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Incident at Ardrossan Academy in 1944

An Unforgetable and Unforgivable Incident at Ardrossan Academy in 1944

My name is John Ronald Tapp and I was born in 1930. I attended Ardrossan Academy from 1937 until 1945. For the most part, my time at the Academy was very enjoyable with the exception of this one incident that occurred in 1944 which has stuck in my craw since that time This was 1944 long before D day and it happened not only to myself but also to John Watson who was my closest friend. John is no longer with us but I am sure that he would fully support me in the disclosure of this incident.

John and I were sauntering home from school as we were wont to do, discussing the events of the day, girls, soccer ( fitba' ) and current war events. On checking my books, I noticed that my French textbook was missing. Since we were just outside the school gates, we decided to go back and retrieve it as it was needed for homework that evening. We re-entered the school and retrieved my textbook from a desk in Mr Brown's room and left, thinking no more about it.

Next morning, John and I were summoned to the headmaster's office where Mr Pennell eventually came to meet us and took us out into the corridor adjoining his office. The facts were clearly laid out to us the someone had seriously vandalised Mr Brown's office and we had been seen in Mr Brown's office after hours. We explained the reason for our visit to Mr Brown's office but we were declared guilty. No matter how much we protested, it was all in vain.

" Big " Bill Boyd was sent for and was to be the administrator of justice in the form of the strap. His prowess in afflicting " justice " preceded him. John and I were subjected to six excruciatingly painful flails of the strap on each hand. Now we were between a rock and a hard place as none of this punishment must come to light at home. Parents at that time were under the mistaken impression that the school could do no wrong and any revelation in this regard could result in more punishment.

To conclude this deplorable story, I blame The Rector, Mr Pennell for being so pig-headed and inflexible. To me, it has taken a weight off my shoulders now that I have revealed the true facts and for the record, as GOD is my witness, neither John or I had anything to do with the vandalism that took place in Mr Brown's room that fateful day.

J. R.( Ron) Tapp, P Eng.
Retired Civil Engineer.


Ron Tapp is on the Former Pupils pages of this website