Les Cummings

Age 16 +
25 July 2013
336 pages


Les Cummings was three when he was sent to the Children's Cottage Homes in Portsmouth. A traumatised little boy, he dreamed his mother would come back for him. She never did. Instead he fell victim to the worst abusers and a system that didn't care.

Conditions at the home were harsh, the children poorly fed and hungry, dressed in stained second-hand clothes. But worse than that was the violence from some of the staff - Les was frequently punched, kicked and locked in the cellar as punishment. Children were dragged out of bed at night to be abused. Some simply disappeared. At the age of seven Les was sent to live with foster parents where for over two years he was beaten, starved and sexually abused. He stole food from dustbins to survive and became so disturbed he was sent back to the harsh regime of the children's home. He was fostered again as a teen, to another abuser.

Writing with complete honesty, Les describes how he came to terms with the terrible legacy of his childhood and how, today, he is fighting for justice for all victims of the Children's Cottage Homes.