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When John Ruth arrived in the United Kingdom from Ireland as a boy in the late 1950's. He had little idea of the challenging times that awaited him.
With his elder sister Brenda and brother Liam, he was enrolled in a strict Dominican Roman Catholic boarding school at Ponsbourne Park in the remote Hertfordshire countryside. He soon discovered that this place was as cruel, oppressive and mysterious as any five year old child could imagine.
He found himself separated from not only his parents, but also his two elder siblings. A few cruel nuns meted out punishment and strict discipline against a backdrop of changing values in those post war years. His harrowing journey continued into the emerging Rock 'n' Roll years that were captivating the youth of the day, and challenging the outdated views and traditions that were held by those in authority. It also describes moving acts of kindness from some of the same nuns who tried to make life easier for many of the unfortunate children in their care.
This first part of his story covers his experiences from early childhood to puberty, and captures glimpses of the harshness and occasional brutality of the nuns to some of the more vulnerable children in their care. It illustrates some of the double standards that existed between the haves and have-nots who shared the same education, but certainly not the same privileges.