section is Tom Minogue's
extensive letter to Lord Gill,
the then Lord Justice-Clerk,
making allegations, with supportive evidence, about
the Masonic involvement
in protecting Thomas Hamilton
over a number of years, and Hamilton's
involvement with Queen Victoria
Military Boarding School, Dunblane
- which included access to boys dormitories and the
94 Victoria Terrace
Thursday 24th April
Lord Justice Clerk
regarding events at Queen Victoria
reference to your letter of 6th March I would
accept your offer that I make known to you my
concerns regarding matters relating to the Queen
I am aware that
you are, by virtue of your office a Commissioner of the school,
and though you were not a Commissioner at the time of the alleged
matters of concern you are in a position to instigate an investigation
into past matters. This may be necessary, as I have found a lack
of willingness on the part of the current President of the Commissioners,
the Past President, and most Commissioners of the school during
the period 1998-1992 to treat seriously allegations that have
been made to me by an ex-housemaster at QVS. LINK
leading to my investigation of the ex-housemaster’s complaint.
In February 2003
as a petitioner to the Scottish Parliament
I was asked by the Justice 2 Committee to provide evidence of
specific instances where a Judges/Sheriffs membership of the Freemasons
had caused problems. As I am not alone in Scotland
in perceiving the Dunblane Inquiry as
a case where Masonic membership had
played a part, both in the events leading up to the Inquiry
and during the Inquiry I cited this
as a case in point.
Many newspaper stories and Internet
articles have dealt with the supposed Masonic
influence of Thomas Hamilton having
allowed him to obtain licences for firearms against police
advice. Another theory commonly broadcast is that Hamilton’s
connections to prominent figures in public life had allowed him
access to Queen Victoria School Dunblane
and that these facts had been instrumental in Lord
Cullen (a Mason) imposing
an illegal 100-year ban on documents relating to Hamilton’s
activities prior to the shootings. I decided to research these
I contacted an ex-housemaster
at QVS who was reported to have made
numerous complaints about bullying and abuse of pupils at QVS
between 1989 and 1992. A website carried a letter from the
ex-housemaster which alleged that one regular and apparently influential
visitor to the school between 1989 and 1992 was Thomas
Hamilton the Dunblane killer. The
ex-housemaster confirmed this fact in a telephone conversation
and also claimed that the MOD (HM
Commissioners), Scottish Office, Procurator Fiscal,
and Stirling Council would not act on his complaints. The
exhousemaster also believed that Freemasonry
had been a factor in the unreported abuse of pupils at QVS
and also had adversely influenced the investigation of his complaints.
I have been able
to independently corroborate 3 of the 4 main allegations made
by the housemaster, namely that:
Hamilton was a frequent, and
influential visitor to QVS.
- Numerous complaints
about bullying and abuse were made by the
housemaster to various authorities to no avail
because of the lack of a thorough investigation
by the authorities.
- H M Commissioners
ignored or were in ignorance of the above two facts.
1: Thomas Hamilton &
Friends of QVS.
- Many visitors
who the ex-housemaster [Glenn
Harrison] described as
“toffs” would arrive at the school
and some of these visitors would take boys
home for weekends.
- Visitors to the
school had access to the grounds and buildings
within the school, which concerned him for
fear that these apparently unauthorised visitors,
might abduct a pupil.
had challenged visitors who were not known
to him and had complained to the headmaster
about the presence of these individuals only
to be told that these people were “Friends
of Queen Victoria School”
and were to be left alone.
- Because of his
concerns he suggested the issue of photographic
passes for authorised personnel.
Boys who had spent weekends with some of the
“Friends” would come back in a
disturbed state of mind.
One pupil tried to hang himself after being
buggered and this was hushed up.
He later found out that one regular visitor
who, frequented the firing range, had watched
naked primary level boys in the shower area,
on dress parade, and visited teachers in their
quarters was Thomas Hamilton
the Dunblane killer.
Cullen and George
Robertson were mentioned by
name as being [QVS]
- The ex-housemaster [Glenn
Harrison] felt that if his complaints had
been heeded and acted upon the massacre
at Dunblane might not have happened
given that Thomas Hamilton was well
known to the police at this time.
I had initially thought that the
Queen Victoria School did not feature
in the Dunblane Inquiry. However
it is a matter of record that substantive evidence regarding Thomas
Hamilton’s association with Queen
Victoria School was given by three separate and unconnected
witnesses to the Inquiry.
In her unchallenged
evidence on Day 3, Grace Jones Ogilvie Hamilton’s neighbour
told of how Thomas Hamilton organised and carried out camping expeditions
for his boys clubs at Loch Lomondside and Queen Victoria School. Grace
Jones Ogilvie also spoke of Hamilton showing her videos of what
he described to her as “my boys”. LINK
In his unchallenged
evidence on Day 14, Ian Steven Boal, an undergraduate sports student,
told of how in 1995 Thomas Hamilton had used his influence at Queen
Victoria School to obtain him (Boal) a part time teaching position
at the school. LINK
In his unchallenged
evidence on Day 18, Robert Mark Ure a neighbour of Hamilton told
of how he wished to contact Stirling Rifle and Pistol Club as his
wife who had been to the rifle range at Queen Victoria School with
Thomas Hamilton, had embezzled money from the club. Hamilton
had said that the Stirling Rifle and Pistol Club was not a static
building and its address might have been in his mail. LINK
the three independent witnesses to Hamilton’s
involvement with, and influence at Queen
Victoria School were cross-examined
or questioned further by the legal representatives
of any of the parties represented.
Lord Cullen did not ask any
further questions of these three witnesses and there
is no mention of Thomas Hamilton’s
involvement with the Queen Victoria School
in Lord Cullen’s Report.
I found the ex-housemaster's [Glenn
Harrison's] allegations regarding the presence
of Thomas Hamilton at Queen
Victoria School Dunblane
convincing. In my opinion he was truthful and the evidence
of the above three witnesses regarding Thomas Hamilton
corroborates my impression of his veracity and suggests that he
should have been heeded when he complained at the lack of proper
procedures, and the climate of fear that pervaded the school.
That (between 1989
and 1996) an unemployed man known to the police
of three forces (Central, Lothian & Borders, and Strathclyde)
for numerous instances of unsavoury and threatening behaviour towards
adults and children had the run of a Boarding School for young boys
That such a man, who
was also known to the police for incidents
involving firearms was allowed to bear arms within the school unbeknown
to the school’s guardians is truly unbelievable. It
also begs the question as to what, or who Thomas Hamilton
knew to allow him these extraordinary privileges?
while shooting on the range at Queen Victoria School
obviously carried firearms and ammunition within the school.
The possibility of Thomas Hamilton running
amok at QVS must have been real, but is
something that the Cullen Report does
not consider or mention.
Allegation No 2:
Numerous complaints about bullying and abuse being made to various
authorities to no avail because of the lack of a thorough investigation.
- The ex-housemaster [Glenn
Harrison] told me of how he had made numerous
complaints about bullying and abuse to: HM Commissioners
of Queen Victoria School, The Educational
Institute of Scotland, The Social Services Department of Stirling
Council, and the children’s parents, whilst he was at
the school. These complaints were not thoroughly investigated
- After leaving
the school he complained to The Patron, The Press, Esther Rantzen,
Roger Cook, etc, and when he moved to Shetland to work LINK
he pursued his complaints through his local MP, Jim Wallace,
and these complaints were not thoroughly investigated. LINK
- The housemaster felt sure that once his specific
allegations of bullying and abuse were taken seriously, welfare
staff with expertise in sexual abuse would identify such matters,
which he had broadly categorised as abuse. The housemaster
said he was sure that his complaints would be taken seriously
by someone if he persevered, and in all he complained to dozens
of different sources to no avail.
- The ex-housemaster [Glenn
Harrison] told of how his complaining eventually led
him and his wife to protest by refusing to take their places
at a dinner, which was attended by HRH Prince Andrew. LINK
This in turn led to a showdown with the outcome being that the
ex-housemaster gave notice that he was terminating his employment.
- During the notice period that
the ex-housemaster worked he felt that his safety and the safety
of his family was threatened and he sent his family away from
the on-site flat accommodation provided by the school. In
this period while the ex-housemaster was in Stirling the police
broke down the door of his flat with a sledgehammer and removed
documents relating to his complaints some of which were never
returned. On his return to the school the ex-housemaster
was taken by police to Stirling and
held for questioning by detectives from Edinburgh. Despite
his repeated requests for an explanation of these events none
has been provided to this day.
corroboration of the ex-housemaster's allegation that
he had made numerous complaints of allegations of
bullying and abuse at Queen Victoria School
Dunblane all to no avail
due to the lack of a thorough investigation by the
The evidence of the
ex-housemaster’s allegations of abuse and bullying at Queen
Victoria School Dunblane can be seen in the appended supporting
documentation. Within this documentation it can be seen that the
then Minister of State for Education, Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
confirms that the ex-housemaster [Glenn Harrison]
was not consulted in any way regarding the complaints he had made. LINK
Nor were the parents of the pupils consulted. It therefore goes
without saying that a thorough investigation did not take place.
The fact that almost all of the Commissioners to this day are unaware
that any investigation had taken place is further evidence to suggest
that whatever investigation did take place was not thorough.
I found the ex-housemaster's
[Glenn Harrison's] evidence regarding
his numerous complaints of abuse and bullying at Queen Victoria
School Dunblane receiving no thorough investigation convincing.
I can understand why he was reluctant to clearly voice his concern
regarding sexual abuse until he saw that professionals were involved. He
was in my opinion truthful and the content from some of the documentation
retained by him together with reference to Hansard corroborates
my impression of his veracity, to say nothing of his conscientiousness
and professionalism. LINK
The fact that the ex-housemaster continued to complain up to 1994
and renewed his complaints in 1996 when Thomas Hamilton was identified
to him also speaks volumes for his tenacity and integrity.
The fact that only
four of the 16 Commissioners and staff
contacted who were at the school at the time are even aware that
complaints had been made and investigated confirms my view that
the complaints the ex-housemaster made were not thoroughly investigated.
Allegation 3: The
told me of how despite his repeated complaints HM Commissioners
(who are also the governing body of the school) ignored or were
in denial of the fact that serious complaints had been made regarding
the practice and procedures at Queen Victoria School
Dunblane. The ex-housemaster stated that
HM Commissioners were available for any dinners
or social events. However, on the occasions when their presence
was really required, such as when he had serious complaints to make,
HM Commissioners made themselves scarce,
or simply went through the motions.
Independent corroboration of the
ex-housemasters complaints that HM Commissioners
of the ex-housemasters [Glenn
Harrison's] allegations in this regard
would be impossible other than by analogy. Therefore I would
draw upon my own experiences with the Commissioners
to test the ex-housemasters claims.
I have written approximately
50 e-mails and letters to Commissioners
past and present in three separate mailings which are as follows:
- Letters and e-mails to my MP
and the current Secretary of State for Scotland
in her role as President of HM Commissioners
regarding the ex-housemaster’s allegations.
- A letter to The Patron, HM
Commissioners, The Commandant and the Headmaster
of the school seeking to know if they knew of a group called
the “Friends of QVS”.
- A reminder letter (as only 3
replied to my first letter) to the group at (2) above and a
new letter which asked a further two questions regarding Thomas
Hamilton’s presence and influence in the school and what
if anything was known of the allegations of abuse and bullying.
This letter was also sent to Lord George Robertson who together
with Lord Cullen has been named as visitors to the school. LINK
The response from
the Secretary of State for Scotland, (Helen
Liddell) and my MP (Rachel Squire)
was bordering on hostile. Liddell
first claiming that she would not answer, as this was a question
for my MSP - it being a devolved issue. She subsequently had
a change of heart and decided to answer. However, her answer
was to the effect that her role was “purely formal”
and as such she could not answer questions. She suggested
that the current Headmaster would be the best person to answer questions.
Squire MP was equally unreceptive to my requests that
she should even trouble the Secretary of State for Scotland
on this matter. Even though I had explained the background
to my request i.e. Hamilton and VIP’s
being visitors to the school, and abuse having taken place at the
school, my MP was surprisingly unhelpful other than suggesting I
write to the current Headmaster.
My first letter to
the Patron, Commissioners, and others associated with the Queen
Victoria School Dunblane asking one question regarding the existence
of a group called the “Friends of QVS” received a poor
response. A letter from the Duke of Edinburgh’s P.S.
Brigadier Miles Hunt-Davis who stated that he would be looking into
the matter, and one from Lord Forsyth of Drumlean suggesting I write
to the Scottish Executive were the sum total of responses. LINK
There were however
several phone-calls from Commissioners
which seemed to be aimed at finding out what I knew of the affairs
of the school, rather than answering the questions that I had
My second letter to
the Commissioners, and others associated
with the Queen Victoria School Dunblane
asked two further questions regarding Thomas Hamilton’s
presence and influence at the school, as well as asking about the
complaints of bullying and abuse. The response to this letter
and my reminder to the first letter, were good. However, the
terms of the responses were disappointing and record that almost
all of those trusted with the stewardship of the school know nothing
of the matters I had raised.
George Robertson who had been named
by the ex-housemaster [Glenn
Harrison] as a visitor to QVS
wrote a very aggressive letter advising me that he
had sent my letter to the Chief Constable of Central
As someone who has
employed many hundreds of employees over a 25 year period in business
I am well aware that the legal responsibility for the pupils safety
lies squarely with the “Employer” in this case the Board
of Management drawn from HM Commissioners
and this much at least was clarified by Lord Cullen
in Section 10 of his Inquiry Report as
10.15 In Scotland the
employer in regard to schools is the local authority, except in
the case of self-governing schools where the employer is the board
of management: and in the case of independent schools where it is
the proprietor. In England and Wales the position in regard to legal
responsibility is different.
Given their legal responsibilities
it is astonishing that the current Commissioner
and President of the Board of Management, Helen Liddell
abdicates any personal responsibility and indeed initially attempted
to devolve her responsibilities to my MSP. When Helen
Liddell did a U-turn on the devolution issue, she
still maintained that she had no actual duties or responsibilities
for Queen Victoria School, Dunblane.
A previous President,
Ian Lang, states that he has no recollection of the matters I referred
He thinks he was Honorary President, but states he had no role in
the management of the school. Although he may have appointed
some of the Commissioners, he claims he was only at the school once
in almost 5 years!
Another of HM Commissioners
and past President of the Board of Management, Michael Forsyth,
was the man who appointed Lord Cullen to head the Dunblane Inquiry,
and set the terms of reference for the Inquiry. LINK
He referred my queries to the Scottish Office, who in turn passed
the matter to the Scottish Executive, who claim that Mr Forsyth
knows nothing of the matters I refer to, as he did not attend board
the then Lord Justice Clerk, who after the Secretary of State and
General Officer Commanding, Scotland, is the senior Commissioner,
was annoyed that I should ask him about matters of public interest,
stating he knew nothing of the matters I referred to and insisted
that I stop writing to him. Lord Ross then passed the matter
to the Scottish Executive Schools Division.
I am able to confirm the main thrust
of the ex-housemaster’s [Glenn
Harrison's] claims "from public records"
some "12 years after the event". Yet
HM Commissioners, the legally responsible
guardians of the pupils, and furthermore, "managers"
of the school "knew nothing (or claim to know nothing)
about Thomas Hamilton’s" presence
and influence at the school.
almost to a man (with a few exceptions), claim to know nothing of
the allegations of bullying and abuse at the Queen Victoria
School far less the investigation that supposedly
took place. Without exception they are unaware that Hamilton
visited QVS! This is testimony
to the ignorance of the Commissioners.
4: Masonic Influence.
It is the ex-Housemaster’s
contention that there were powerful Masonic
influences at work in the Queen Victoria School. He
was advised by a colleague (a Mason) that
there was no point in his complaining to the authorities or the
Police as the influence of Freemasonry
ran through the upper echelons of the Military, Government, Law
and other VIP’s who were part of the elite that frequently
visited the school. The lavish Commissioners
Lunches that were put on for this elite were on such a scale that
the school was sometimes unable to cater for all guests at one sitting
and they had to be accommodated in two sittings, two weeks apart.
The failure of the
police to return all of his documents
after breaking his door down and taking his property convinced the
ex-housemaster [Glenn Harrison]
that the school authorities and the police
were linked by Masonry, which allowed
them to act above the law.
There is no way of corroborating
evidence of Masonic influence, as it is
secret. The Grand Lodge of Scotland of Antient
Free and Accepted Masons will not divulge membership
of “gentlemen who are still alive”.
belong to an organisation with a constitution and
obligations which demand fraternal preferment is a
matter of fact but without confirmation of the identity
of the “brother who must prefer a brother”
evidence is at best perceived or circumstantial.
I embarked on research
into the Dunblane Inquiry as a result of an invitation
from the Justice 2 Committee of the Scottish
Parliament who asked “if the petitioner was able
to provide evidence of further specific cases where difficulties
have arisen over the question of Sheriff/Judicial membership of
When responding to the Justice
2 Committee’s invitation I had no idea that
my research would lead to the allegations that have surfaced regarding
Thomas Hamilton’s privileged position
at Queen Victoria School. In
my petitioning of Parliament I gained an impression of secrecy and
censorship regarding anything associated with the Dunblane
I found this same secrecy
repeated when I wished to establish if the police
reports of the arrest and door breaking incidents at QVS
referred to in the Headmaster’s letter to the ex-housemaster
featured in any Dunblane Inquiry police
reports about QVS.
The Crown Office
have refused my requests and a request made through my lawyers seeking
access to inspect these documents. Furthermore the Crown
Office have refused to state whether or not the Queen
Victoria School features in these closed documents.
regarding the lack of openness of the Crown
Office is added to by their recent decision
to remove the names of all witnesses from the
embargoed document Index, and from the 4 documents
that have been released as well as removing the names
of schools from these documents.
I have viewed some
of the Crown Office’s recently released
documents and the obscuring and deleting makes these documents barely
legible. It is probably now the case that the documents as
censored by the Crown Office would not
provide any information regarding Queen Victoria School
even if it were present in the original documents.
The above actions by
the Crown Office and the recent Press
expose which highlighted the fact that much of the Police
and Crown documentation produced at the Dunblane Inquiry
was edited and summarised gives credence to the recent claims
by Dr Mick North who lost his only daughter
in the Dunblane massacre that:
- The Crown
Office has been less than open.
- The Dunblane Inquiry
looks to have been a cover-up.
- The Dunblane
Inquiry was nothing more than
a piece of theatre.
any further allegations of this type regarding the
allegations relating to Queen Victoria
School, which is linked by Thomas
Hamilton to the Dunblane
Inquiry, I would urge you to act with
complete openness and urgency in looking into my complaint.
The matters I raise are serious
ones and no less so because of the passage of time. These
allegations deserve proper investigation because, if the ex-housemaster's
allegations of physical and sexual abuse of pupils are true, the
victims will now be young men who may be psychologically disturbed
by the traumatic experiences in their formative years.
It is within your power to trace
those pupils who attended the school at the same time as the ex-housemaster
and seek confirmation or otherwise of his claims. There
are other serious allegations which have been intimated to me, but
I will not disclose them until I am confident that they will be
treated seriously and not as the complaints of the ex-housemaster
have no confidence in your impartiality to carry out
or instigate any enquiry unless you give me a personal
guarantee that you have not taken the oath of Entered
Apprentice into Freemasonry.
I would also ask you
to consider whether there is any other matter, which might be seen
as influencing your impartiality.
I would also make it
clear that I would be reluctant to cooperate with HM
Commissioners or any branch of the Scottish Justice
System in helping to further expose the activities of Thomas
Hamilton at Queen Victoria School
without an assurance regarding their Masonic
in this regard is not frivolous and is expressed clearly
because I genuinely feel that to assist those who
are undeclared Masons in
dealing with matters which I suspect are inextricably
linked with Freemasonry
would be to participate in the further suppression
of the truth about the circumstances leading to the
I intend to treat this
letter as an open letter detailing matters of public concern and
I will distribute it in order that its contents are not suppressed
in any way.
Should you require
any further clarification please do not hesitate to contact me.
General Sir John MacMillan, Chairman of the Board
Brigadier Miles Hunt-Davis, P.S. to H.R.H.
The Duke of Edinburgh.