Jill Dudley’s photos tell a deceptive story. A former debutante and distant relative of post-war British prime minister Clement Attlee, she appears the epitome of a contented Sixties upper middle-class housewife and mother. She married John Lewis a salesman who was killed in a car crash just three weeks after the birth of twin boys Alex and Marcus.
This event left Jill a young widow. The boys began growing up in a beautiful Elizabethan home in Sussex. Life seemed idylic. But hard though it is to believe, their seemingly loving mother was nothing of the sort. Monstrously, she was sexually abusing her little boys.
After their father’s death, Jill re-married accountant Jack Dudley, a fearsome, difficult man more than 20 years her senior and had two more children Oliver and Amanda who were favoured over the twins who were forced to sleep in a garden shed.
Jack was a very frightening man. You did not challenge him, absolutely not,’ says Alex.
‘You stood up when he came into the room and you called him “Sir”. We weren’t allowed in his quarters in the house, which were extensive, or to speak to him without a good reason.
‘We were obedient. We did exactly as we were told. Every night we’d go into his study, shake his hand and say: “Goodnight, Sir.”
Initially the boys were sent to a private prep school, but when it was discovered that they were severely dyslexic – or ‘stupid’, as Jack preferred to say – they were dumped in a comprehensive, where they were horribly bullied. At home, they were treated like servants.
Alex and Marcus wish they could say their mother had been nothing worse than naive in leaving her young sons (one at a time, never together) overnight with male friends who sexually abused them.
She would drop them off at a house and pick them up the next morning.
‘Without a doubt our mother knew exactly what she was doing. She was in no way naive – she was far too devious and clever,’ says Marcus.
‘She was streetwise and never let anyone get one over her. What was she getting out of it? Was she being paid? We have no idea.’ It seems that their stepfather had no idea that this abuse was taking place.
Alex’s memory of the abuse was triggered by a vivid memory as he was driving past a flat he recognised in London’s Gloucester Road. It had belonged to one of Jill’s female friends.
Aged 12, he and Alex had been recruited to serve drinks and canapes to guests at a party and Marcus remembered coming face to face with one of his abusers.
Along with traumatic memories, there were other disturbing discoveries. The brothers found out that their ‘quiet, decent, nervous father’ had crashed his car driving one of the twins home from hospital after being told he might not be the boys’ father. It was Jill’s own brother who had warned John Lewis.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2355135/Our-depraved-mother-On-surface-respectable-debutante-related-Clement-Attlee-But-twin-sons-reveal-victims-sexual-abuse.html Thanks to Alex and Marcus Lewis for their ‘Lightwork‘ in proving that there is recovery and hope for children who have had a rotten start.