World War One resources
*update spring 2016: I am disappointed to find that a recent publication has used images, information and even verbatim phrases from this Flickr set with acknowledging the source or contacting Balliol College Archives. Quoting directly without indicating the source is plagiarism. More importantly, the lack of source acknowledgement means that readers of the book will not be able to access the same information as easily as the author did. If you plan to use any of this material in an essay for school/college/university or for a publication, including any use on a website, you must cite all your sources fully and accurately. It is only fair to the institution that provides this valuable information free of charge, and to readers who should be able to follow your research trail for their own studies.
WW1 memorials in Balliol College are listed at archives.balliol.ox.ac.uk/Past members/memorials.asp
The main resources for biographical information about *members* of Balliol College for this period are the War Memorial Book and the College Register, both online here. Please consult these publications thoroughly before contacting the archivist; see also archives.balliol.ox.ac.uk/Past members/trace.asp
During World War One, Balliol had two distinct populations. Some of the older Fellows and a much reduced student body (further reduced through each academic year as their commissions came up and they went into active service) carried on something of the ordinary academic life of the college. But Balliol's premises, like those of most Oxford colleges, were largely given over to war work. Balliol's Broad Street site hosted thousands of British and Commonwealth officer cadets on short training courses. These men were not members of Balliol or of the University of Oxford; rather, the Army was in effect renting the property, and the college holds no administrative records of their time here. We have no lists of names or any other systematic records about the individual officer cadets or their activities while staying in Balliol.
There are, however, a few isolated glimpses into the lives of officer cadets during their brief sojourns in Oxford. In 2005 an Australian bookseller wrote to us with the offer of a photo album created by one JH Brian Armstrong, a member of No 6 Officer Cadet Battalion at Balliol July - October 1917. Images are reproduced here. There are no identifications of individuals in the album.
Balliol also holds copies of two numbers of 'The Souvenir', a journal produced by ‘A’ Company No. 6 Officers’ Cadet Battalion, of their time in Oxford: 10 Nov. 1917-26 Feb. 1918 and 5 April 1918 – 23 Oct. 1918 These do contain lists of the cadets at Balliol for the periods covered by the publications.
We do not have copies of any other numbers of 'The Souvenir.' If you have copies of this invaluable resource that you are willing to share, please get in touch. The Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives holds a copy of the number for Nov. 4, 1916 - Mar 2, 1917: bit.ly/1Ch1p86
JM Winter's chapter in Vol VIII of The History of the University of Oxford provides a useful survey of Oxford in the First World War.
Also recommended is Malcolm Graham's 'Oxford in the Great War' (Pen & Sword, 2014).
- Anna Sander