Yet another was scarred after being scalded by a nun who accused her of not using enough hot water when washing.To hide injuries from visitors, children were shut into a "black hole" without bedding, ventilation or light.So far, the Poor Sisters of Nazareth have refused to comment, but it is believed that the allegations will be contested vigorously.
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Their accounts of life in the various homes have a common theme: of thrashings even for the most minor misdemeanour or failing, be it sneezing, wetting the bed, or forgetting the words of a hymn.
Above all, they tell of a complete lack of love in institutions where bewildered children could not comprehend why they were being treated in such a way or why their families had left them in the hands of the nuns.
An aunt who came to visit was told I was confined with an infection.
"Bedwetting was about the worst thing you could do.
But today, many of those who were in the sisters' care have come forward to claim that, behind the locked doors of Nazareth House (all the homes had this name), the nuns maintained a ruthless regime.
Beatings and acts of extreme cruelty were commonplace, they say, and together with the spartan existence in the home, gave them lives of utter misery.
In the words of one man who had been put into a home after being abandoned by his family: "Some people say to me, 'Well, that's what it was like everywhere then', but it wasn't.
I went to a strict local school and the belt was used frequently, but nothing like on the same scale that the nuns used to beat us. "Looking back, I think one of the reasons was that the nuns weren't happy and decided we damn well weren't going to be either. I've never found it easy forming relationships and had periods when I've had to go to hospital and had all sorts of problems." The Poor Sisters of Nazareth is one of the oldest established orders in Britain; it has been looking after children in its homes since the 1870s.
Not a day went by without someone getting a battering. "Looking back, I think they really despised the children.
They were always calling us guttersnipes or scavengers and seemed to enjoy humiliating us. I was never so happy as when I left that place, but it's stayed with me ever since.
"Ruthless and sadistic madness on the part of least some of the nuns and a depthless depravity on the part of some of the men ...