A school trip leads to a misunderstanding.
(A story based on real events)
By Jill Waterhouse
My name is Jill, I was 17 years old when this event took place and in the lower sixth form at the fee-paying school I attended in central England in the early 1980s. It was February half term which, for some reason, was always a week earlier than any other school. I was studying history at A level and both upper and lower sixth were heading off to the battlefields of France and Belgium for a week of field study. We would take in the 100 years war, including the battles of Agincourt and Cressy, World War 1 with the Somme and Flanders Fields battles, and World War 2 with the coastal defences around Calais and Boulogne. We’d visit the Blockhaus and La Coupole near St Omer, but the highlight for me would be the evocative Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres.
Saturday morning dawned and the 10 pupils and 2 staff, Mrs Henderson and Miss Jenkins, took turns driving down to the ferry at Dover. As it was freezing, most of us were wearing thermals under our jeans. For once, trousers were allowed as we were usually a skirt-only school, and I had put on three extra pairs of knickers as I knew the seats in the minibus would be freezing as had most girls because the heater hardly worked on the bus. Arriving at 9.30 am, we checked in and waited for the ferry. A couple of the girls decided at the last minute to dash to the loo and we almost missed boarding. As you can imagine jeans, thermals and 4 or more pairs of panties takes a while to pull back up. That and the cigarette they had as well. Needless to say they were less than popular with the two teachers.
Once safely on board, we went up to the cafe area only to ushered out onto the ice cold ‘sun deck’. I don’t think the sun had shone on it for quite a while. Apart from the cross channel lorry drivers, I don’t think there could have been more than 50 people on the crossing, and no other passengers froze their backsides off on deck, despite all the extra layers. Mrs Henderson proceeded to lecture on the Cliffs of Dover and the history of the key ports in the area, how the RAF had defended them in 1940, etc, etc. We were not listening; we were too cold and the wind was howling, and it looked like it would be a long and choppy crossing.
Suddenly Miss Jenkins bellowed at the top of her voice, “Stop that right now Emilia!”
We all looked round and saw Emilia throwing her sandwich rolls over the side, right next to the sign saying it was an offence to throw anything over the side of the vessel. Miss Jenkins marched over and grabbed Emilia by the wrist.
“Look, let us start this trip as we mean to go on,” she said, escorting Emilia away from the railings and towards the benches on the deck. “This is not a holiday and you are all representing the school and what we stand for. Strict school rules will be applied, so the two of you smoking when you went to the toilets had better beware. The sign you were standing next to forbids the actions you just took.”
As Miss Jenkins spoke, she sat down and pulled Emilia squarely across her lap. I don’t think Miss Jenkins would have behaved differently if the deck had been busy. Then, without further ado, Miss Jenkins started to smartly spank Emilia on her well-presented bottom. Clearly this was having minimal effect as instead of the familiar slap of hand spanking panty-clad bottom (our teachers almost always spank over the knee and skirt pulled up, even at our age) there was a muffled thud as it became obvious the choice of underwear for the cold journey had thwarted the teacher’s best efforts. Not wishing to seem out-foxed, she continued for a minute with the spanking and let Emilia up saying, “Next time it all comes down!”
Emilia, out of habit rather than pain, rubbed her freshly punished bum for a few seconds and rejoined the group.
After that, the voyage was eventless aside from another lecture on the pill boxes and gun installations of the Cote De Opal as we approached, and one of the girls almost being seasick in the rolling swell of the Channel. Once ashore, we made the short journey to our accommodation about 10 miles from Calais where we were to get ourselves sorted and ready for our first visit after a late lunch. Although spartan, the accommodation, which was a field study centre, was clean, spacious and, most importantly, warm! The teachers had their own en-suite rooms and we split five and five between 2 six-bedded dormitories. We were mostly self-catering, but some meals out were planned, especially when we had a long drive in the programme.
Once fed and watered, we piled back into the minibus and set off to look at the massive gun installations on the Cote de Opal. Whilst their menacing sight was enough to send a chill through the bones, most had been pretty well shot up or destroyed after being captured as the war entered its final year. Some of the girls were flagging. The upper sixth had been to a party last night and were more than a little the worse for wear, to put it delicately, and were not paying attention. Eventually, Mrs Henderson lost patience with Anna and Becky.
“Becky, Anna, we are here to work not sleep. You knew you were going to be having a long day, but I take it you were both at the party last night. Mrs Henderson and I will now proceed to wake you both up!”
Both teachers then sat on lumps of WW2 concrete inside one of the derelict gun casements and selected one girl each, took them over their knees and spanked them soundly. From the sounds of the spankings, neither girl had been in a fit state to plan ahead and, like the lower sixth, had donned plenty of underwear for the cold journey. The slaps rang loud and echoed inside the casement, and I had to admit I was grinning inside as both girls both got a really good whacking. The teachers really were not going to stand for any nonsense, it would seem.
Spankings over, and much bottom rubbing later, the tour of the site continued before we headed back to the bus and, as darkness gathered and rain started to fall, we headed back to the accommodation and supper.
The next couple of days passed fairly quietly. The odd raised voice, a quick trip over Mrs Henderson’s lap for smoking for Mia and Emilia, but that was about it until Tuesday evening. We had had a fairly easy day having made the short journey down to Amien in the Somme area and then down to Albert where there had been some huge tunnel mines set off at the very start of the Somme ‘big push’. We visited the British war cemeteries and laid small crosses and poppies on the graves of unknown soldiers who had perished on Day One of the assault. The Commonwealth War Graves Commision have kept these areas in superb condition and several of us wept openly at the gravesides. Next was the Canadian Memorial a few miles outside Albert which had preserved trench lines. Needless to say, a couple of us had to play Rambo and pretend to be lobbing grenades and shooting each other. This brought the great displeasure of one of the WW2 veterans who was volunteering over the winter at the site and he all but asked us to leave. Miss Jenkins was beside herself trying to apologise whilst saying the two girls, myself and Anna, would be promptly dealt with and asked if she may use his office for this task.
I think the gentleman knew exactly what she meant and eagerly agreed. We were swiftly marched into the main building which was locked. He had to unlock the door and then show us into a side room which had a couple of tables, some chairs and a black board, so it was clearly a school study room. Both Anna and myself felt really awful about what we had done and apologised profusely, not that it would cut any ice with Miss Jenkins, but at least he knew we meant it.
“Thank you, sir, I can take it from here,” Miss Jenkins said, making sure that he knew this would be a private affair and not a public spectacle. The gentleman, looking embarrassed, made his excuses and quietly closed the door.
“Thank you, girls, you have just set Anglo-Canadian relations back 10 years. How could you both be so stupid? This is a historic monument to men who gave their lives in a strange country so we could live in freedom. You come here and, if you had been 5 or 6 year olds it might have been cute, but at 17 and 18 year old it is unforgivable!”
With that, she turned and pulled out a chair, turned it around and sat down, smoothed the legs of her brown corduroy trousers, then looking up at us both.
“You are going to be very sorry when I have finished with you. I just wish I had my slipper with me, but I will just have to make do with my hand this time. Anna, come here!” she demanded.
Anna moved forward knowing what was coming. Fuming, rather than telling Anna to drop her trousers, Miss Jenkins calmly unbuttoned Anna’s waist band, lowered the zip and eased the jeans over her hips and ample backside, revealing a thick pair of thermals.
“I think we can have these down as well, don’t you Anna?” said Miss Jenkins, already pulling this garment past Anna’s bottom and down to her lowered jeans.
I must admit, if I had not been next, what followed would have been a sight to enjoy. However, we all know that was not the case. Miss Jenkins pulled Anna, who with her trousers tangled around her knees, could not resist or assist, across her corduroys and pulled her panties straight and tight, no doubt to make sure there was just the one pair this time. Satisfied that was the case, Anna’s bottom was subjected to some wicked blows considering she was being hand-spanked. I could see her wincing with each one, and she was no stranger to the subject of spanking, I can tell you. With each crash, a ripple went across her bottom at quite a rate and through her body. Her hair moved forwards and backwards in rhythm with the spanks and her bosom swayed back and forth beneath her jumper. Eventually, she was let up, rearranged her clothes, wiped away a tear from one eye and rubbed vigorously across her entire bottom before standing next to me.
I didn’t wait to be called. I just stepped forwards and stood in front of Miss Jenkins, expecting a repeat performance. Indeed, my jeans were soon around my knees followed by my thermals, and it was now my turn to feel the slightly rough fabric of Miss Jenkin’s trousers rubbing my tummy and thighs. Again, she rubbed my panties until smooth and told me to stand up. She had noticed I was wearing three pairs of panties and, without being told, I one by one pulled the top two pairs down to be with my jeans and thermals. Honestly, I felt like a naughty toddler rather than a 17-year-old young woman.
I then laid back down and awaited my fate, which was not long in arriving and with equal venom as was meted out to Anna. My hair swung, though having somewhat smaller boobs than Anna, she wasn’t able to see mine swinging with the smacks like Anna’s had done just a few minutes before. It was soon over, though. I think I got half the time over her knee than Anna got, which wasn’t lost on Anna. Probably that was because it was her second spanking of the trip. I rubbed vigorously before sorting myself out.
Miss Jenkins returned the chair and, without saying a word, opened the door to find a very flustered Canadian gentleman looking red in the face and very embarrassed. Clearly, having been prevented from seeing justice done, he had at least got to hear it. We rejoined the group back at the bus and Anna and I both wished the suspension on the bus was softer than it actually was. After a few more stops we made our way back to wash up and have supper.
On the penultimate day of the trip, we went to Ypres in Belgium where we visited the Tyne Cot Cemetery close to Ypres and the site of the Battle of Passchendaele, where 1000s of white headstones gleamed in the winter’s late sunshine which was really moving to see. After lunch we moved to Ypres itself and 2 miles up the gentle slope beyond the town is Hill 62, the site of fierce fighting on both sides and another preserved trench line. Just across the way is the Hoge Crater and Cemetery where hundreds of tons of explosives were let off directly under the enemy lines. Filled with water, now with ducks on it, the origins of the pond seem quite impossible.
Then it was down to the Menin Gate where we would see the 8.00 pm Last Post ceremony and I was really looking forward to that for reasons no one knew about. When we arrived, we had a quick look around the streets which had obviously all been rebuilt since World War 1 and into the gift and waffle shops before examining the Menin Gate in daylight. I wandered off from everyone else and was lost in my thoughts when Mrs Henderson snapped me back to the present as I found myself falling across her lap and her hand beating my bum with great vigour. I had no idea what just happened but my bottom was stinging despite the extra underwear which had become the norm since the weather was brighter but just as bitterly cold as when we arrived.
When the spanking was over, I stood up crying helplessly and wondering what had happened. Why had I been spanked and what had I done wrong?
When I asked Mrs Henderson, she replied, “What do you mean? You disappeared. We were half-way back to the bus before we realised you were missing, so I came back and shouted to you half a dozen times before I found you up here daydreaming. And I don’t know why you are crying so much. I could feel you were wearing half of your wardrobe under your jeans.
I looked up more dejectedly than I ever had from any punishment during my whole school career.
“I’m sorry, Mrs Henderson. I was lost in the moment, and time just stopped for me,” I started to explain.
“What on earth are you blabbering about, girl?” she demanded whilst rubbing her hand, which was clearly sore following my spanking.
“When Miss Jenkins said we could have a look around, I was looking for something in particular. I had been roughly told where to look, but the description wasn’t very accurate. Eventually I found it and my emotions got the better of me,” I continued with a croak in my throat, but not from being put over the teacher’s knee on this occasion.
I stood gingerly, gently rubbing my aching bum, then turned and went up three steps on the staircase and pointed to a specific name. Under the Bedfordshire Light Infantry Regiment, about halfway down under Captain was the name Waterhouse C.T.
“That Miss was my great grandfather on my father’s side. By all accounts, they went over the top on Day One of the attack and, having suffered 80% losses, he ordered a retreat. Whilst trying to pull a wounded sergeant back to a shell crater and relative safety, he was hit in the back and neck three times by enemy fire. He died, Miss, trying to save another soldier and was awarded the Military Cross posthumously for his bravery and actions under enemy fire, Miss. He was dragged into a nearby trench as he was dying by another soldier, but the trench then suffered a direct hit from a large shell and 15 men, including his body, were vapourised and so have no known grave. This part of the visit was always going to be very special for me being able to see for the first time the memorial and his name. So, Miss, respectfully, I cannot apologise for losing myself in the moment, nor my tears following your punishment. I would gladly do it again and accept the same punishment. I apologise for being a little insolent, but what should have been a special moment has been rather ruined by your actions, Miss.”
I did not know what to expect; possibly another spanking, knowing her. However, I looked up through my own teary eyes to see Mrs Henderson sobbing like a child herself. Properly sobbing. When she had calmed down a little she put her arm around my shoulder and hugged me tightly.
“I am so, so sorry, my dear. I had no idea. I wish you had said something and we could have all helped you.”
“But Miss, the whole point was it was my private moment. I appreciate the sentiment, but I am 17 years old, Miss. I have thoughts, feelings and interests of my own. Forgive me, but sometimes our school and the staff are sometimes rather judgmental and do not give a girl the benefit of the doubt or the chance to defend themselves, this being a case in point, Miss.”
“Perhaps you are right, Jill. Perhaps you are right,” agreed Mrs Henderson. “The spanking was clearly not warranted if I had taken the trouble to speak to you first. There is nothing I can do to make up for it except say sorry and be a little more thoughtful in future. Lesson learned, girl, lesson learned,” and with that she hugged me once more and planted a gentle kiss on the top of my head and I felt many tears landing on my scalp.
“Come on, Miss, let’s get back to the others. It’s started raining,” I said with a genuine smile and the mood lightened at once.
We walked back to the group and nothing was said by either of us.
After dinner at a local cafe, we went to the Menin Gate at a little before 7.50 and waited for the ceremony to begin. I was standing next to Mrs Henderon, who smiled kindly, and the buglers began to play. She squeezed my hand kindly for a moment then was lost in thought as tears flowed down both our faces, which received some strange looks from the rest of the girls. Afterwards, we all went up to the spot where my great grandfather’s name stood proudly. Mrs Henderson asked me to tell them what she had heard earlier and soon everyone was in tears, and without a hand being lifted in anger.
I wouldn’t say Mrs Henderson was a changed woman after that, nor was Miss Jenkins, but the proliferation of spankings certainly seemed to come down a notch or two as a result of her experiences that week.
After Ypres, we had one more uneventful day looking at other ancient battle sites at Cressy and Agincourt for half a day, and then half a day exploring Boulogne for gifts to take home.
All in all an eventful trip and one I will remember for all the right and wrong reasons. No one was spanked on that last day or on the way home. Had I been an adult, I would have felt more than justified in spanking Mrs Henderson for what she had done, but as a 17-year-old sometimes you have to take the blows for the better good.
© Jill Waterhouse 2021