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University OTC records

Post your queries about your military ancestors, or help fellow researchers find out about theirs.
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devonliz
Posts: 60
Joined: 13 Jun 2020, 20:31

University OTC records

Post by devonliz »

My grandfather was a member of the OTC (Officer Training Corps) at Queen's University, Belfast in the academic year 1914-15. He reported to Trinity College Dublin in the summer of 1915 and was sent 'straight to unit' - an infantry regiment from where he served in Egypt and then the Western Front.

The archivist at the university has given me a good deal of information about the academic courses that my grandfather took, but was unable to tell me anything about the OTC experience - how many hours per week were spent in training, were they paid, how long the training lasted etc.

Will there be a standard format for the OTC sections, perhaps some army regulations? Can anyone point me to a source of this information?
VALLMO9
Posts: 756
Joined: 13 Jun 2020, 21:28

Re: University OTC records

Post by VALLMO9 »

This link is informative and includes photos relating to Queen's OTC during WW1:
https://www.qub.ac.uk/directorates/Info ... rldWarOne/

Didn't your grandfather enlist into the King's Liverpool Regiment in 1915? I wonder if he'll be mentioned in the 1916 Queen's Roll of Honour? On the website above, there's a page from the 1915 Queen's Roll of Honour. (I can see one chap with the KLR -- his name was Kilpatrick).
"There were two Rolls of Honour published, one in 1915 and one in 1916 and these are also included in the University Calendars for the academic years 1914-1915 and 1915-1916".

As regards the actual OTC training at the time - "In April 1910 in an effort to provide more facilities for the Officer Training Corps the Senate of Queen's University decided to set up an advisory Committee of Military Instruction and it also approved the building of a Drill Hall on university grounds for the Corps". It appears Queen's Committee of Military Instruction may hold the answers to your questions concerning pay, training, etc. Perhaps Queen's Archives hold records pertaining to the Committee of Military Instruction (circa 1910-1916). They probably have a copy of the OTC Handbook and Rules (pub 1913) - see image of item in blue on the website.
devonliz
Posts: 60
Joined: 13 Jun 2020, 20:31

Re: University OTC records

Post by devonliz »

Ooh, thanks for remembering my grandfather!

The QUB archivist (recent email correspondence) did not apparently have any more information than the dates and courses registered for, and directed me to the same webpage that you have found. I was disappointed that the Roll of Honour was not searchable. It also seemed odd that the webpage mentioned the impact that the Great War had on the university - without counting the numbers of staff and students who signed up. So I will try to follow up the Roll, and the wee handbook that you mention. Thanks.

My grandfather matriculated into the Science Faculty in 1913, did OTC some time in 1914-15 and went to the King's Liverpool in August 1915. Then in Jan 1919, after demob, he enrolled in the Faculty of Medicine. This may have been the normal path (pre-clinical followed by clinical courses) but I am trying to work out if he always intended a medical career, or whether the experience of the war changed his direction.
VALLMO9
Posts: 756
Joined: 13 Jun 2020, 21:28

Re: University OTC records

Post by VALLMO9 »

devonliz wrote: 17 Apr 2023, 20:07 It also seemed odd that the webpage mentioned the impact that the Great War had on the university - without counting the numbers of staff and students who signed up. So I will try to follow up the Roll, and the wee handbook that you mention.

...but I am trying to work out if he always intended a medical career, or whether the experience of the war changed his direction.
"The Queen’s University of Belfast had 680 members of their OTC contingent commissioned during the war". Another publication offers this: "University OTC contingents recorded their wartime services in different ways, Belfast claimed almost 1,200 commissions by the end of the war. University OTCs operated different policies on membership both before and during the war. The differing practices meant that the routes to a commission were quite diverse".

FYI: Imperial War Museum may have a copy of the 1916 Roll of Honour: https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item ... 1500046130

"During World War I, part of the University grounds were used as a military hospital. The war brought a significant increase in student numbers, from 584 in 1914 to 888 in 1918 – 60 per cent of whom were medical students".
devonliz
Posts: 60
Joined: 13 Jun 2020, 20:31

Re: University OTC records

Post by devonliz »

Thanks again!
I wonder where that book is lurking in the Imperial War Museum?!!
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