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Monthly Archives: March 2015

O.H. MAVOR DID THIS!

by Stacey Clapperton, PhD Candidate in History of Art, University of Glasgow

A British soldier, who may have spent endless months fighting in the trenches on the Western Front, finds himself in an army hospital with undisclosed injuries. We don’t know how long he has been lying in his hospital bed. We don’t know the last time he enjoyed the comforts of home. We learn, from the author of this scene that the soldier in question, Private Swish, has had his dug out blown in and is awakening from “dreams of beautiful nursing sisters and blue jacketed bliss”. Now this may not seem like a particularly humorous moment for this or any soldier, but in the expertise of a cartoonist armed with subtle humor, the scene transforms. Private Swish awakens to a barked command of “DRINK THIS” by an unsympathetic, sullen and knackered looking hospital orderly who looks like he’s about to force the patient to shift over, so he himself can have a lie down. This scene composed of a simple ink and wash drawing with white highlights, measuring a modest 29.1 x 22.7 cm, was created by Osborne Henry Mavor in 1916.

GLAHAG_43148

The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery Reference: GLAHA 43148

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Lunchtime talk: Curating the Great War

Michael OBrien talk

Pìobaireachd Society WW1 material: Encore

Blog posted on behalf of Club 21 placement volunteer Karen Oakley:

Over the past few weeks, I have been researching the Pìobaireachd Society’s correspondence from the war years. It has been a fascinating way to get a sense of home life during the four long years of war and its effects on one society: from the financial restrictions to the effects of conscription. Even the appearance of the letters speak loudly of the context: a strong black line around the outline of the letter indicated a period of mourning, as my supervisor Rachael told me.

Lieutenant Col. John Grahame of the Highland Light Infantry writing to the society requesting 3 or 4 pipers. He expresses concern at the fact that they currently only have one piper, “and without pipers a Highland Regiment is like Hamlet without the Prince!” (DC80/373/15)

Lieutenant Col. John Grahame of the Highland Light Infantry writing to the society requesting 3 or 4 pipers. He expresses concern at the fact that they currently only have one piper, “and without pipers a Highland Regiment is like Hamlet without the Prince!” (DC80/373/15)

My first main post outlined the correspondence relating to the Society’s preparations to train pipers with view to their serving in the army. This aim was ubiquitous in their correspondence, even in peacetime. The pride and importance associated with it was real- something which is more difficult to understand today having experienced two World Wars and since learned of the experiences of those on the front line.

As the war progressed, the amount of correspondence becomes thinner, which in itself is an indication of the effects of war on the running of the society. My next post told of the financial difficulties in being able to continue to run piping classes. Yet more importantly, members revealed the reality that many prospective teachers and pupils were serving abroad. Unfortunately, there is no correspondence from members who served on the front line. The impact of war for many of them, on an individual level is now understood to have been emotionally draining and long-lasting.

My last main post showed that plans were drawn up soon after the war to commemorate the pipers who had fallen, mainly through the establishment of a Military School of Piping at Edinburgh Castle. Unfortunately, this main centre never came to be though pipers continued to be taught in classes across the country.

This is my final post on the Pìobaireachd Society’s World War One material. I have really enjoyed my placement at the Archives Services and really appreciate the time and assistance by everyone here in helping me. I would highly recommend you take the opportunity to visit if you can. Please contact the Duty Archivist to make an appointment: enquiries@archives.gla.ac.uk

letter-fan

 

Pìobaireachd Society, dedication to the fallen: proposals for a Piping School

Blog posted on behalf of Club 21 placement volunteer Karen Oakley:

Given the scale of the loss during World War One, public attention in Britain turned increasingly to dedicating memorials as a mark of respect to the thousands who had perished. In the following years, memorials began being constructed into the country’s landscape: from the Cenotaph in London to community-centred memorials such as in Dunvegan on Skye.

No sooner had the war finished than members of the Pìobaireachd Society began discussing appropriate ways to honour pipers who had served and fallen.

The Society, being strongly linked to the Army, began by making dedications to high-ranking officers. A salute was dedicated to Field Marshal Earl Haig, for example which he acknowledged in the letter below.

The above letter is a copy of one written on behalf of Haig, thanking the Society for the dedication. (DC80/376/44)

The above letter is a copy of one written on behalf of Haig, thanking the Society for the dedication. (DC80/376/44)

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Lunchtime talk: Glasgow University’s Neuve Chapelle

NeuveChapelleTalk

The women who shook it up & MADE IT HAPPEN by Bethany Lane

University of Glasgow Library

GUA11287-E.R Voting Papers Request back - croppped Request for voting papers as a University Graduate by Elizabeth Ross, 1906 (GUA 11287)

This year the theme for International Women’s Day is MAKE IT HAPPEN. To join in the celebrations we thought we would commemorate the small group of medical graduates of the University of Glasgow who challenged societal values to become the first cohort of Great British female doctors.

Between 1894 and 1914 there were only 168 women Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MB ChB) graduates at the University, compared to 1,483 men. Upon the outbreak of the Great War these women had raised the standard of female education and were campaigning for the right to vote.

Glasgow’s first female medical graduate, Marion Gilchrist (MB ChB 1894), and the Queen Margaret Suffrage Society were passionately debating women’s voting rights.

ch4-4-2-2-244 Dr Elizabeth Ness McBean Ross, 1901 [GB 248 CH4/4/2/2/244] Included in this ongoing debate was graduate Elizabeth Ness MacBean…

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Words Against War: Bertha von Suttner, Novelist and Peace Activist

By Dr Barbara Burns, Reader in German and Dean of Graduate Studies, University of Glasgow

The Austrian writer Bertha von Suttner (1843-1914), whose influential novel Die Waffen nieder! [Lay Down Your Arms!] (1889) was translated into sixteen languages and adapted into a film during her own lifetime, became the first female winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1905, but is largely forgotten today. A widely travelled, multilingual individual with an aristocratic background, Suttner was equally comfortable as a journalist, a creative writer and a public speaker. The success of her novel, which was both a literary work and a manifesto for pacifism, brought its author access to an international political stage and support from prominent figures across Europe and the United States. The centenary in 2014 of Suttner’s death, together with the many reflections on war which the last year of commemoration has generated, have made it an appropriate moment to re-evaluate the contribution of this important author.

BvS 1890

Bertha von Suttner

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