History projects archive

Glasgow University's Great War: A Centenary Project

Dr Tony Pollard


Like most communities across the UK, our University sacrificed a significant proportion of its membership to the Great War, with 4,506 serving and 761 losing their lives. The university also served as a recruiting ground, via the Officer Training Corps, for young men who were not students, thus making the preparation for war their only experience of Gilmorehill. Women also played significant roles in the medical services and industries like munitions manufacture. It is obvious then that the Great War had a profound impact on the University and its people, and its contribution to the war effort is undoubtedly a subject worthy of study, especially given the forthcoming centenary.

Introducing the Great War Project (film)

Great War Project (film)

Remembering our people

View the University of Glasgow Library’s Flickr set Remembering our people to see how current students, staff and volunteers are engaging with the University’s past.

The Project

The first memorial for those from the University community who served and sacrificed during the Great War was the Memorial Chapel, built in the 1920s, on the interior walls of which are inscribed the names of the 761 alumni and staff who died in that conflict. In 2005 the University Archives put this Roll of the Fallen online along with the names of nearly 4000 more men and women who served and survived. The Roll includes just 300 biographies rather than just names. Given the scale of the sacrifice it would seem essential that further research be undertaken to remember more of our predecessors as individuals (see the University's First World War Roll of Honour and World War One Commemoration).

Whatever the nature of the University’s remembrance during 2014-2018 it is clear that the Roll of Honour will take centre stage. Although 2014 is currently the focus for events across the UK, this project will seek to mark the centenary over four years. However, given that this application is for a one year grant, the project must have the capacity to provide outcomes by the end of 2014 and have in place a legacy which will allow continuation to 2018, even if no further grant funding is forthcoming. The major objectives for 2014 are:

  • Assessing the resource and developing research strategies
  • Mapping the war
  • Tweeting the war
  • University Women and War
  • The Medics
  • Medal Winners

Follow the project on Twitter @GlasgowUniWW1 to keep up-to-date on special events and on-going research.

This project is generously supported by the Chancellor's Fund.

LATEST: See the Great War Project Report as of 1 October 2014.

Contact Information

Please address all enquiries in the first instance to Dr Jennifer Novotny (Research Assistant - History).

Principal Investigator: Dr Tony Pollard (Senior Lecturer in History/Battlefield Archaeology).


Mont St Quentin - Historial de la Grande Guerre (Prof Tony Pollard and Dr Iain Banks)

Inventory of Scottish Battlefields Phase 3 - Historic Scotland (Prof Tony Pollard)

Cultural Artefacts, Buildings, Landscapes, and Environments: Scotland (CABLES) - AHRC Skills Development grant (Dr Marina Moskowitz)

Tapestry in the Round: interdisciplinary cross-sector research in Textile History - RSE workshop grant 2012/13 (Professor Graeme Small)

Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship, 2010-2012 (Professor Simon Newman)

The transatlantic slave trade and plantation slavery in the Americas: exploring Scottish connections - Research Workshop Award, Royal Society of Edinburgh, 2009

Pandemics: waves of disease, waves of hatred from the Plague of Athens to AIDS - Wellcome Project Grant, Sept 2011-Aug 2012 (Professor Samuel Cohn)

The Breaking of Britain (joint with King's College London): AHRC major research grant, Sept 2010-Aug 2013.

The Paradox of Medieval Scotland - AHRC major research grant, Sept 2007- Aug 2010 (Professor Dauvit Broun).

Scottish philosophers in seventeenth-century Scotland and France - Leverhulme Trust International Network grant, Sept 2010-Aug 2013 (Professor Alexander Broadie

East Kilbride District Housing Association - University of Glasgow First Steps Award, 2011 (Professor Lynn Abrams)

Scottish masculinity in historical perspective - RSE workshop grant 2010/11 (Professor Lynn Abrams)

The history of lace knitting in Shetland - AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award, Sept 2010-Aug 2013 (Professor Lynn Abrams)

2012: Hand-Knitted Textiles and the Economies of Craft in Scotland - RSE workshop grant

This project investigates the place and significance of hand-knitted textiles to Scotland’s economy and culture, past, present, and future. We seek to use hand knitting Campaign for wool ‌‌as a case study of the role of craft in linking individual creativity to economic pursuits; local design traditions to national heritage; and domestic economies to the creative economy of Scotland. The workshops will bring together an interdisciplinary network of scholars, practitioners, curators and heritage professionals, and economic and cultural policy professionals in order to assess the needs and opportunities for research on hand knitting. Together this network will examine: the history of hand knitting in Scotland as a cultural and economic practice; the current contribution of hand knitting in local and national contexts; and the ways in which Scotland’s rich heritage of hand-knitted textiles can contribute to other national industries, such as tourism and fashion.

Project's web page

LINKSCH - EU grant (Dr Alex Marshall)

2012: Bridging the Continental divide: neo-Latin and its cultural role in Jacobean Scotland, as seen in the Delitiae Poetarum Scotorum (1637)