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Judicial CP - February 1937

Corpun file 1331 at

Aldershot News and Farnborough Chronicle, Hampshire, 5 February 1937

Four young scamps

Remarkable Police Court charge.

The depredations in Aldershot of four young scamps, who had escaped from a remand school, were recounted to the Aldershot Magistrates sitting in the Juvenile Court on Thursday. The four boys made themselves as comfortable as thieving and ingenuity would permit in an old shack on some waste land near Cranmore-lane. Rugs, stolen from unattended motor-cars, milk, butter and bread stolen from the doorsteps of houses, and other stolen goods and foodstuffs formed their beds and sustenance till the Police, notified of their escape and the thefts, tracked them down. Raids on shops were their undoing, for the Police kept watch on Marks and Spencers and Woolworths as being the most likely to attract the young scamps, and in one of these stores they were eventually caught. A remarkable story was unfolded to the magistrates, who eventually ordered the "leader" six strokes of the birch rod, and sent all four back to remand schools. They were charged with many thefts, including a sporting gun which they took from a car and which they smashed trying to break into a store on War Department land, a bicycle which they stole from a school playground in Aldershot, and some money they found in an offertory box they stole from St Aiden's Church. Much other stolen property was found in the shack. The youthful gang did not seem to feel any remorse when charged. They were all bound over to be of good behaviour.

Corpun file 25183 at

Daily Mirror, London, 9 February 1937, p.28

Magistrate Invites Boys to Tea After Seeing Them 'Birched'

From Our Special Correspondent

Click to enlarge


AFTER ordering three boys aged ten, eleven and twelve to be "birched hard," white-haired Mr. Harry Ainger, chairman of the Aldershot Juvenile Court magistrates, watched the birching -- and then invited the victims to tea on Sunday.

The boys had broken out of an approved school at Farnborough, stolen property from a house and from a car, and lived in a shack on some waste land.

To-night Mr. Ainger left his game of cards with local firemen to discuss with me his method of "reforming bad boys."

"Yes." he said, "I believe in birching though I have almost been shouted down for saying so at magistrates' meetings.

"But to-day these boys had it properly, and I stood by to see they did.

A New Birch

"We had a new birch to do it with, and I told the sergeant not to be in a hurry.

"They had to wait a quarter of an hour first, while I smoked a cigarette -- part of the punishment, you see."

It was not the first time that one of them had had the birch on Mr. Ainger's orders. Only last week he had six strokes for doing the same thing.

Mr. Ainger assured me "without boasting," that in the nine years he has been chairman of the local Juvenile Court here, he has had "remarkable success" in handling young people.

"I am very fond of children," he explained, "but I do believe in mixing kindness with a little authority.

"Now to-day, after these boys had had their birching, I had a nice talk with them and invited them all to come to tea with me on Sunday.

"Yes, and they will all come, too, and enjoy it."

Aldershot News and Farnborough Chronicle, Hampshire, 12 February 1937

Promise and performance

Birch for young scamps.

"You made a promise and broke it; we made a promise and we shall keep it," said the Chairman of the Aldershot Juvenile Court on Monday, to three boys who appeared before them. At the end of last month the boys appeared before the Court, and promised to amend, and two of them were bound over and the third birched. They returned to the approved school from which they had absconded. They escaped a second time, and when they were found and taken back to school they were searched. On them were found a number of articles, including a charred attaché case and partly-burned papers. The boys admitted that they had got into an empty house and stolen some keys, took the attaché case from a car outside a house, and took a hammer from a tool shed at the rear of an unoccupied house. They stated that they took the attaché case to some waste ground, took out the contents and burned the case.

The Magistrates ordered each boy to receive six strokes with the birch rod, and the Chairman, directing Police-Sergeant Cutler to use the birch, added, "Don't be too gentle."

The Magistrates suggested that steps should be taken to send the boys to different schools.

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