who was required to resign from his Post in Ipswich by Brother David Hennessy (before the latter became a priest, and is now dead) would have been a very young teacher in Jersey in 1960, as was Solomon, who was expelled by the Order in 1966 ish, just before I went there as a boy in First Year of the Grammar School. In about 1971 he came to Beulah Hill Solomon landed back in Ipswich as a layman, for disgraceful reasons; the community was in some ways a rogue one by 1977 as they had refused the command of the then Provincial Brother Leo Barrington to become a Voluntary Aided Comprehensive School for the whole of the city of Ipswich. They took the now layman on as a teacher but was again dismissed from the school by a fine man, Brother Damian Roe. Dozens of brothers, literally, taught in the schools of Jersey, Bournemouth, London, Portsmouth and Ipswich from 1945 to about 1990. In my opinion, the biggest disgrace is the cover up with regard to the individuals (albeit a minority) of abusers. Men like this tend to be quite cunning and the rest of us in the rank and file did not know what was going on, beyond a sense of unease, which we were too reticent to share with outside agencies or with the ecclesial authorities at higher levels. The stories of beatings should, again in my opinion, be put in a context of a time before corporal punishment was abolished in circa 1987. The violent behaviour was often, I am sure, a product of sexual and psychological suppression for many. The anecdote about the luxurious life styles (examples given of the copious amounts of drink and food in the refectories rings true, of course. A question which I ask of myself regularly, which I posted two days ago, is whether the effort of educational advance for young men in this country in the De La Salle (FSC) schools was worth it, since one evil does not outweigh the good (in catholic theology?) but, and there is always a but, maybe Professor Andrew Pollard (Head Boy at St Peter’s Bournemouth 1982) is correct to attribute his successes to the Brothers and lay staff in that school, which he attended from circa 1975 as a prep school boy to 1982. He is the vaccine man btw.


De La Salle College in Jersey is a private independent Catholic all-boys school taking its name from St. John Baptist de La Salle (1651–1719), who founded the De La Salle Brothers in France.

This Jersey school has come up recently from recollections on this site.

I wonder if there are any Old Boys who went to that school – especially in the 1960s – who would like to share their memories, good or bad, with us?

For example, if they recall BROTHER SOLOMON and BROTHER KEVIN being there, albeit briefly. Maybe for a year or less.

My abiding memory, as an eleven year old boy at DLS St Joseph’s Ipswich, was that Brother Solomon was sent there briefly before he went on to DLS St Joseph’s Beulah Hill.

We school boys firmly believed the Jersey DLS college was a ‘reformatory’ for abuser brothers. How we knew that, heaven knows, but that was our widespread opinion and the subject of many playground conversations and jokes.

It left a strong impression on me. I somehow knew it was important to hold onto that memory for the future and it’s stayed with me all my life.

A few days ago, an Old Boy of  DLS St Peter’s Bournemouth related how in the early to mid 60s he had overheard a conversation between two Brothers describing how abusers would be sent from Bournemouth to Jersey and then to France in order to escape the police.

So Jersey was the hub of an organised DLS operation.

 In the 60s the ferry system between the three locations would be important.

 I’m sure it was an excellent school. Nevertheless it appears it was also  a jumping off point for Brothers to go to France until things calmed down.

That seems to be what happened in the case of Brother Kevin.

Any recollections anyone has of the school back then would be useful to gain a full understanding of what was going on in those days.

As always on this site, any views will be treated in strictest confidence and can be anonymous if preferred.

Many thanks


I am indebted to Christopher Lane for shedding light on the De La Salles below. It helps me and other Survivors to understand how so many of them turned into monsters who harmed thousands of children in the UK.

One sentence sums up the problem:

‘Once a young person joined the Order the recruit’s sexual and psychological life was suppressed.’

And then they are ‘released’ onto children. 

Many would resist criminal desires, but so many didn’t. And, as he says, those with deviant desires would be attracted to such organizations.

It was quite stunning to read this sentence, too:

….maybe it would have been better if the schools in London, Portsmouth, Ipswich, Bournemouth, Jersey, Liverpool, St Helen’s, Manchester had never been built.

Thank you, Christopher.

Academic Peter Mulholland also has some valuable thoughts which follow Christopher’s views below.

Hello. I have been following this site for some time, and the contributions by Peter Mulholland and Pat Mills on the making of a De La Salle Brother are accurate. I was actually one of the very last recruit to the De La Salle Brothers (London District); joining in 1973, age 18, having finished A Levels at Beulah Hill London (St Joseph’s College). I left the Order in 1983 and continued to teach as a ‘layman’ until 2020. I was lucky to meet my future wife in one of the schools which the Order conducted, indeed one of my motives for joining the order age 18 was that I had had very bad experiences with girls (not the only one!) growing up, so I saw an escape route from that aspect of relationship formation. Personally I was very grateful for the formation I received at the school and then in the ten years as a brother, including three good years at Oxford. By 1983 I was able to begin to live ‘in the world’ I am sure many of the middle aged men who are now dying regretted joining the Order and felt trapped as well as feeling shame for what the ‘bad men’ had done. In my own experience I would say that the majority of men did good work; but maybe it would have been better if the schools in London, Portsmouth, Ipswich Bournemouth, Jersey, Liverpool, St Helen’s, Manchester had never been built. I am not able to make that calculus work. The recruitment of young boys (prior to 1968 when the ‘juniorate’ closed at Bournemouth (a large sports hall is now on the site of that old house) and then young men from 1973 to about 78 when recruitment basically ceased, was damaging in many ways, as once a young person joined the Order the recruit’s sexual and psychoological life was suppressed. This is especially true of the people who were recruited at very young ages in the peak years of growth of the Orders and Priesthood Seminaries in the years 1880 to 1960. It became very difficult to leave the Order as all the boys’ lives were bound up with a strict, enclosed Rule, thus repressing personal development. It must also be remembered, in my opinion. that people with deviant attractions to young children use various avenues to access children; many other children’s charities, orphanages and reputable organisations such as Oxfam have experienced this problem and social services in the UK struggling to deal with the numbers of children who have to leave parental homes


I was pleased to read Peter summing up academic Marie Keenan’s view :

‘Keenan’s ‘major thesis’ was that the meaning system taught by the Catholic Church had made the abuse inevitable’

A couple of years ago, I wouldn’t buy one of Keenan’s books because her research was funded by two Church organisations which she claimed would not affect her autonomy. Clearly it didn’t. I was wrong.

But Keenan’s, Peter’s and Christopher’s conclusions are not just historical.

This religious training continues to this day, albeit with stricter controls.

But the basic concept of religious training is inherently against nature.

No child today should come in contact with religious men who have been psychologically damaged in this way. The risk is just too great.

As was implied in the opening to this post (and as I argued in ‘Love’s Betrayal’), the effects of the training or ‘formation’ process can only ever be part of the explanation. The recruitment processes and the general social and cultural context in which young men (& women) were/are groomed for a religious life and to believe that they have a vocation must also be taken into account. American psychologist, Conrad Baars raised the issue of recruitment in the report about clerical mental health that he submitted to the Vatican in 1971. And many of the clerical child sex abusers that Irish academic psychologist Marie Keenan interviewed thought that they could trace their sexual urges back through their religious ‘formation’ in the seminaries and into their own childhood experiences. Though she thought that the very institution of the priesthood had operated along with clerical culture and power relations within the Church to increase the risk of clerics becoming child abusers, Keenan’s ‘major thesis’ was that the meaning system taught by the Catholic Church had made the abuse inevitable (2012: 255). But she also recognised that ‘individual psychopathology and psychological factors cannot be excluded from any comprehensive analysis of the problem’ (2015: 75).

Baars, C. W. (1971). ‘The Role of the Church in the Causation, Treatment and Prevention of the Crisis in the Priesthood’. The Linacre Quarterly, 39(1), 49–62.

Available at .

Keenan, M. (2009). “Them and Us”: The Clergy Child Sexual Offender as “Other”. In

Tony Flannery (ed.), Responding to the Ryan Report. Dublin: The Columba Press.

Keenan, M. (2012). Child sexual abuse and the Catholic Church: Gender, power and

organizational culture