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School Discipline

Counting out the Strokes

Was it particularly easy to count out each stroke if asked to? (I mean the person being beaten, obviously!) I only ask as depending on the severity of the strokes I can only imagine it would be quite hard (literally!) to say that out loud. With trying not to squirm or stand up, gritting your teeth, a screwed up face in pain, and gripping your hands on something, to count out also seems extra punishing.

Did anyone have to do this?


There was no counting requirement at my school during my time as far as I know but it is entirely possible that some masters may have required it at some time.

I believe it was relatively common for boys getting multiple strokes to count down to themselves in anticipation of the end of their ordeal. “Five to go, four to go, . . . , only one more!” but allegedly a mistake to standup uninvited but possibly unwise to stay down as if inviting more.  I was much too well behaved and too much a teacher’s pet well regarded to master the nuances. Unfortunately, the most experienced  canees tend not to reminisce in forums such as this being not academically inclined.

Requiring counting can be a way of gauging how well a miscreant is coping by tone of voice and their delay in reporting.


i think its best if they have managed to immobilize you sufficiently to administer the beating to keep up a constant barrage of insults and threats so that they know you have no respect for them and that there will be no clean slate on your end that you will seek vengeance at your convenience in the future and that they will never really be safe as long as you both live.


Remember the story that got into the papers just before the cane was banned, about the headmaster who had caned a boy for doing badly in his exams? I seem to recall that he was said to have whacked the boy twice, and said “how many are left?” and then given him two more and asked him again. I have never heard of someone having to say “one sir, two sir…” outside of kinky stories! In the fine old Whacko! TV show it would sometimes happen that the headmaster would lose count and have to start all over again….


I haven’t heard of the victim having to count the strokes in real life, but then there isn’t a particular reason why I would know about this outside the school I went to; I can really only say that we didn’t do this.  One place I can remember is that in a scene from the 1970s TV series of “Tom Brown’s Schooldays”, boys were being punished by a prefect.  They had another student in the room shouting out the count.  (This wasn’t Tom Brown being caned, but other punishments before we got to that bit).

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