A former British military commander has been accused of molesting multiple children at a school for underprivileged youths.

Viscount Slim fought in both world wars and became famous after restoring morale to the defeated soldiers of the Fourteenth Army, the so-called “Forgotten Army”, and leading them to victory against the Japanese forces in Burma. He was labelled “the finest general World War II produced” by Lord Mountbatten.

His alleged abuse occurred while he was serving in Australia as Governor-General, a Queen’s representative, from 1953 to 1960. The claims arose during an action brought by 65 victims of alleged abuse at Fairbridge Farm School in rural New South Wales.

One former student, who was formerly managing director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the nation’s public broadcaster, has written a book about the school and said he was aware of two other boys who claimed they were molested by Viscount Slim.

Another former student, who was sent to the school for mostly British child migrants, when he was eight-years-old, told ABC news “[The abuse] never left me and it can’t leave me”.

He added; “I don’t care how brilliant a man he might have been in the military, if he abused children the way I was abused and others, I don’t think people like that have the right to continue … in terms of peerage that goes on from family to family to family. I think it’s outrageous.” The former student is seeking to have Viscount Slim, who died in 1970, stripped of his peerage.

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