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wilkokcl

Universities during and after The War

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wilkokcl

Did universities continue to operate during 1914-18, assuming that the majority of students were off fighting rather than studying? And what happened in 1919: were places massively oversubscribed with those who would have gone 1914-18, or was there a gap due to so many deaths from that age group?

Were there any special provisions, concessions, bursaries or scholarships for those who had served and then wanted to study after 1919?

Many thanks,

Mark

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Moonraker

During the war some of the Oxford colleges were taken over by the army.

Robert Graves in chapter XXIII of "Goodbye to all That" describes being sent to a hospital at Somerville College and then applying to become an instructor at one of the officer-cadet battalions quartered in the men's colleges. The chapter outlines life in Oxford during wartime, and Graves says there were not more than 150 undergraduates there, mostly Rhodes scholars, Indians and the unfit. A tutor at St John's was a corporal in the General Reserve and so when in uniform had to salute Graves; after the war he became Graves' moral tutor

Chapter XXVII describes Oxford in late 1919. "The University was very quiet. The returned soldiers had little temptation to rag about. But ex-officers, including "even a one-armed twenty-five-year-old brigadier", insisted on their rights and at St John's formed a Soviet, demanding that the catering system be revised. Graves was studying there on a two-year course with a Government grant of £200 a year (increased by a children's allowance), and was excused the intermediate exam because of his war service.

Moonraker

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edwin astill

I think it was either Graves or someone else who noted that one chap, unable to make it into the army, acted as secretary for dozens of university clubs just to provide continuity until the boys came back.

Edwin

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Alan Tucker

Birmingham University became the 1st Southern General Hospital 1914-1918

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edwin astill
there were not more than 150 undergraduates there, mostly Rhodes scholars, Indians and the unfit.

And, or course, a few women. My Grandmother studied at University College Nottingham during the Great War. To her non-conformist parents disgust she wasted her education by marrying a soldier (bad) and a Catholic (worse) - one and the same man, by the way.

Edwin

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Kate Wills

I read somewhere that the post-war university intake was the brightest and best in living memory. There was an eagerness to learn, sense of purpose and a maturity that had not always been discernable amongst pre-war undergraduates.

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truthergw
Did universities continue to operate during 1914-18, assuming that the majority of students were off fighting rather than studying? And what happened in 1919: were places massively oversubscribed with those who would have gone 1914-18, or was there a gap due to so many deaths from that age group?

Were there any special provisions, concessions, bursaries or scholarships for those who had served and then wanted to study after 1919?

Many thanks,

Mark

Although numbers of students in universities in all the warring countries were greatly reduced, active research continued. Presumably faculty members past the age of enlisting or conscription.

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michaeldr

quote: "Were there any special provisions, concessions, bursaries or scholarships for those who had served and then wanted to study after 1919?"

Mark,

Sub-Lieutenant Lord Louis Mountbatten went to Cambridge for two terms in the autumn of 1919 as part of the Admiralty's policy of providing some general education for the 'war babies' who had gone to sea at a very early age. He was at Christ's and read Ethnology and the History of Geographic Discoveries.

Sorry that I don't have more on this scheme but it sounds as if it was for those to be retained in the service rather than for anyone who was to be demobbed. Two terms does not sound a lot but I suppose they found it better than nothing and a great change from active service

regards

Michael

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Borden Battery

The formation of the 196th Western Universities Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force in 1916 drew heavily from the engineering faculties and students of universities of Manitoba (A Coy), Saskatchewan (B Coy), Alberta (C Coy) and British Columbia (D Coy). In addition, this battalion also appears to have recruited men from the banking profession. There is a reference in the University of Saskatchewan Archives regarding the Faculty of Engineering basically shutting down.

Borden Battery

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wilkokcl

Thanks for all the replies to this thread. I'm still interested to know what happened in 1919 and whether special concessions or allowances were made for ex-soldiers wishing to study.

Much appreciated,

Mark

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Taiha

Canada's McGill University pretty much became an armed camp, much to the disgust of some:

From: Alelaide Yuill,

Granum, Alberta

June 14, 1916

Dear Sir,

I received your telegram saying my son L.S. Yuill had sailed for England with McGill Contingent my own telegram coming too late.

Stop him in England from going to front I absolutely refuse my consent. He’s my only living child I buried his father in January beside my eldest son.

Principal Peterson’s knight-hood will be stained with the blood of the poor youths entrusted to his care. He turned the University [McGill] into a military camp thus encouraging them to enlist. He gets the honor & glory; they death in the shambles.

Our Canada has only the population of London we are bearing an undue part of the burden of defense we are being drained of our best & brightest mere boys whose inexperience has been taken advantage of by the catchword ‘glory’.

Sweep our own Canada of Germans before sweeping Europe.

I’m teaching around them I know what dangerous determined crafty people they are. They boast they will soon arise & with the help of American Germans wipe us out here.

Petty politicians are protecting them for the sake of their votes, so many are naturalised. They are liberal in politics. They say all the armament and powder works in the US will soon be in their hands.

Our boys were sent to the front to be slaughtered with inadequate ammunition, while gas and heavy guns were used against them.

You men at head of affairs will have heavy accounting to answer if our children are wantonly slaughtered to further your ambition for name.

Return my son to Canada, don’t put him the only living thing I have, in the firing line, I can neither eat nor sleep nor teach, I will go mad if you don’t hear my prayer. He is 21, but you can underage if you care to do so.

Put him on the home defence, he is efficient well qualified to be an officer & fine looking and is six foot two, a target for sharp shooters.

I am sixty years of age, and he is my all. My husband went out of his mind --- being ruined this war, took 3 strokes & died.

My brother-in-law is H.C. Yuill, Med. Hat., probably the next senator for Alberta. He endorses my request.

In great agony,

Adelaide Yuill

Note: A. Yuill’s son, Lionel Shirley Yuill, was a law student at McGill.

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Taiha
Thanks for all the replies to this thread. I'm still interested to know what happened in 1919 and whether special concessions or allowances were made for ex-soldiers wishing to study.

Much appreciated,

Mark

Canada had the Khaki University in both wars. you can find some info (general) here. I'll see if I can dig up some non-online references (books, articles) later on (if you're interested):

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/ind...s=A1ARTA0004291

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bruce
Canada's McGill University pretty much became an armed camp, much to the disgust of some:

From: Alelaide Yuill,

Granum, Alberta

June 14, 1916

Dear Sir,

I received your telegram saying my son L.S. Yuill had sailed for England with McGill Contingent my own telegram coming too late.

Stop him in England from going to front I absolutely refuse my consent. He’s my only living child I buried his father in January beside my eldest son.

Principal Peterson’s knight-hood will be stained with the blood of the poor youths entrusted to his care. He turned the University [McGill] into a military camp thus encouraging them to enlist. He gets the honor & glory; they death in the shambles.

Our Canada has only the population of London we are bearing an undue part of the burden of defense we are being drained of our best & brightest mere boys whose inexperience has been taken advantage of by the catchword ‘glory’.

Sweep our own Canada of Germans before sweeping Europe.

I’m teaching around them I know what dangerous determined crafty people they are. They boast they will soon arise & with the help of American Germans wipe us out here.

Petty politicians are protecting them for the sake of their votes, so many are naturalised. They are liberal in politics. They say all the armament and powder works in the US will soon be in their hands.

Our boys were sent to the front to be slaughtered with inadequate ammunition, while gas and heavy guns were used against them.

You men at head of affairs will have heavy accounting to answer if our children are wantonly slaughtered to further your ambition for name.

Return my son to Canada, don’t put him the only living thing I have, in the firing line, I can neither eat nor sleep nor teach, I will go mad if you don’t hear my prayer. He is 21, but you can underage if you care to do so.

Put him on the home defence, he is efficient well qualified to be an officer & fine looking and is six foot two, a target for sharp shooters.

I am sixty years of age, and he is my all. My husband went out of his mind --- being ruined this war, took 3 strokes & died.

My brother-in-law is H.C. Yuill, Med. Hat., probably the next senator for Alberta. He endorses my request.

In great agony,

Adelaide Yuill

Note: A. Yuill’s son, Lionel Shirley Yuill, was a law student at McGill.

What happened to Lionel?

Bruce

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Taiha
What happened to Lionel?

Bruce

He served, was wounded, and survived:

Yuill, Lionel Henry

Age at enlistment: 21

Enlisted (Lieut) 24/2/15

16/6/15 11th Batt Shorncliffe, 17/7/15 Trans PPCLI in France, 22/4/16 Trans to 11th Res Batt to attend officer school, 7/6/16 joins 52nd Batt in field, (9?)10/6/16 wounded (GSW Thigh & Knee R. Leg, both feet), 6/4/17 Leave to Canada, 8/5/17 Transferred to Man Reg. (18th Res. Battalion) at Shorncliffe, 10/5/17 On Strength 18th Res Batt, 6/11/17 SoS and sent to Canada for Instructional duty with 16 Res Batt

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Potter

Looking at the History of the University of Sheffield, the first impact of the War was the enlisiting of students and some staff (initially into the Sheffield City Battalion, raised by the Vice-Chancellor, H.A.L. Fisher, for staff and students of the University and local professional men). Many were combed out and became officers in other units. The other impact was the drying up of further applicants for degrees places. The next phase was to decide what the University could do to aid the war effort. This, essentially, was:

1. Well-attended lectures by the Vice-Chancellor on the causes and issues of the War.

2. Voluntary work to support the wounded, eg making splints, crutches etc.

3. Using university accommodation for the housing for Belgian refugees.

4. The Chemistry Department producing large quantities of anaesthetics.

5. The Dept of Engineering organising men unfit for service to turn shells.

6. The same department producing precision gauges for munitions production.

7. Collaborating in ensuring that manufacturing companies in Sheffield were utilised for War production.

Phil

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Jack Sheldon

Of course, it was not just in Britain where pure research thrived during the Great War, One of the greatest intellectual feats of the 20th C was achieved in Berlin, during the first half of the war. Bedrich Hrozny, a brilliant linguist and philologist from Bohemia, demonstrated that the language behind Hittite cuneiform was of Indo-European origin. In November 1915 he presented preliminary results to the German Middle East Society in Berlin, then followed this up in 1917 with a work published in Leipzig, The Language of the Hittites, its Structure and Appertainance to the Group of Indo-European Languages . By the time this came out, he had been called up into the Austrian Army, but somehow managed to spend most of his time working on texts preserved in the Archeological Museum in Istanbul! He kept in touch with one of his professors during his military service and later stated that the hardest script he ever had to decipher was that of the old boy!

Jack

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Borden Battery

Nice one Jack. Thanks. Borden Battery

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