University remembers the fallen in an online memorial

Issued: Fri, 11 Nov 2005 00:00:00 GMT

A WW1 Roll of Honour will be launched at 11 o'clock on the 11th of November, to commemorate members of the University community who fell in the Great War. The digital archive contains a moving collection of biographies, pictures, and stories from men and women who served, and died, for their country.

The Roll of Honour will be formally dedicated by the Chaplain, Rev Stuart MacQuarrie, in the University Chapel ヨ itself a memorial to those who lost their lives in WW1. The Chaplain will formally dedicate the website on the 10th, echoing the words of Principal MacAllister at the unveiling of the Roll of the Fallen in 1929: 'To the unfading memory of the brave men and women who in the Great War gave their lives for us and the freedom of the world, we dedicate this Memorial, and we pray that their names recorded here may ever be an incentive to faithful and unselfish service for all who look upon them.'

Staff who wish to observe the traditional one minutes' silence at 11am in memory of our war dead, are reminded that the chapel is open to all.

Over the last year Glasgow University Archives created the website, dedicated to those of the University Community who served in the armed forces during the First World War. Lesley Richmond, University Archivist, is appealing for further help from the public: 'We would really like to people to send in information and/or biographies about anyone on the website for whom they have further details. We would also welcome anyone willing to help us fill in as much detail as possible on the people from other material held in our and other Archives. We could complete a biography for all those mentioned so that their contribution to our present lives will never be forgotten.

"The names on the memorial can often depersonalise the people honoured or make their names saintly while the biographies show that they were ordinary people who made an extraordinary sacrifice when they were asked to give up their daily routines for the greater good of their community.'

The Roll of Honour brings to life fascinating war stories, for example brothers who went to war together, and tales of many of the unsung female heroes of the war effort, including medical staff who had studied at the university. Archive Services intend to build the website into a research resource that will assist in teaching students about life in the 20th century.

Professor Hew Stachan, Chichele Professor of the History of War at Oxford, and leading military historian, reviewed the website and commented: "The University of Glasgow, like the schools which supplied most of its student body, did not have strong military links before 1914. But this website shows how its members responded in greater numbers proportionately than any other British university, except those of Oxford and Cambridge. The tragic consequences are all too evident, but many other features stand out, even for the casual browser. Above all, it is hard to imagine how the army's medical services could have coped without Glasgow's contribution."

Lesley Richmond is already looking forward to extending the initiative: 'Our next project will be to put the roll of honour for the Second World War on to a website, but as we only have information on those who died we shall require a lot of help from alumni, friends and the general public to supply the names of those Glasgow University staff and students who served in that war.'

The Roll of Honour can be accessed online after the launch - see Archives for the link

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