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
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 [Ed.~
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.
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
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 assertions.
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
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
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.
unchallenged evidence on Day
3, Grace Jones Ogilvie
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
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.
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.
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.
the ex-housemaster's [Glenn
Harrison's] allegations regarding
the presence of Thomas Hamilton
at Queen Victoria School
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 beggars belief.
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
After leaving the school he complained to
The Patron, The Press, Esther Rantzen, Roger
Cook, etc, and when he moved to Shetland to
work he pursued his complaints through his
local MP, Jim Wallace,
and these complaints were not thoroughly investigated.
- 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
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. 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
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.
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
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. 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.
of the ex-housemasters complaints that HM Commissioners were ineffective.
corroboration of the ex-housemasters [Glenn
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
- 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
who together with Lord Cullen
has been named as visitors to the school.
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.
Rachel 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.
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 asked.
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 follows:
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.
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,
President, Ian Lang, states
that he has no recollection of the matters
I referred to. 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
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. 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
Ross, 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
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
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.
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
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 Inquiry.
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.
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.
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
- 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.
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 [Glenn
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.
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.
CC. Lieutenant General
Sir John MacMillan, Chairman of the Board of Governors.
Brigadier Miles Hunt-Davis, P.S. to H.R.H. The Duke