PAT MILLS is the creator and first editor of 2000AD. He developed Judge Dreddand is the writer-creator of many of 2000AD’s most popular stories such as Nemesis the Warlock, Sláine and ABC Warriors.  He also created Action and co-created Battle Picture Weekly with John Wagner.  He has written numerous girls comic serials and also started Jinty with Malcolm Shaw and later Misty, as the female equivalent of 2000AD.  His other credits include Charley’s War,co-created with Joe Colquhoun, Marshal Law, co-created with Kevin O’Neill (deluxe collection by DC Comics), and Accident Man, created with Tony Skinner (reprinted by Titan Books).

He also enjoys considerable success in France with his best-selling graphic novel series Requiem, Vampire Knight, co-created with artist Olivier Ledroit. Requiem is also available digitally on Comixology and at

In 2006, Pat got together with artist Clint Langley and entrepreneur Jeremy Trollope-Davis to form Repeat Offenders Ltd. Their company creates intellectual properties and develops them as graphic novels and films.  Their first project was American Reaper – a future cop fighting criminals who steal teenagers’ bodies for their elderly clients to possess. Pat wrote the screenplay for Reaper which has been optioned by Xingu and Maven films and is now in development.  The first volume of the graphic novel adaption of Reaper, drawn by Clint, appeared in the Judge Dredd Megazine and the second volume will appear in early 2013. Their second project is War Dog, an Irish saga for Subotica Films, financed by the Irish Film Board.  Pat has just written the first draft of the screenplay and Clint is designing the characters and the legendary world.  Forthcoming projects include a robot/human “buddy” story, currently with Heyday Films; Dark Apps – a spy thriller; and Rose Noir – a female vigilante who punishes heartbreakers.

He was recently made Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of Liverpool for his contributions to popular culture.


  1. Hello Pat I attended St Joseph’s Prep school at Oak Hill 1967 1968 1969 . I fortunately was never sexually abused. There were some good people there in my mind as well as sadists. Do you remember the Matron Mrs. Sayward and Brother Paul the Belgian French teacher I was fortunate enough to have Brother John Fischer in Second Form as my instructor. Brother Bede was a sadistic prick. Mr. Finnucan another Bastard. I remember Brother Kevin never abused me luckily he was only there my first year. Brother Anthony and Head Master Denis Robert were definitely weird.
    My son is a huge Fan of Judge Dredd.
    I don’t no why I was drawn to the past today but I must say my experience there does haunt me as nostalgic and in a word Strange. Some names I remember Roger Sherlicker, Benny Elliot Beatles haircut, Ian MacKenzie , I was the only Yank there Ron Weaver. Well here is to all of the Survivors! So glad I returned home. Cheers .

  2. I remember Brother Solomon making us do square bashing in the playground until a supposed miscreant owned up. He also called in the police to do an I’d parade of the whole sixth form. I remember the brothers having a plimsol in their cassock pockets and whacking the first pupil they saw talking at the start of the lessons. Be Solomon terrified us with his roaring and caning. He suddenly left because he got drunk and called the headmaster a Maltese bastard in front of some boys on a ferry.
    I remember a maths teacher being suddenly dismissed for wrestling with a pupil alone in a classroom before school. I remember the History teacher beating up a boy in class, callling him a moron because he couldn’t remember the date of the battle of Lepanto.
    Those terrible testimonials given out each week publicly..the gold, the red, the blue and the white with your place in the class. Cainings, verbal abuse, daily humiliation. The French brother carried a chair leg in his cassock and the shell shocked Br Denis Andrew who just whacked you round the head. Fides intrepida!
    The only brother I respected was Br Rogation, one of the few truly spiritual and holy men there at that time…1958 to 1966

  3. i first went to oak hill in 1984 and was abused by brother kevin, a vile little rat. used to take me to his room after lights out. would be nice to find where the rat is now??

    • Hi Zach…awful I was there then and aware some people were taken upstairs …were you there when Mick Mills the footballers son was there.

      • Hi,

        I was there when Mick Mills’ son was there. Julien Mills right. I also remember a Zach at St Joseph’s but I’m not sure it was the same Zach in this chain though. His name was spelt Zak and I believe he was from Iraq. He was only at St Joes for a year. I was known as Des back then (named after Desmond Douglas the Table Tennis player). Always good to be in touch with old mates from St Joes.

  4. Pingback: IN THE LA SALLIAN TRADITION 3 | Pat Mills
  5. I went to oakhill and St Jo’s for two years. ( Early 80’s ) I remember at Oakhill a boy whose parents had been killed in a car crash and he was taken upstairs at Night to be comforted , to the 2nd floor where some of the monks had rooms. I also recall the man who would examine you closely post shower in a physical way ( he was a non monk )

    At st jo’s i recall the rug makers in the 1st year who got to stay up late with another monk ( making rugs ! )

    I also remember the monk walking up and down at night awful and creepy. This was Brother Damien i think.

    In the next two years in the main house the house the house master non monk gave me a beating after being advised to stay awake and not to go to sleep and this was bottomless. This was in a cupboard and the next boy waited outside.

    There was also a Brother / monk who was quite elderley who would thrown hymn books at you in choir practise in a friday night ready for the Sunday service

    Im sure I recall Brothers solomon and defo Damien / Brien

    • Brother Cuthman was the thrower I think. He used to throw black board rubbers at you if you spoke in class too! Early 80s, Bro Damien was the headmaster, Bro (Johnny) Peters was the assistant head who lived in the gate house opposite The TD and woodwork classroom (he was a violent nutter, short man syndrome). There was Bro Laurence and a few others but I must admit I can’t remember all of them . Moggas (mr McLoughlin) would have been there early 80s, Mr and Mrs Parry (music/English) and Mr Twist…..he was a a funny guy! I know a lot of ex St Jo’s guys and they all seem to be decent people…..not sure how that happened!!! 🙂

  6. My husband was at St Joseph’s 1957-64. He often spoke of Brother Solomon and, like you, he felt that his own love of classical music had been inspired by him. I always suspected there was more to his relationship with the said Creepy Brother but he was not to be drawn. (He is now in a care home with dementia.) However, I have a copy of a photograph of Brother S with Peter Katin on the occasion when Katin came to the school if you would like it.

    • I was at St Joseph’so 1957 to 1961, left at end of 4th form. Years later while working in Birmingham saw an ad for Michael de Mercedes-Benz, the swinging Monk. Recognised the name as real name of Bro Solomon. Contacted him and he invited me to see the show at Crystal Clun in Solihull. Afterwards in conversation he discovered I was a lecturer in English. Invited me down to his flat in Hove to discuss writing his life story – classical pianist, RAF band leader and memBerlin of religious order. I found him to be even creepiest than I remembered. He claimed he had become disillusioned with the religious life, no menation of being asked to leave (I was unaware of what had happened and had never been subject of abuse while at school),
      Years later I read in Sunday People that Bro Joseph, who had suddenly disappeared from St Joseph’s while I was there,, was arrested for abusing young boys at a La Salle Boy’s Town in India.

  7. Hello there pat mills
    I saw your drawing of ‘The Sentinels’ on google which remarkably look like two blocks of 32 storey flats that are situated opposite each other in Birmingham city centre, United Kingdom, they were built in 1971 and were then called The Sentinels

      • As you say it may help me to relate my story (Such as i can remember,) I was a boarder at beulah in the early 60s. I was also abused by brother Solomon, not viciously as indicated by others. I have never imparted this knowledge to anyone before, but thought it may help me if i said something.

  8. Hi Pat!

    I’d just like to express my thanks for Charley’s War, Nemesis and Slaine – three stories which have infected me with a love of comics (and indeed later comix) since the early 80s; so much better than the Warlord, Victor and other titles i was allowed at home. indeed i suspect that in a roundabout Slaine inspired me to my current career as an archaeologist!

    I am rereading the bound Charley’s War and have got to The Great Mutiny volume and you mention the Pedroncini volume; there was also an A4 pamphlet published in the 80s by David Lamb called Mutinies 1917-1920 which deals with much of the little known that happened amongst British soldiery at the end of WWI. As you say elsewhere it’s shameful how the likes of Max Hastings and Niall Ferguson rewrite history to the viewpoint of someone like Michael Gove – what hope? What future? I have included a link to the David Lamb pamphlet for your interest.

    By the by, the Marists were shits too. They loved a good beating and some inappropriate photos of prepubescent boys while playing them off against one another… it is, in retrospect, one of the awful consequences of damaged individuals having power and authority over kids, and none holding them to account unless they really made a balls of the job.

    Please keep the great storylines coming and may your spring never run dry!



  9. Hi Pat,

    Just looking around the internet when I realised that Alan Rusbridger of the Guardian reminded me in some way of my old latin teacher.Mr Rospigliosi, from my days at Beaulah Hill. This started me looking up old teachers and I was bound to start with Brother Solomon. This led me to your page and I was just amazed to read of your personal experiences and how you drew inspiration for your work. Like most people I probably have a selective recall of being at secondary school, but Br Solomon is someone to remember. Incidentally, we also had a Brother James. I had no idea that Solomon had been thrown out of your school. It would have helped if we had that kind of information. From his almost Gothic swagger on the rostrum every morning to his walking around the school during the day entering classrooms quite literally looking for trouble, Solomon or “Brother Prefect” was almost universally feared and disliked. You could hear comments being made by 6th Formers under their breath during morning line up. Unfortunately so could Brother Solomon and it was not unusual to have individuals unceremoniously pulled out of line for punishment. The experience of seeing an older boys’ red face humiliation and discomfort was supposed to be a deterrent I suppose. Unfortunately there was too much caning going on at Beaulah Hill in those days and it wasn’t just Brother Solomon who was at it. His work recreating the Glen Miller orchestra sound however was just excellent, but to the rest of us it seemed a private club for children with musical talent. The musicians among us were treated differently. We didn’t have Solomon for music appreciation classes. As far as I can recall Brother Cyril took us for one or two of these, so I cannot say what that was like. I travelled with our school party to Normandy in either ’64 or ’65 where Brother Solomon and his band performed and as I recall he was fairly relaxed on that trip, perhaps let himself go a bit and became untypically chummy with the boys. Nevertheless I have to say that he didn’t strike me as being ‘interested’ in children. Bear in mind there were several prominent names among the brothers and lay-teachers at the school who had well-know form in that department. It was strange indeed that Brother Solomon was one day no more. He just disappeared, much as he had done earlier from your own school. It was unnerving still to pass his office. One expected him to pop out like a tiger, but he was no longer there. There wasn’t a “Brother Prefect” in the same way after that. One’s first experience of a job title becomming redundant. From the occasional comment dropped our way I think teachers were also pleased to see the back of him.

    I remember buying 2000AD a few times and amazed to learn you are behind all that. Well done!

    • Hi, Gill,

      Thanks so much for your post. Fascinating information on this extraordinary character. Since my original post I’ve heard from another Birkfield old boy that later Solomon returned to Ipswich as a lay teacher and then once again suddenly left “under a cloud”. It’s astonishing how abuse could be tolerated in this way. That’s three times at least. This makes me think it wasn’t so much about turning a blind eye, as an unspoken code where abuse was the norm – perhaps even a perk of the job – and accepted, as long as you didn’t get caught. I passed St. Joseph’s Birkfield a few months back and it’s now run by lay teachers but the noticeboard proudly announces it’s a school “in the La Sallian tradition”, acknowledging its past. Given that the La Salle name is sullied by so many recent court cases for violence and abuse, this means the hypocrisy is now being passed on to a new generation. It’s a pity as it was in many ways an excellent education and that’s how they get away with it, of course. I was always rather surprised Brian Eno – an Ipswich old boy, a year or two older than me – added La Salle to his name. Clearly his experience was rather different to mine.

  10. Hi Pat,
    Thanks for your reply and thoughts from the school days.
    Yes the caning of the whole school was rather funny as Soloman had to tick everyone’s name off and do this over several lunchtimes. He flagged towards the end and the queue outside his room was a source of amusement. I was there from1958 (at age 11) till 1963.

  11. Hi Pat,
    I am an old boy of St Joseph’s and quite surprised by comments about Br Soloman.
    I attended an old boys meeting earlier in the year and joked at how Br Soloman caned the whole school due to bad behavior on sports day. (lead balloon there) !
    Br Soloman was my form tutor and I was impressed with him and even more so at music lessons when he played the piano for us.
    He sowed the seed of a love of classical music. Also Mr Krieski who encouraged me to follow a career in art and drawing and I am grateful for that.
    I would point out that I was a day-boy and as such distant to in-house goings on, though sudden departure of Br Soloman and a few boys was muttered.
    So sorry to hear all this grief that has been born by classmates.
    AD2000 a great success good on you.

    • Thanks, Doug, great to hear from you.

      Yes, my experience was similar to yours. I was a day boy,too, so was relatively safe. And I undoubtedly owe my love of classical music to Brother Solomon. He held music lessons with a difference: entire lessons spent listening to symphonies with Solomon explaining the composer’s thinking. He also brought brilliant Peter Katin composer to the school – doubtless you went to some of those amazing concerts.

      I didn’t know he once caned the entire school – wow!

      I heard recently from another old boy that Solomon came back as a lay teacher in the 80s and the same thing happened again and he had to leave under a cloud.

      I had the same art teacher Mr Krieski – he was brilliant, but I lacked the artistic skill to take advantage of his genius.


  12. Hi Pat.

    I have been a fan for years and been to a number of talks of yours. Really enjoy both.

    I have been loving the blog and only recently realised that we are both ex St Joes. I was there until 1985 as a boarder.

    I have always enjoyed the Nemesis storyline so was surprised to see that Brother Solomon (who was a housemaster when I was there under his civilian name Mike Mercado) was a kind of inspiration for Torquemada. He was suffice it to say – far from a nice man. He got ‘moved in a hurry’ after another boy made an allegation against him (or so that was the talk/gossip in the house at the time).

    I understand from what he told us back then that he was connected to a charity in Sri Lanka that also had Arthur C Clarke as a patron / helper. (?) To be honest I am not sure how true that was as it was he who told us (and he seemed to be a little bit full of outlandish stories).

    Anyway. To end a horrible story with a better note I am now a Detective Constable on a squad that deals with sexual offences against children.

    It’s a funny old world.


    PS I really loved the library talk you gave a couple of years ago – any chance of some more?

    • Thanks for your comments, Tony. What a monster Solomon was!

      So far no plans for more library talks but am always open to invites.

      Have emailed you privately with more re: St Joseph’s.

  13. Hi Pat,

    Big fan of your work, obviously. I’m actually working on putting together a small press anthology of World War i stories – hopefully stories that give a bit of a more all round perspective – women’s perspective, different countries, colonies etc. I wonder if I could do an interview with you for print about your interest and approach to the Great War. An email interview would be great. Thanks for your consideration.


  14. Hi Pat,

    Been a fan since my old man bought me the 2000AD 1981 annual for Christmas. Blew my 9 year old mind and have enjoyed your work immensely through the years.
    I’d just like to say that since moving to France seven years ago it has been a joy to read all the Requiem Chevalier Vampire series. Helped me learn French!

    Keep on keeping on, Sir!

  15. Hi Pat, sorry to trouble you, your old friend Martin Barker suggested I drop you a line. I’m writing something about the impact WWII had on impressionable minds during the punk period (don’t worry, I’m not about to make any assertions about Judge Dredd…). However, I am interested in the way that Action had lots of problems around censorship at the same time as the rise of punk, and also the fact that there are mentions of the ‘punk attitude’ at the comic. If you would be prepared to look over what I’ve written (it’s very short as part of a longer piece) and possibly answer a couple of questions, just to make sure I’m not making incorrect assumptions, I’d be very grateful.

  16. Dear Pat,

    I am a fan of your work! Unfortunately, only few comics writen by you were released in my country (Brazil, by the way): Marshall Law (the first mini-series), Slaine (The Horned God saga), Punisher 2099 and the awesome Metalzoic. Hope the brazilian publishers fix it soon!

    Can we expect some new stories of Marshall Law in the near future?


  17. Hi Pat,
    Apologies for the very public nature of this invite, but it seemed like the best way of contacting you. I am the head of the History department at Plymouth University and I am in the process of organising a series of events to commemorate the centennial of the outbreak of the Great War next year. I grew up reading ‘Charley’s War’, indeed, you signed one of the original Titan books for me in Belfast during the ‘Crisis’ tour many years ago, and ‘Charley’s War’ is what sparked my interest in the Great War and history more generally. I am keen that the anniversary of 1914 is not subsumed by jingoism and I am hoping that the events at Plymouth can act as a corrective to any ‘celebrations’ of the conflict. With this in mind, I would like to invite you to speak at a public event next October/November. I was thinking of something along the lines of ‘in conversation with’, where you and I discuss ‘CW’ and you take questions from an audience. We have a gallery space and my colleague curating this will be seeking permission to display some of Joe Colquhoun’s artwork as part of a broader exhibition. We are also hoping to show some of the silent war movies if the 1920s (‘Westfront’, ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ and ‘The Grand Parade), and have talks about and readings from literature from the period, however, I envisage your presence as the centrepiece of all of these events
    I do hope that you will be able to take up this offer.
    With very best wishes,
    Simon Topping

  18. Hi Pat,
    I am currently savouring the new Marshal Law collection which recently arrived in the post. Its as fantastic, hilarious, outrageous and shocking to read now as I remember when reading the original issues. Its a gorgeous volume too and I sincerely hope you and Kevin are getting a fair share of royalties for this lunatic work.
    Also want to say I thoroughly enjoyed the recent return of Bill Savage in 2000 AD. Glad to see you’re being even more creative than ever!
    Looking forward to lots more thrills.
    Andrew Judge

  19. Hi, I’ve been a massive fan of 2000ad since I was a kid and it was 2000ad that got me into comics. I’ve wanted to meet you for a long time but havn’t seen you at any of the uk cons… I was wondering if you were doing any signing sessions in the UK in the future?

    thanks and sorry for troubling you..


  20. Hi Pat,
    Thanks for getting back to me, appreciate your time. I’ve found the relevant Heavy Metal Magazines so thanks for that and I’ve also found the Requiem web site “Reserrection – The Evil Nest” where I’ve put in a request for the Claudia stories to be collected into English Grafic Novels, here’s hoping.
    Many thanks again and further hopes for more adventures for both Requiem and Claudia.

  21. Hi Pat,
    I appreciate your probably very busy but a quick reply to my earlier e-mail would mean a lot to me (life long fan).
    Many thanks

    • Hi, Brian. I thought I had replied. There’s the Heavy Metal magazine editions of Claudia out in English. It’s much broader than Requiem so it may not be quite to your taste.

      The more French books in English, though, the better!

  22. Hello Pat, Big fans of your work here… Would it at all be possible to interview you by email or message for our followers, I’m sure it would be very interesting and We recently interviewed John Wagner who said glowing things about you so would make a great follow up article?
    Team BGCP

  23. Dear Pat,
    Having recently read your Requiem: Vampire Knight books, which were wonderfully un-pc, I came across references to the Claudia spin offs. Can you tell me when these are likely to be translated into English?
    I’d be interested in knowing what got you involved in the French comics scene too, which I didn’t know existed to be honest until I saw your name attached. I’ve followed your name from 2000AD to Crisis and the died to early Toxic, and it’s always stood for quality so I knew Requiem would be a safe bet when I bought it blind off Amazon.
    It’s since led me to “Cinebook” and their English translations of French titles like Aldebaran, Orbital and The Chimpanzee Complex. Their French science fiction style is very different to ours, refreshingly simple compared to say 2000AD. My only criticism is the publication rate, which is in the year range per issue which when you consider the voracious appetite and turn around of say 2000AD again, is frustrating, even considering translation issues.
    Anyway, I hope Cinebook flourishes and opens the door to other translations from around the world (I’m still waiting for English versions of Moebius’s work). Should you know any web sites about such titles I’d be obliged as long as the web pages are in English!

  24. Hi, Pat. I hope this message finds you well.

    Here are excerpts from a letter I sent recently to IDW (Idea & Design Works) Publisher and Editor-In-Chief, Chris Ryall . . .

    “Last year, I was thrilled to learn that your company was planning to publish new, original stories about Judge Dredd, since I’ve followed the character for many years in 2000 A.D. I’m glad it’s finally happening, and I’m pleased with the product thus far.

    “This leads me to an idea that’s been fermenting in my brain for quite a while.

    “When I think about Judge Dredd long enough, I’m reminded of another futuristic law-enforcer, also created by British talent, namely MARSHAL LAW. As you know, San Futuro’s top “hero-hunter” has been missing from the comic book landscape for far too long. Aside from a recent prose novel exploring Marshal Law’s origins, and, prior to that, an illustrated prose graphic album (published by Titan Books), this iconic anti-hero hasn’t been packaged in a traditional comic book format in nearly two decades!

    “Marshal Law (our tormented Joe Gilmore) should receive a high-profile re-introduction to today’s comic book audience. This would allow readers to once again enjoy such a compelling character and discover how much his story has resonated with people, including the current generation of comic book talent (Marshal Law has influenced such popular independent titles as The Boys and Butcher Baker: The Righteous Maker). I think IDW has the power to make that a reality.

    “I believe the best platform for this idea would be a crossover between Marshal Law and his classic meta-fictional rival, Judge Dredd. Mind you, it isn’t a new idea, as the two Joes did indeed meet once, but only on a single, black-and-white page in 2000 A.D., program 1280 (cover date: February 27, 2002). Considering that a full-length crossover story featuring these two characters was demanded highly among fans at one time, it never truly materialized. Sadly, the brief, almost unnoticeable scene in the aforementioned issue did not give their meeting its deserved emphasis. I’m sure it disappointed the majority of readers who waited so long to see it. Moreover, the number of North American readers who actually saw it or even knew it happened is negligible, since 2000 A.D. is so rare in these parts.

    “Now that IDW is publishing original Dredd stories for a North American audience (and the U.K. market, too, right?), it would make perfect sense to also publish the long-awaited, real Judge Dredd/Marshal Law crossover event. And, more importantly, to do it right! I think you should approach Marshal Law’s creators, Pat Mills and Kevin O’Neill, and ask them to help IDW capitalize on the opportunity that Rebellion U.K. missed by bringing this awesome project to life.

    “Being an under-utilized artist, lately, Kevin O’Neill could illustrate both the covers and the interiors for this book, naturally, since Marshal Law is his baby and he has extensive experience drawing Judge Dredd, as well. In addition, writer Pat Mills is not only Marshal Law’s other ‘parent’, but he also participated in the creation and development of Judge Dredd (alongside writer John Wagner). So, needless to say, both creators are intimately familiar with both of these legendary super-lawmen.

    “To enhance the appeal of this historic publication – especially for die-hard fans – you could hire Judge Dredd co-creator Carlos Ezquerra (one of the most prolific artists in the comic book industry) to supply cover art for alternate editions. Another candidate for variant cover artist would be Simon Bisley. Imagine the intensity that his painting skills could bring to the alternate editions of each issue! ‘The Biz’ is known for his lavish, energetic, Frazetta-on-acid renditions of Judge Dredd throughout the decades, but he has yet to try his hand at Marshal Law. It would be very interesting to behold his interpretation of the latter. I think it would floor anyone who looks at it!

    “Whether these two, grim, Officers of the Law cross paths in a deluxe-format, extra-length book, or in a limited series (the more issues, the better), readers will surely clamor for this special publishing endeavor. Hopefully, it will return Marshal Law to the spotlight he so richly deserves! If it sells well enough, perhaps Mills & O’Neill can be persuaded to deliver more new Marshal Law material for IDW on at least a semi-regular basis in the foreseeable future.”

    Wow. I’m glad you got this far. Anyway, here is IDW’s reply . . .

    “It’s a great idea–we love Marshal Law here, and tried to get the rights to it before. Worth reaching out to Pat, definitely.”

    What an amazing contrast in length!

    So, I decided to contact you directly, myself. I just wanted to let you know.

    I hope this inspires you.

    • Hi, Steven,

      What an interesting thought and thanks so much for lobbying on our behalf.

      In fact, DC have picked up Marshal Law and the collected edition goes out in April. Although we currently have no plans for origination.

      In theory, there’s no reason why it wouldn’t still work with DC, although in practice there would be a load of people to persuade for it to come to fruition.

      But I will certainly pass your thoughts onto Kevin.

      Many thanks for your support.

      • You’re most welcome, Pat. And thank you for enriching my life with your wonderful characters and provocative stories over the years. I’d help your cause, anytime.

        I wanted to attach a picture file to my original message to you, but I don’t see an option for that in this blog-post format. Is there a way I can send you the image, or somehow post it here so that other readers can enjoy it, too? I think you’ll get a real kick out of it!

        Thanks also for letting Kevin know about this. I wish I could know his reaction to these ideas.
        I hope he’ll be enthused!

  25. Hi Pat. When we were very young my brother and i used to go to this little paper shop, the type that just doesn’t exist any more, and buy Toxic! In part It inspired him to eventually conquer his fears and insecurities and be an artist. It was massively formative and we both treasure our original copies we bought. I still can’t fathom why this little newsagent in clacton-on-sea stocked Toxic and 2000AD but it changed us both – him as an artist and me as an author.

  26. Hi Pat
    Thanks a lot for that, like I say, your meticulous research does you credit, looks like a trip for me to Colindale or Public Record Office, which I’d guess is where you found those eye-witness reports! I suppose I haven’t kept across the world of graphic novels for a while now, but I still revisit my Judge Dredd and Charley’s War books now and again, to marvel at the art work, the stories which kept me gripped all those years ago and the fact that, particularly with 2000AD, some things just seem to be coming into reality – the Smokatorium anyone?!! It’ll be here sooner than what we think….I remember when the Monocled Mutineer came on the telly… I’d got my basic lesson from Charley’s War. Looking forward to 2017 when the files should be released, if they choose to release them. Thanks for your help Pat, and thanks for the education and lifelong interest in WW1. Haven’t made it to the Battlefields yet, but I will get there some day…
    Very best wishes

  27. Hello Pat

    Really glad to have found your blog! I’ve been re-reading Charley’s War in the bound editions, it was one of the stories that I was gripped by when I was growing up. Glad to refresh my memory with the superb stories and Joe’s amazing artwork. I especially enjoy reading your notes at the back of the books. I’m looking at putting together something about the First World war for work, and one story has fascinated me but I can’t find anything out about it on the internet….and I know that it must be true because of your impeccable research! How did you find out about the body of a woolly mammoth that was unearthed during the Messines explosion in 1917?

    Best wishes

    • Hi, Jeremy,

      It came up in the eye-witness accounts of the explosion. A lot of these things don’t seem to be on the internet. I recall reading that the British built this astonishing, hugely expensive tunneling machine – a massive, science fiction monster. The idea was it would create tunnels under the trenches and victory would be achieved. Unfortunately it started work, got stuck in the mud, malfunctioned, they couldn’t get it out again, and was buried.

      I recall this account vividly and II thought about featuring it in another story, so hunted and hunted to find it on the internet – no luck. I suspect the reason is it was so embarrassing for the British army!

  28. Hi Pat

    Im 30 years old and i randomly read 2000ad as child, the first time i picked it up was during the lord of misrule saga, sadly i lost all interest in comics until i was 25 when circumstance lead me to be renting a room in a house with a random stranger id never met, luckly for me he was a very cool guy and it seemed strange that we happened to have so much in commen! It was this that lead to him digging out his old progs and giving me various slaine sagas as he felt i would enjoy them. it was a real inspiration to read them and finally i had found something i could truely relate to.
    It made me chuckle to myself when i recently reread the lord of misrule saga again and at the end nest says that she had put a spell on the readers of the saga, thats when i realised the true impact it must have had on me when i first read it as a child and i hadn’t even realised!

    Peace to you Mr Mills


  29. Dear Mr. Mills,

    I was never able to get my hands on much Judge Dredd during my teen years, and what I did get was always so deep in continuity that I had missed out on that I often felt lost. That said, I am thoroughly enjoying the complete case files. This is exactly what I wanted. But one question: How did you not sue the hell out of Michael Crichton?? I’m sure that’s a question you must have gotten countless times (unless I have my dates screwed up). I am shocked. Still, I’m loving reading Judge Dredd from the beginning. Thanks.

    – Drew

    • Hi, Drew,

      This is what I said in Comic Heroes recently… Many readers have asked me about the similarity between my theme park (appearing in 2000AD in 1978) and Jurassic Park, where dinosaurs are also reanimated and kept in a theme park. In fact, I was inspired by a story in The Year’s Best Science Fiction No 8, edited by Harry Harrison and Brian Aldiss (1976). It was entitled Paleontology: An Experimental Science and written by Robert R. Olsen. It’s a very funny tale that describes in some detail how a T rex is recreated from a dna sample and mentions the rex was kept in San Diego zoo. So I thought – why not a theme park?

  30. Hello, I just stumbled on your blog while searching for St Joseph’s College, Ipswich. My husband just this year reported his experiences (from 1967 – 70) to the Suffolk police. It is very hard to find any information on this school as we live in Australia. Thank you for writing about your experiences and enlightening us a little more. Do you know of a group, individuals or organisation that could help shed more light on this school? His experiences there and in subsequent schools in Australia certainly coloured his view of society. Incidentally, he is very impressed to discover your involvement in 2000AD as he was an avid fan in the 80s.

    • Hello, Marta, thanks so much for getting in touch. I still live fairly near Suffolk, but I’ve had the same problem myself – I regularly look for more information on St J’s, so far with limited success. I found the obituary on Brother James by typing in his name. At one stage, I left requests for information on the school page of Friends Reunited, asking about Brother James and also the (now deceased) school chaplain who regularly took us schoolboys out on his yacht, but I t drew a blank. Today, Friends Reunited isn’t as open to such queries, although there might be some info on it, but I wonder if there is another forum somewhere. There is MACSAS , a UK clerical survivors group but that feels too broad to me and it’s also rather pro-church, seeking “reconciliation” – which is not what i have in mind! I know other old boys of a different religious teaching order were successful in exposing their criminal teachers – according to a recent BBCTV documentary. The old boys had originally got in touch with each other and swapped experiences via the internet, but it didn’t say how it all began. Maybe it needs a dedicated site. A friend of mine who was a counsellor told me back in the 1990s that he had a number of St J’s pupils sent to him for counselling. His advice to the parents was always for the boys to leave the school. Hopefully it’s different now. The Catholic Diocese for East Anglia will respond if you pass them any complaints. But all they told me was that the Church has cleaned up its act now and any allegations would be passed onto the police. I got the feeling from talking to another source that the Suffolk police are pro-active on these matters. Sorry I can’t be of more help and lots of luck with your endeavours. It’s time more of these criminals were brought to justice.

      • Hi Pat,
        I was at St Joe’s for many years. I remember them , Bros Cecil, James, Hugh, Damien, Owen, Gerard, Soloman, Denis Robert, Gregory, Benet, Cuthman, Peter, Terrence and others. They seemed all to have some sort of attitude or psychological problem or were perverts. Having spoken to others over the years about this it does seem that all the Del a Salle Schools and Catholic Schools were all the same. I am quite sure all the stories are pretty much true. The film Catholic Boys captures it pretty well. I’m in contact with a number of people from the 60s and early 70s from St Joe’s, I think some have tried to give details to the police. Interestingly and rather oddly one of the number listed above is still around and his partner (female) works for the police in relation to child abuse. Talk about poacher turned game-keeper! He waxes lyrical now about abuse saying ‘it only takes good men to do nothing etc etc’. He knew what was going on when he was at St Joe’s and did nothing. The pious hypocrite.

      • Hi, Martin,

        Great to hear from you and thank you for making some truly excellent observations. As you say, the film Catholic Boys captures the tone of St J’s very well. Although I think it was actually worse in my time there in the 1960s.

        As you say, hypocrisy is the thing that bothers us. Thus, I once looked up Brother James on the web. At first I thought it was a truly monstrous De La Salle headmaster named Brother James currently doing a long prison stretch for his crimes. But he turned out to be a different De La Salle Brother. The Brother James from St J’s has died and was described in his obituary as a shy and timid character. This is far from the truth and whoever wrote that obituary must have known it. I witnessed him explode with demented rage and violence when he attacked a classmate and his psychotic behavior still preys on my mind to this day. But despite his reputation for violence and rage, he was also a great maths teacher who knew how to reach kids like me who were hopeless at the subject.

        Similarly, Brother Solomon who – confirmed by the tragic poetry of one his victims at Beulah Hill – abused many children. Yet I know I owe my deep love of classical music to him. He, too, is dead.

        And I think their excellence as teachers combined with their perversions sets up confusion and cognitive dissonance in many pupils who thus try and block it from their minds, and that’s how so many Brothers have largely got away their crimes.

        I do believe St J’s and the Order itself both owe Survivors a collective apology. It’s no good putting the blame on individual Brothers – there are just too many of them to use the ‘one rotten apple’ defence. It’s the College and the Order itself that is clearly responsible. Thus Brother Solomon was suddenly transferred from Birkfield because of abuse (and given a glowing tribute by Brother James in the school magazine), then sacked from Beulah Hill and returned – in the 1980s – to Birkfield as a lay teacher. Once again he was dismissed following allegations of abuse – but he should never have been reinstated.

        One thing I find offensive is the caption on the school gates of St J’s today: “In the Lasallian tradition”. Although the College today seems to have distanced itself from the Brothers per se, nevertheless the uniforms, the motto, the history, the traditions, and the legacy are still proudly confirmed in those words. According to the College’s website, the caption pertains – with some dexterous semantics – to St Jean Baptise de La Salle, but significantly not to the Order of Brothers he founded. Whatever the intention, in practice, “In the Lasallian tradition” means the promise of an excellent Christian education but also that it has not disassociated itself from the De La Salle Brothers. So for many old boys up to relatively recent times those words stand for something terrible and dark. Only an acknowledgement of this really makes that caption acceptable in today’s world.

        Thus I don’t agree with one famous St J’s old boy, who told me recently how different the school is today: it’s unisex, the Brothers have gone, and it’s properly run etc. I’m sure he is right but I took the subtext of his comments to be that the past is the past and everyone really needs to forget about it and move on. But in my opinion, closure is not possible until the successors to the Brothers have acknowledged what happened or until justice is done.

        So I wish our fellow old boys well in pursuing the Brothers responsible for harming them before they are too old and infirm to be charged. I have a St. J’s old boy police detective contact who specializes in investigating crimes of this nature and it’s possible he might be able to help or point your contacts in the right direction. If that’s any help, do ask them to write to me and I’ll put them in touch with him.

    • Unfortunately I have only just ‘discovered’ this thread. I was a boarder at St. Josephs from 1972-1977.
      if you are still looking for information, feel free to contact me.

  31. Hello Pat Mills! my name is Michael McDonagh. I was at St Josephs at the same time as you! I live near Vancouver Canada. I remember Bro Solomon (called him Uncle) we hated that man. He used to say “this is going to hurt me more than you, bend over” as he beat the crap out of me with a big running shoe. I remember he had a wooden podium that he used to stand on to address us and read out the list of names that he wanted to punish. Maybe we can meet one day if you are ever in Vancouver and exchange stories.
    Regards, Michael McDonagh

    • Thanks for writing . That man was such a monster. We were sure he was sent to some De La Salle reformatory in Jersey, but then he suddenly turned up at St. Joseph’s Beulah Hill. One old boy there related how after enduring some truly terrible attacks by Solomon he phoned his dad from a public phone box. His dad told him to wait there, drove down and gave him the worst beating of his life for “lying about the Brothers”. I do think the De La Salle order owes all of us a public apology for their crimes which were not limited to Solomon…But that kind of humility would be far too Christian for them… Instead they still arrogantly proclaim on their websites that they are bringing spiritual values to children today. I don’t think yours or mine or any other kid back then had very spiritual experiences at their hands. Even though we did have to write JMJ (Jesus, Mary and Joseph) in the margin of every page of our exercise books!

      Yes, if I’m in Vancouver I will definitely give you a shout. It would be great to swap stories!

    • Yes. I remember the swinging monk. He had us all square bashing around the playground. He was terrifying. Even arranged whole year group have a police line up. Left suddenly after calling Br Cuthman a ……bastard on a ferry. That is just one of the Brothers!
      But who remembers Br Rogation. A truly genuine, holy man. The only one of them I think.
      Br Solomon was a great friend of Ken Mackintosh.

    • Hi Pat. I came across your blog as I am an ex St J’s lad from in the early 80s when Mike Mercado (Bro Solomon) returned. I will caveat this message with the fact I know people with children there now, and the school is a far cry from the days of the De Le Salle brothers.
      The dark cloud that Mercardo left under the second time is not such a cloud. I can explain exactly what happened from the short time I boarded there. I used to walk his Alsatian as the dog only seemed to like a couple of people. Mercado made some suggestive comments whenever I returned the dog. luckily I was strong and pretty much told him I would stab him or bring my 6’6″ dad in if he ever tried it on, so he left me to deliver the dog to his office, making sure he was elsewhere after that conversation. One of the lads in my year confided in me that Mercado had touched him inappropriately, so we set up a sting. He used to make suggestive comments to this lad every night so we recorded Mercado (on one of those old clunk click tape recorders) asking the lad what he was doing and whether he was touching himself, etc. I took the tape to Brother Damien (who was head master at the time), and played it to him. I told him I had a copy (total bullshit) and he asked me to not say anything to my dad, leave it with him and he would deal with it. Mercado was gone by the end of the year and I enjoyed being able to do what I wanted, playing truant, turning up when I wanted for the last year I was there. Not the greatest end to an expensive education, but I felt I had at least contributed to getting rid of this paedophile. At that age I was rebellious and took full advantage of Brother Damien’s sudden change from caning me to letting me do what I wanted.
      It’s probably made me the strong character I am now so I was lucky. I pity anyone who has not dealt with it as well as it could have been so different.

      • Hi there. Have just stumbled across this blog, drawn to it by a Guardian story I read this morning about child abuse in a Suffolk school, which I initially thought referred to St Jo’s but I then realised was about another Catholic order.

        Just a quick comment of my own regarding St Joseph’s, Birkfield, and also Oak Hill, the prep school just down the road. I was a pupil at both between 1967 and 1974, when I was expelled mid-way through the year. As I was mid-way through my lower sixth, they allowed me to complete my studies at St Peter’s, in Bournemouth.

        Many of the Brothers’ names mentioned in other posts are familiar to me and other boys used to talk about them as “homos” at the time, but I have no proof of this.

        In my case, I was sexually abused by Brother Kevin, a diminutive shit who was at OakHill when I started there before transferring to Birkfield later in that year. My abuse began while I was at the prep school. Kevin was in charge of the boarders and used to summon me, as well as other boys, to his bedroom after lights out.

        After he moved to Birkfield, Kevin used to come down to Oak Hill on Sundays, seek me out and try to abuse me in the biology rooms. The abuse continued when I moved to Birkfield myself and during my first year there, during which time I was a boarder in one of the dormitories in the so-called 55 Wing. Kevin, whose room looked out on one of the dormitories, continued in a similar vein as before, summoning me and others to his room after lights out.

        He was transferred to France at the end of that school year (1968) but returned to St Peter’s, where I re-encountered him after my expulsion from St Jo’s. Inexplicably, he was once again in charge of the junior boarders. By then, I was too old for him, so was left in peace. I have no doubt whatsoever that he continued to abuse kids there. Sickeningly, the young boarders’ section included kids who wee six or seven years old.

        About 20 years ago, I reported my abuser to the police in London and he was briefly detained, made a partial admission and was released on bail pending further inquiries. The next time he was interviewed he showed up with a solicitor and denied everything. He was never charged.

        Simultaneously, I sued the Order in 1996 and after six years they settled out of court in return for me signing a confidentiality agreement which I suppose I’m breaking today. The settlement just about paid for seven years of therapy. However, the Order refused to offer an apology because to do so would imply that they were culpable. Even today, 15 years later, that refusal to admit what happened and apologise for it – despite paying me compensation – makes me feel incredibly angry.

        I remember I went up to Oxford in the mid-90s to confront the order at its “Mother House”: they didn’t seem remotely surprised that Kevin was in the frame as a sex abuser. I mentioned another brother, (AKA Squealer) who I was fairly certain had abused children, although I did not have 100% definitive proof. They effectively admitted he too had been an abuser and it was suggested to me that I should consider whether giving his name to the police would be worthwhile as he now had dementia. I did name him to police but nothing happened to him either.

        While I was at St Peter’s, there was another Brother – Cyril – who was in charge of the middle year boarders (3rd and 4th year). He too was talked of as an abuser by some pupils, although I did not have any personal knowledge of this. Cyril became head teacher at another school in Southsea, was subsequently charged and cleared of sex abuse.

        Three years ago I was contacted by police in Dorset who had received another complaint of abuse at the hands of Brother Kevin by a pupil at St Peter’s. Dorset police managed to track down my name and other details from the 90s and I went through the another set of interviews, filmed this time, and waited several months before the CPS decided not to go ahead with a prosecution, again. My evidence and that of the other person were not considered credible enough.

        I’m aware of several other kids who were abused during my time there, also by Brother Kevin. I once met up with one of them many years later. He and another lad were abused a year or so before me and I still remember him telling me that when Kevin started on me he felt jealous a being supplanted by someone else. There was also talk about several other Brothers being abusers while I was at Birkfield, including Squealer, but I have no personal evidence of that. It does make me wonder whether they had their own little circles and agreed not to poach kids from each other.

        Almost 50 years later, the abuse still affects me. My entire personality has been affected by the experience and I know I will never be free of what happened. But I’m glad others are talking about it publicly here and in one or two other corners of the Web. It’s about time the Order was forced to face up to what so many of its members were doing. It should make a public apology. I would also like to all the abusers brought to trial. I’d be happy to work with anyone here to make sure that happens.

      • Just a quick note to say thanks so much for your comment – I applaud your bravery in dealing with these scum. I will write a longer reply shortly.

      • Hi NW1,

        I’m just about to post a new In The La Sallian Tradition (3) in response to your comments about St J’s and Brother Kevin. I hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to add your comment at the bottom of my new post so that other readers can see the context. Best, Pat

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