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13 November 2018, 1-2pm

The Impact of the First World War on UCL, UCL Lunch Hour Lecture

The First World War had a significant impact on life at UCL, as at other universities in the UK. Over 2,600 members and former members of College served during the war. The UCL community experienced an intense sense of rupture. Part of the College was requisitioned as a military hospital, while the research activities of many academic departments were directed to the war effort. Student numbers halved, but UCL also welcomed and supported several hundred Belgian refugee students and military personnel taking evening courses. Women formed a majority of the much-reduced student body, playing a leading role in College life. They set up UCL’s Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD), which maintained an Ambulance Squad in St Pancras and sent students to nurse in military hospitals in France. At the end of the war, the first government scholarship scheme for ex-service students helped produced a more socially diverse student body, while the fallen were commemorated around the UCL campus.

This lecture is free and open to all, but you must register online .


Dr Georgina Brewis works on the history of higher education, youth and voluntary action. She is the author of the revised and updated edition of The World of UCL (UCL Press, 2018) and her talk also draws on an AHRC First World War Engagement Centre-funded project on British students and the rebuilding of Europe, 1919-1926.

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