A new assistant Matron has to step into the breach.
By Wendy A.
I was born soon after the end of World War II, a time so much simpler than today. Right was right and wrong was wrong, everything was black or white; the grey areas of today did not exist.
At sixteen I left school with a few O levels and wondered what I would do, not clever enough to go to University but I did not wish to be stuck in a dead end job. My parents suggested that I try nursing. I had the necessary O levels and could work my way up by taking exams.
After a couple of years, I had a basic training certificate, but realised that nursing was not for me. A friend of mine worked in a nursery school and that sounded really worthwhile. I started looking for jobs in schools. One day an advert caught my eye; a job as Assistant Matron in a boarding school for boys and girls.
The salary was quite good, accommodation was provided, and all meals during term time. I applied and to my surprise was offered the job.
There was a good atmosphere, the Headmaster, Mr Smith, was a little severe, a bit like the one I had known at school. Matron was like an Aunt; she took me under her wing and showed me the ropes. Several other members of staff were also relatively young, trainee teachers and one of the assistant games mistresses, Janet. I usually met Janet for lunch and dinner and we quite often went for a drink in the local pub which was only about 20 minutes walk from the school.
The daily routine was quite relaxed. Matron had 2 sessions, one first thing before school started and another after lunch. All the pupils had to have a medical inspection, Matron handled these, but I was sometimes called to help. It was not a problem for me after my 2 years in hospital but some of the older boys were clearly embarrassed; they were almost my own age.
Otherwise, there was a regular flow of pupils: cuts, bruises, especially after afternoon sports, upset stomachs, constipation, headaches, girls with periods, etc. Matron had a whole range of pills, lotions, creams and potions. She had labelled them all for me with the complaint clearly indicated. I was surprised by some of them. They seemed a little old fashioned compared to the ones prescribed in hospital.
I had been there about 2 weeks when Matron announced that she had to see the Headmaster. She suddenly seemed stern and I had a sinking feeling. Was she not happy with my work? She returned after about 20 minutes looking a little flushed.
She sat down and suggested that we have a cup of tea. I was still worried that something was wrong. I brought tea for the two of us and sat down next to her on the sofa.
“Did you receive corporal punishment at school?”
My heart almost stopped. Why was she asking me this?
“Yes, a few times. The Deputy Headmaster would slipper us if we were really bad.”
“Were you never caned?”
My heart slipped another beat. “No never, but I know the boys were sometimes caned by the Headmaster.”
She put her hand on mine in a motherly gesture. “Let me tell you what happens in this school.”
I had already overheard a few conversations. “Did you hear that Julie got 3 with the slipper from Mrs Jones?” But had never thought much about it. Spankings were not uncommon and just part of that simple life we lived in those days, you were naughty so you got spanked.
Matron started by explaining that the prefects were allowed to give up to 3 with the slipper, usually on games shorts in the changing room. Teachers could give up to 6 with the slipper usually over underwear and either in the gym or a room off the teachers’ common room. In both cases a witness had to be present. The rule was that they had to be of the opposite sex.
She turned and looked me in the eyes and smiled. What was coming next? The Headmaster and Deputy Head use a cane, usually not less than 3, and 6 was normal, but more could exceptionally be given if it was a repeat offence. Pupils would be reported to the Headmaster, or Deputy in his absence, and had to appear outside his office after the final lesson of the afternoon. He used 2 canes; a thin whippy one for juniors and girls, and a thicker one for older boys, in both cases over underwear.
“When he canes he also has a witness present and that is my job. Don’t worry, I will always be there and you will not have to endure that unpleasant task. After he has caned them I have to inspect their bottoms to ensure that the skin is not broken.”
My head was in a spin, girls being caned, 6 of the best and even more, inspecting for blood, oh my God.
“I just thought that I should tell you so that you will not be surprised to see cane marks on any bottoms.”
Time passed pleasantly. Matron would absent herself at the end of school two or three times a week, and yes I would see the results of a caning. I continued to visit the pub in the evenings with Janet and we became regulars. Susan, another young games mistress, sometimes joined us as did some of the other teachers. There was never any talk of corporal punishment.
One day everything changed. It was one morning in assembly, everyone was present and I sat next to Matron. When we stood to sing a hymn she staggered, grabbed me and slid to the floor. With my training, I placed her on her side and felt her pulse, it was rapid, she was breathing, little sharp gasps of breath. I called for the Headmaster to call an ambulance and the Hall was quickly cleared and only a few of us remained. The Headmaster returned to inform us that the ambulance would be about 15 minutes.
Matron continued to breathe in little short gasps and her pulse was still rapid. She came round a few times and even smiled at me. I spoke softly in her ear, telling her the ambulance was on its way and that she would be fine. The ambulance men arrived, she was put on a stretcher and I followed. The Headmaster told me to go with her to the hospital and to phone him when I had news.
I ensured that she was in good hands and should recover. I called the Headmaster and returned to the school at about lunchtime.
Everyone was asking me how she was, etc. I was the centre of attention and being praised for having saved her life. Even the Headmaster came across to me and shook my hand in a fatherly way and said: “Thank you Wendy, you were so brave. Would you please come to my office after lunch.”
I had not been in his office since the interview for the job. “Of course Sir.”
At about 1.50 pm I walked along the corridor to his office, knocked on the secretary’s door, and went in. “God you were wonderful this morning. Yes, please go straight in, he is waiting for you.”
Not without a little trepidation, I opened the door.
“Come in Wendy. I hope I can call you that?”
“Of course Sir.”
“First I want to thank you for everything you did for Matron this morning. Without you I am sure we would have lost her. I will always be so grateful to you and am impressed by your very professional manner.”
“Secondly, I would like you to take the post of acting-Matron. I have every confidence in you but have asked Dr Hargreaves to be available if you are ever in any doubt.”
“I am sure I will be able to manage.” I replied. “Matron has explained everything to me and if needs be I will call Dr Hargreaves.”
“Now finally, there is one delicate matter to discuss. I know Matron mentioned to you that she witnesses canings when such punishment becomes necessary, she also has to sign the punishment book to confirm that no skin is broken. Now I could ask a female teacher to stand in while Matron is away. To be honest I have never liked form teachers witnessing canings when they have referred pupils to me. I don’t need your reply right away but two pupils are due to be caned this afternoon. It would not be fair to leave them waiting till tomorrow.”
My heart was pounding, my mouth was dry, I looked at the floor. Suddenly I made my decision. If I was to be acting Matron, and even possibly permanently Matron as she may never recover fully enough to work again, how could I not perform this role as well.
“Yes Sir, I can do it. Don’t worry, I have seen plenty of pain in hospital even if it is not quite under the same circumstances.”
“Very well Wendy, and in public I will call you Matron. I suggest that you come to my office at 4.15. They are due here at 4.30 and it will give me a few minutes to go through your role.”
For the next two hours I was in a dream. There were the usual bumps and cuts and I administered to the pupils but my mind was elsewhere.
At 4.15 I knocked on the Secretary’s door and went in. She motioned me to go straight through to the study. She had a strange grin on her face.
“Oh yes Wendy, come on in.” The Headmaster called.
I noticed two canes on his desk and he immediately followed my eyes.
“Yes Wendy, I will be using those. The shorter one for a girl and the longer one for a boy. These are two sixth formers that were caught smoking and they will each receive 6 strokes.”
I had not thought of it being seniors, probably almost my own age. I had sort of assumed that it would be younger pupils.
“You will sit on that sofa so you can see their bottoms. There will be none, but if you do see any blood you must stop me immediately. When they come in they will stand in front of my desk. I will scold them for being stupid, remind them how bad smoking is, and sentence them to 6 strokes each. I will then invite them to prepare.
“They will go over to that table, remove their shoes then the skirt and trousers. They will then roll up their shirts so that they do not cover their bottoms. I will cane the girl first. She will come over to this chair, bend and place her hands on the seat. Her feet should be about 1 foot apart. I suggest that you take these tissues, she may need them as she returns to the table. I will then cane the boy.”
I nodded my head, my heart was beating 10 to the dozen, my hands were wet, I could feel my whole body tremble. It was just like it was me that was going to get the slipper.
“After the caning, each will come over to you in turn, turn round, and you will lower their underwear sufficiently to ensure there is no broken skin. Any questions Wendy?”
We heard movement in the outer office and the phone rang. The Head picked it up.
“Just a minute Sophie.” He put it down, then turned to me.
“No questions, Sir. It all seems clear to me.”
The Headmaster then picked up the phone. “OK Sophie, send them in.”
The door opened and my eyes almost popped out of their sockets. First was Linda Jenkins and then John Hartley followed. They were both in their final year and well respected in the school, both being prefects and good at games. John was captain of rugby and Linda played hockey in the first team.
Their heads were bowed, but they both glanced incredulously in my direction. They would have expected Matron to be there and in her absence a senior female teacher, but me? Hardly younger than me, they would be caned in front of my very eyes.
They moved quickly to the Head’s desk where he scolded them like a couple of young kids. I was sitting on the sofa so could see them only from behind. They were both slim but not skinny and obviously fit. Linda had long blond hair tied in a pony tail. John stood straight, and both fidgeted with their hands behind their backs.
Suddenly I came out of my dream as I heard the Head say: “Prepare yourselves.”
They walked across the room to the table, removed their shoes and then skirt and trousers. Each rolled up their shirt a few inches so skin could be seen between the top of their underwear and the shirt. They both had white underwear on. John was wearing regulation pants whilst Linda had on a pair of panties, rather like sports shorts, in brushed cotton. They both looked at the floor but glanced up when the Head picked up the short cane.
“Right Linda, take up the position.”
She walked slowly towards the chair, stood with her feet about 1 foot apart and bent over. Her panties tightened as she did so, her shapely bottom was encased in her white panties like a second skin.
A few seconds then whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack.
A longer period then whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack.
Her bottom shook at the third one and her legs seemed to wobble.
She sort of grunted and I heard her taking rapid breaths.
Now she was snivelling. There was a longer gap, the Head raised his cane over his shoulder and brought it down with full force.
“You may stand up Linda.”
She slowly raised herself, turned and moved to where John was still standing. She then turned and I could see tears in her eyes. I offered her the tissues and she came over to me and took a few before returning to her position. She wiped her tears and rubbed her bottom through her little panties.
John followed, took up his position and received his 6 whacks. He was very brave, hardly moving and made no sound. This despite the Head raising the cane higher and using the thicker cane. John, like Linda, was released from the bending position and he shuffled over the carpet to rejoin Linda.
God I had almost forgotten this part. Linda came over to me and turned to face the Headmaster. I slid my fingers into the waistband of her underwear and tried not to drag the silky material over her bottom cheeks. I was very careful and tried to ensure that I only pulled them down enough to see the cane marks. They were a vicious red and black. Satisfied that the skin was not broken, I eased her panties up again.
Next was John. He turned away from me and I eased his pants down, again being as careful as I could. There was resistance and it was clear that he was hard. No blood or broken skin, I eased them up. As he returned to the table I could clearly see his erection.
“You may dress and never, ever smoke again or it will be 9 strokes each on your bare bottoms.”
They dressed and left, both saying: “Thank you Sir.”
The Headmaster turned to me. “Thank you Wendy. Please sign here. I trust that you will assist me again whenever it is necessary?”
Trying to hide my emotions, I replied: “Of course Sir.”
I then left his office. His secretary was grinning broadly.
I caught up with Linda and John. “I have some cream in Matron’s room that will help you. It’s up to you.”
They looked up at me in surprise and said they needed the toilet, they went their separate ways and I saw them disappear into the toilets.
I returned to my office to reflect on my first caning as a witness. I knew it had affected me. My heart was still pounding and almost stopped when there was a knock on my door.
It was John and Linda.
“Do you have that cream?”