Digital copy of Barrie John Ford's witness statement to the Inquiry providing an account of his experiences of the child care system in Jersey, specifically with reference to his time at the Jersey Home for Boys/Haut de la Garenne. [Some details redacted].

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December 9th 2014 - December 9th 2014

Scope and Content

Background and Home Life States that he was born in 1950 and has lived in Jersey for over 50 years. States that his parents divorced when he was young resulting in his mother having to work and being unable to look after him because of her employment. Notes that in 1957 his mother took him and [his brother] to the Town Hall and were sent to the Home for Boys. Refers to mother's remarriage and half-sibling. Institutions States that he was in the care of the States of Jersey Children's Department from 1957 to 1967, referring to residence at the [Jersey] Home for Boys from 1957 to 1960 and in boarding schools in the United Kingdom from 1960 to 1967. Includes recollections of the Home for Boys, commenting on his first impression of its size. Recalls that the Home was split into 3 age groups (juniors, intermediates and seniors) and that he slept in a dormitory with about 11 other boys of a similar age. Estimates that there were around 70 to 80 boys at the Home, with 30 to 40 boys attending the small school within the Home and the remainder attending St Martin's School. Recalls that there were approximately 10 staff at the Home for Boys made up of five couples, with two house parents per age group. Recalls Mr Mallinson and states that the Superintendent at the Home changed to Mr Tilbrook whilst he was there. Recalls girls being admitted to the Home around 1959 and the Home changing its name to Haut de la Garenne. Includes memories of staff at the Home, remarking on their friendliness, approachability and strictness. Includes remarks about discipline at the Home, referring to the use of physical chastisement and caning by staff against children as punishment for misbehaviour. Also recalls boys having to sleep on their wet sheets if they wet the bed for two nights in a row. Describes the daily routine at the Home for Boys, including breakfast, school, lunch, playtime, dinner and bedtime. Also includes remarks about chores, weekend activities including walks, swimming, film night on Saturday and Church on Sunday, and home visits to parents and grandparents. Recalls celebrating events at the Home for Boys, recalling performances by bands involved at the Battle of Flowers and Bonfire Night and Christmas celebrations. Recalls dressing up in fancy dress costumes [Exhibit 1: C/D/AW1/A4/1/1/1/WD000103]. Refers to concerns about his education whilst he was at the Home for Boys, noting that he was transferred to a boarding school when he was about 10 as a means of improving his education. Notes that he was transferred to boarding school following consultation with his father. Describes his experience at the Home for Boys as being very good, citing positive memories of beach trips, walks, sailing, food provided and camping trips every other summer. Refers to a person he met at the Home with whom he has been friends for 58 years. Includes recollections of his experience at a Boarding School in Torquay that he attended for 3 years. Recalls that there were 120 boys at the school up the age of 16. States that the school supported boys who were in care and focused on their education, recalling a number of different nationalities including South African, Canadian and American. Recalls daily assemblies in the chapel at the Boarding School, attending Church on Sundays and describes the daily routine as similar to that of the Home for Boys. Recalls sharing a bedroom with 8 other boys for the first year, and sharing a room with one other boy thereafter. Refers to opportunities afforded to him at the Boarding School, including school trips and watching football matches. Describes staff at the School as reasonable, noting that there was discipline at the School but that it was no more strict than the Home for Boys. States to have no complaints about life at the Boarding School. Refers to transfer to a second Boarding School after 3 years, noting that it provided vocational training. Describes routine at the school as similar to the Home for Boys and his first Boarding School, recalling film nights, walks and day trips once a month. Describes discipline at the Boarding School, recalling incident where another boy stole the keys to the school coach and all resident were subject to collective punishment until the boy confessed to stealing the keys. States that he left the Boarding School in 1967 finishing fourth top in the school. Notes that both Boarding Schools were strict but that he enjoyed his time at both, describing himself as grateful for opportunity. Children's Services Recalls Mrs Fulton and Mrs Hall from Children's Services visiting the Home to see him every few months to check on his progress, noting that he never had any complaints. Recalls Mrs Hall visiting him after a couple of years of him being at the Boarding School in Torquay to check on him, recalling that she took him out for lunch. Events since leaving Care Describes returning to Jersey and going into employment after leaving Boarding School, noting that he did not complete the training. Outlines employment history. Describes his assistance with numerous investigations. Refers to a statement he gave to Police in England in the 1990s relating to his time at one of the Boarding Schools to assist with an investigations into Schools in the area, noting that he told the Police he had no cause for complaint. Notes that he was interviewed by the States of Jersey Police in 2008 about his experience at the Home for Boys and confirmed that he had not suffered or witnessed any type of abuse. Describes being interviewed in 2014 about his experience at the Home for Boys, returning to the Home for Boys with the interviewer and told him that he did not experience any abuse. Comments on the experience of others who lived at the Home for Boys or Haut de la Garenne. Refers to an individual he knows who has claimed to have been abused at the Haut de la Garenne, stating that he heard her story through a friend. Notes her account that if a girl wet the bed she was made to lie down in nettles as punishment, stating that he did not experience anything like this.


Ford, Barrie John
Fulton, Mrs
Hall, Maria
Mallinson, George
Tilbrook, Colin
Battle of Flowers
Children's Department
Children's Services
Haut de la Garenne
Jersey Home for Boys
St Martin's School
States of Jersey Police


Canada | Haut de la Garenne | South Africa | St Martin | Torquay | United Kingdom | United States of America | abuse | Battle of Flowers | Bonfire Night | boarding schools | Camping | caning | child abuse | Child Care Officers | Children | children's homes | children's services | Christmas | corporal punishment | discipline | Education | IJCI | inquiries | investigations | neglect | physical abuse | Police | residential care | Schools | social services | Schools | trips | visits | witness statements | witnesses


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