As we reflect upon the members of the University of Glasgow community who served in the First World War, it seems only appropriate to explore other conflicts. There is a long tradition of military service at the University of Glasgow. University staff raised funds to maintain militia to counter the Jacobite threats of 1708, 1715, and 1745; raised a Rifle Corps in 1859 and a number of staff, students, and graduates served in South Africa at the turn of the 20th century. The University’s Second World War Roll of Honour includes the names of 458 individuals who died in that conflict.
18 June 2015 marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. For the bicentenary, we are taking the opportunity to look at the members of the University community who were at Waterloo and to highlight on-going research that is shedding new light on this momentous battle. See our Waterloo website for more information.
News of the victory reached London on 21st June and so from today until Sunday we will be commemorating the University of Glasgow’s connections to the famous victory over Napoleon’s forces in our #WaterloooWeekend twitter schedule.
We have created a source guide summarising where you can find out about the University’s Waterloo links across our heritage collections including some Special Collections and Library Research Annexe volumes detailing models and tours of the Waterloo field, medals from the Hunterian Museum, and early student records from the Napoleonic period at the Archives.
View the source-guide here to help you with your Waterloo research!
Archives Graduate Trainee Alicia Chilcott and Great War Project Researcher Warwick Louth have been researching our medical alumni for those who served in Waterloo and we have so far identified 15 graduates who served as medics and surgeons at the battle. We are looking into 26 further Waterloo medics who may also have been medical students at the Univesity. We will be releasing the profiles of these graduates on our University Story website throughout the weekend and promoting on twitter so stay tuned to @GlasgowUniWW1 and @GUArchives to discover their stories.
In April 2015 initial survey work was done on the battlefield by Waterloo Uncovered, a ground-breaking archaeology project thought up by two soldiers from the Coldstream Guards, a regiment that played a vital role in the battle, and led by Dr Tony Pollard. The project brings together professional archaeologists from across Europe and wounded veterans from recent campaigns with the aims of transforming the understanding of the Battle of Waterloo through archaeology and providing a unique opportunity for veterans to participate in an important dig and support those that are injured in their recovery.
The team will be on site again in July, so watch the project website for updates and data – all findings will be made publicly available.
Conflict Archaeology & Heritage at the University of Glasgow:
To learn more about studying conflict archaeology at the University of Glasgow, see the MLitt in Conflict Archaeology & Heritage programme.
Stay tuned to our twitter accounts over 18th-21st June to uncover more Waterloo connections: @GlasgowUniWW1 , @GUArchives and @GUspcoll and look out for hashtags #Waterloo200, #waterlooweekend, and #battarch.
By Bethany Lane, University of Glasgow MSc Museum Studies postgraduate student
These pillowcases were made my French women during The Great War and the delicate craftsmanship shows French city battle scenes during the War. Soldiers bought the souvenirs such as these to send home to mothers, wives and sisters. As they were quite expensive, these were seen as investments.
These particular pillowcases was sent from one of four sons from the Wood family to their mother and sister, Lizzie, who lived at Paisley during the War. The extraordinary pillowcases were later inherited by Lizzie’s daughter, Elizabeth Herron, who donated it to Erskine Hospital since Lizzie’s oldest brother, James Wood, had been at Erskine in the late 1940s.
The scenes shown are Peronne 1917, Noyon 1917, Battle of Arras 1915, Ypres, Armentieres St Roch 1916, and Vimy 1917.
Read Bethany’s previous post on silk embroidered postcards in the collections of the Erskine Hospital.