Crime and Punishment - Bryan Short style

Steve Crump (1976 – 1982) contacted us to recount a unique story about Bryan's disciplinary approach.

"I was no academic or scholar, I did my best, but essentially I sought to play the ‘grey boy’; merge into the background, bob and weave, get away unnoticed. Until the day that all went wrong.  At some Cadet weekend, the Royal Navy and Royal Marines training team were demonstrating smoke grenades and distress flares. I can’t think what possessed me but I picked one up and secreted it into the school. There I, amongst others, hatched a plan to set off the device under David Taylor’s mobile classroom. This to jazz up the day and give us a break from the tedium of Shakespeare or whatever it was (I don’t mean that David – you were ace and I much enjoyed your lessons!)…

It was when huge clouds of orange smoke started drifting across the mobile classrooms and onto the Avenue of Remembrance that I realised I was in trouble… I’m sure the school fire drill was activated and I braced myself for the sound of fire engines; yes, I was neck deep in trouble I thought, so man up and take the rap…

This initially took the form of a furious Bob Ladd’s giving me a unique tour of the physiology of his eyeballs – he was that close; ‘phosphorous, chemical, death’ being words I remember him drilling into my chest… That was our Bish Bob all the way, brimstone and treacle…  Sorry, I meant fire and brimstone!

Then came the slow walk of the condemned into Bryan Short’s office… He eyed me up and down and was very calm.  In that quiet, understated, way of his, he said to me ‘this could actually be a police matter and I should inform you parents’… Now I knew I really was going to die… ‘But I am not going to do that – I shall administer 5 lashes’… And he did. Job done, no lasting recriminations and as I retreated to the door I think I saw a half smile… I’m pretty sure I did…

Thank you Mr Short. They just don’t make them like you anymore.  RIP."