Glasgow University's Great War Project


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 6,417 other followers

1917 in Review: The Cost of Arras and Passchendaele

By Euan Loarridge, Blog Editor, University of Glasgow Great War Project


The University of Glasgow Memorial Garden. The Arras section can be seen in the back left of the plot, while the Passchendaele section is in the far back right.

On May 16th 2017, the one hundred year anniversary of the end of the Battle of Arras, the University of Glasgow hosted an evening of talks discussing the events and impact of the battle. The keynote was delivered by Professor Tony Pollard of the University’s Centre for Battlefield Archaeology and the principal investigator for the Great War Project. Professor Pollard’s talk focused on the impact of the battle on the University community, featuring a statistical analysis of the university’s casualties. This statistical analysis was repeated later in the year for the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele). This blog post focuses on these statistics and what they tell us about the University’s contribution to the major battles of 1917.



Gunner Herbert Briggs D.C.M.

By Euan Loarridge, Blog Editor, University of Glasgow Great War Project


Italian Bronze Medal of Military Valour Awarded to Gunner Herbert Briggs for actions on the 11th of December 1917

Today, the 11th of December 2017, marks the 100th anniversary of an extraordinary act, carried out by a relatively ordinary individual. On the battlefields of the Piave River in North-East Italy, Gunner Herbert Briggs of 352 Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery, risked his own life to help drag a wounded Italian soldier from a crippled tank. During this rescue, Herbert himself was wounded in three places.


The Physiology of Flight

By Declan Irwin, Final Year Undergraduate in Physiology, University of Glasgow.

A French Salmson 2 Reconnaissance Biplane c.1918. Wikipedia Commons.

“If men were meant to fly they would have been given wings”


Event: ‘This World We Seem to Inherit’: Readings and Music for Remembrance

By Euan Loarridge, Blog Editor, University of Glasgow Great War Project.


Next week, on Wednesday the 15th of November, the University of Glasgow World War One Commemoration Group will host an evening of music and poetry in honour of Lieutenant Alistair Ebenezer Buchan who was killed in action in one hundred years ago in 1917. For more information about Alastair and this event read below:


Great War Lectures: Discourse on the First World War at the University of Glasgow

By Euan Loarridge, Blog Editor, University of Glasgow Great War Project.

RFC Lecture Oxford Museum

RFC Cadets listening to a lecture at the University College Museum, Oxford University. November 1917. IWM Q 30279

With the centenary of the Battle of Third Ypres (Passchendaele) raging on, the University of Glasgow played host to two inspiring public lectures on the course and impact of the First World War. This post presents a short summary of these lectures and discusses some of the conclusions that were made.


Scottish Losses of Passchendaele Commemorated at Zonnebeke Memorial

Flags - Zonnebeke Memorial Service

In August 2007, to mark the 90th anniversary of the battle of Passchendaele, a memorial was unveiled at Frezenberg Hill near Zonnebeke, Flanders. Hewn from solid Scottish granite the impressive Celtic cross was raised by public subscription in memory Scots and those of Scots descent who lost their lives in the battle of Passchendaele.  The monument has since become a popular magnet for pilgrims to the war graves in Belgium.

Ten years on, crowds gathered for the 100th Anniversary of the Scottish advance on Passchendaele ridge. Once again, the general public, as well as a range of organisations in Flanders, Scotland and beyond, supported an initiative to further preserve the memory of soldiers who never came home. Soldiers from all walks of life, who answered the nation’s call and paid the ultimate sacrifice.


D & W Henderson, Shipbuilders and Marine Engineers, Meadowside, Glasgow

By Professor Hugh Murphy, Honorary Professor in Economic and Social History, University of Glasgow

Kelvin Confluence

Google Earth 3D satellite image of the site of Meadowside Shipyard on the confluence of the Kelvin and Clyde Rivers. Google 2017.

Looking today at the River Kelvin at its confluence with the Clyde, the onlooker may be unaware of the distinguished shipbuilding history of this area. As the University Archives Service works towards its interpretation of the centenary of the founding of the Royal Air Force in 2018, one of its instrumental founders was Lt General David Henderson, who served as General Officer Commanding the Royal Flying Corps in France, during the first year of the Great War, and who served briefly as Vice President of the Air Council early in 1918.

Henderson came from a ship-owning family. His father, David Henderson, was part-owner of the D & W Henderson shipyard at Meadowside on the Upper Clyde. Here follows a potted history of this establishment, which may interest those researching Lt General Henderson’s varied life and career.