The second 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 rifle range.
94 Victoria Terrace
Thursday 24th April
Lord Justice Clerk
Complaint regarding events at Queen Victoria
With 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 Victoria School.
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
Circumstances 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 assertions.
I contacted an ex-housemaster [Ed
~ Glenn Harrison] 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:
- Thomas Hamilton was a frequent, and influential visitor to
- 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
Allegation 1: Thomas Hamilton & Friends
- 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. LINK
- 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.
- He 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.
- Lord Cullen and George Robertson were mentioned by name as
being [QVS] visitors.
- 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
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
None of 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
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
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?
Hamilton, 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 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.
Independent 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 authorities.
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
Allegation 3: The Commissioners Apathy/Ignorance.
The ex-housemaster [Glenn
Harrison] 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 were ineffective.
Independent corroboration 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.
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. 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 asked.
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
Lord 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 Scotland
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.
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 to. LINK
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
meetings. [Ed ~ It was his
DUTY to know.]
Lord Ross LINK,
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. [Ed
~ Again, it was also his DUTY to know.] 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.
HM Commissioners 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.
Allegation 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”.
That Masons 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
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 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 [Glenn Harrison]
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
My disappointment 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.
To avoid 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 [Glenn
Harrison'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 [Glenn
I would 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
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 status.
My position 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 Dunblane shootings.
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 of Edinburgh.