At the end of last year we were visited by Linda Hodgson, the Head of History at Trinity School, Carlisle. To make her teaching of the First World War more personal to her students, she took them to see the War Memorial in the Old Hall of the school and from initially asking around the school to see if there was any more information about the former students listed on the memorial, the project has grown and grown.
In 2010 Linda took a group of 45 students to visit Ypres’ battlefields and Memorial Monuments. Each student had an individual to look for and they laid a cross for each of the former students they found.
Locating some of the memorials of the boys from, what was then, Carlisle Grammar School made Linda want to find out more about their lives. She created a database of the boys and the school web developer turned it into a very smart looking website.
The search to find out more about the university careers of the boys has led Linda to contact the Universities of Edinburgh, St Andrews, Oxford and Cambridge and to visit us at Glasgow University. Here she found out about the former students of Carlisle Grammar, Robert de Glanville and William Joseph Cornwallis Laurie. Thanks must also go to Sarah Lee-Adamson; a colleague of Linda’s and a keen genealogist. She found out a lot about the boy’s family backgrounds.
Robert de Glanville studied Engineering for a short time here at Glasgow before signing up on the 8th September 1914. A
comment in the School Magazine in 1917 from Robert’s peers in the Cameron Highlanders’ Battalion reads: “All speak well of him…and his courage and pluck were splendid. These characteristics endeared him to his comrades, but not so much as another virtue of his – his unselfishness. Lance-Corporal Spence told me of how De Glanville often gave up his rations to any young boy in the trenches.”
William Joseph Cornwallis Laurie had been in fact missed off the school memorial, so this spurred Linda and her pupils on to find out as much as they could about him and rectify this. He enrolled at the University of Glasgow in 1905-6 to study Political Economy, Moral Philosophy and Geology but did not graduate.
Linda was thrilled to see the matriculation records of both Robert and William, in their own handwriting, when she visited our archive.
Upon visiting their memorials in the University Chapel she saw that William Joseph Cornwallis Laurie had a brother, Donald, who also studied at the University and died of pneumonia in France just after the War. Although he did not attend Carlisle Grammar School, she researched his University career also and found that Donald Saunders Laurie first matriculated in Glasgow University in 1907/8 and graduated with a BSc in 1912. He studied subjects such as Chemistry, Natural Philosophy and Engineering. He was a very good student and is listed as having won joint second place in Engineering in his last year, being awarded a ‘Walker Prize’.
Linda says of her project:
“I have become really immersed in my researches and enjoy it hugely. I have used the information in assemblies and Year 9 lessons, but I have to confess that I now do it as a hobby as much as work for the school students. We intend to have information on every boy by 2014 and then to hold an Exhibition. We would like to commemorate each student on the Centenary of their death in school between 2014 and 2018.
I am very grateful to all the people who have helped and particularly the Archivists at Glasgow University. Without their knowledge and expertise I would not have found as much as I have.”
We’d like to thank Linda for the information she supplied that has formed this post and also wish her the best of luck with what has already been a very interesting and worthy project. We would love to hear how the exhibition goes!
Categories: Archive Services (GUAS)