A new video released by Oxford Today features interviews with Anne Manuel, Somerville College Librarian, as she describes Somerville College’s role as a hospital during World War One.

Professor William Whyte, the video’s narrator, explains that Oxford became “a huge hospital” during the Great War but that patient capacity had to be created for this to happen. College rooms were turned into wards as a result.

“The women who were students at Somerville couldn’t be here at the same time, obviously, so they were evacuated to other Colleges,” Manuel explains during the video. “[But] the women at Somerville were very involved in the First World War, so not only the students but Tutors [also] went off to France or to jobs with the civil service or War Office in London.”

The video can be accessed on the Oxford Today website.

Brittain remembered

Meanwhile, Somervillian Baroness Shirley Williams (1948, PPE) was profiled in an interview in The Times on 2 October (paywall) talking about her mother, Vera Brittain (1914, English). Brittain worked as a Voluntary Aid Detachment Nurse during the War and is best remembered for her autobiographical work, Testament of Youth. Baroness Williams will be speaking on her mother’s life at Somerville College in November this year.

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