The memory of his eight-year-old twin brother screaming for him when they were in a home run by the Salvation Army has caused a witness at a child sex abuse inquiry to break down.
JF, who is now 75, was giving evidence to the royal commission examining how the Salvation Army dealt with abuse victims who complained of their treatment in homes in NSW and Queensland.
JF and his two brothers, one his twin, were placed in Indooroopilly Boys Home Queensland in 1948 when their father shot and killed their mother.
On Thursday he told how he bled for days when one officer at the home grabbed him, “choked” him and raped him.
“I complained to the manager of the home who gave me a few whacks of the cane and told me to bugger off”.
JF also told how when he complained of a pain in the side during gym training he was accused of lying. The Salvation Army officer whose name he could not recall “pulled me in and kneed me in the stomach”. JF passed out and spent three weeks in hospital with a burst appendix.
He also told the commission how one officer took boys into his room and JF would hear them crying.
It was when he was telling how he heard his twin brother “screaming for me” that he broke down.
Simeon Beckett, counsel for the commission, read JF’s statement for him.
In it JF said he ran into a locker room where he saw an officer beating his brother. JF said he attacked the officer with “his hands and fists” “We didn’t get into trouble for that, he said and added “you never knew what was going to happen”.
One day when he came home from school his twin brother was gone.
“I didn’t know he was going and I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye.” JF did not see him again for six years.
“It was very difficult to deal with and still upsets me today” said JF.
Mr Beckett said the commission would be presented with evidence indicating JF’s later account of the abuse was doubted by the Salvation Army when it was first put to them.