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EXCLUSIVE: ‘I was sexually abused and bullied from first day at Chetham’s School’
Now detectives are to investigate the historic allegations.
The former Customs and Excise officer said: “I have been traumatised all my life by what happened to me at Chetham’s.
“I was sexually abused and bullied from day one by two teachers at the school.”
I was sexually abused and bullied from day one by two teachers at the school.Mr Ward was speaking out after an inquest heard that another Chetham’s victim died of a drugs overdose.
“I was sexually abused and bullied from day one by two teachers at the school”
Violinist Frances Andrade, 48, was found dead at her home in Guildford, Surrey, in January 2013, a week after testifying against ex-choirmaster Michael Brewer.
Brewer, 69, was jailed for six years for indecent assault. His ex-wife Hilary, 69, was sentenced to 21 months for indecent assault.
But Mr Ward claims the Brewers were not the only abusers.
He said: “When I saw the news about Mrs Andrade I felt I had to tell someone of my own horrific experiences. What upset me was the claim that this was an isolated incident by one rogue teacher. That was simply not true.
“I was appalled the school seemed to distance itself from any responsibility but I knew it had been endemic for decades. I endured years of abuse and bullying.
Mr Ward, a talented singer and pianist who got into the school on a scholarship, said the abuse started straight away.
He said: “On the first day I had been unable to get the appropriate house tie so I wore an alternative.
“The senior master and maths teacher Arthur George noticed my tie and immediately singled me out. He said ‘With a flowery tie, we will call you Phyllis’.
“This was to be the start of four years of hell. It was also the start of sexual abuse by him and another teacher, Don Clarke, the chemistry master.
“I became the perpetual victim of bullying and abuse. One day Mr George took us for swimming. The school had its own pool and inevitably all boys swam naked.
“This day, however, was gala day and I had forgotten to bring my trunks.
“Everyone else had something to wear but I was ordered to swim naked in front of the parents, sisters, aunts – it was humiliating.
“No one dared say anything. Everyone thought the world of him but humiliation was his power.”
“Once he ordered me to stay back after everyone had left. He beat me so hard for no apparent reason that I wet myself.
“He ordered me to remove my trousers and underpants and dried me off with a towel whilst fondling me.
“George sexually abused me twice more, whilst Clarke was more of a bully.
“I became very frightened and lost my self-esteem. In the end, I had to leave.
“I never told anyone about what had happened. I was too ashamed and believed it was my own fault.”
Mr Ward has been told the police will investigate his claims, despite the death of the alleged perpetrators.
Greater Manchester Police said: “Operation Kiso is an ongoing investigation into historic claims of abuse at Chetham’s School. We welcome any information from the public.”
No one was available to comment at the school.