Lincoln soldier sues MoD over initiation ceremony


A soldier who was left partially blind after an initiation ceremony at an army barracks is suing the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for compensation.

Oliver Scudder, 20, from Lincoln, said he felt pressured into running down a corridor lined with comrades who kicked and punched him on the way.

The incident happened just nine days after he joined his regiment at Kendrew Barracks, Cottesmore, Rutland, in 2014.

The MoD said there was insufficient evidence for a criminal prosecution.

The prolonged attack in the ceremony – known as “running the gauntlet” – left Mr Scudder’s right eye so badly damaged he lost 90% of his vision and was no longer be able to serve in the military.

‘Immense’ pressure
As he ran down the corridor at the barracks on 10 December 2014, he tripped – or was tripped – falling to the floor.

He was kicked in the face and suffered a hole in the back of his right eye. By the time he sought medical attention the hole had healed and had left a scar.

His vision was so badly damaged it meant he could not continue with a career in the army.

The attack meant Mr Scudder was given a medical discharge from the Royal Anglian Regiment, and he left the army in May this year with a payout from the armed forces compensation scheme.

He has now asked solicitors Irwin Mitchell to pursue a civil case for compensation.

He said: “I felt I had no choice. I could see a guy who’d just been through it and he looked shaken up, but not badly hurt so I felt I had to go through with it.

“The pressure was immense and I feared the consequences if I said no.”

A spokesperson for the MoD said: “Initiation ceremonies are a form of bullying and are a breach of the Army’s values and standards.

“Anyone found to have fallen short of these standards will be dealt with appropriately up to and including dismissal from the Army.”

About the author

Olivia Wilson
By Olivia Wilson


Get in touch

Content and images available on this website is supplied by contributors. As such we do not hold or accept liability for the content, views or references used. For any complaints please contact Use of this website signifies your agreement to our terms of use. We do our best to ensure that all information on the Website is accurate. If you find any inaccurate information on the Website please us know by sending an email to and we will correct it, where we agree, as soon as practicable. We do not accept liability for any user-generated or user submitted content – if there are any copyright violations please notify us at – any media used will be removed providing proof of content ownership can be provided. For any DMCA requests under the digital millennium copyright act
Please contact: with the subject DMCA Request.