By Leeds University Library Galleries
University of Leeds Archive
Non Comissioned Officers at Leeds University Officer Training Corps (1914/1916) by University of LeedsOriginal Source: University of Leeds Special Collections
The November 1914 edition of 'The Gryphon' was the first issue of the student newspaper to be published following the outbreak of the First World War. The Editorial stated: “We are now in the valley of decision, and these days are “as a touchstone to try the mettle of men”. The University is playing a great part, as the lists and notices to be found on other pages will show.”
The Gryphon Roll of Honour November 1914 (1914-11-10/1914-11-10)Original Source: University of Leeds Special Collections
This Roll of Honour was a supplement in the November 1914 edition. It shows how members of the university, from students to professors, served in the war in roles ranging from Private to Interpreter. The Roll of Honour would be reviewed several times as the war progressed.
Cadets at Leeds University Officer Training Corps undertaking field work training in map reading (1914/1916) by University of LeedsOriginal Source: University of Leeds Special Collections
This photograph shows men training with the Leeds University Officer Training Corps. This is part of a series of photographs which shows the cadets in various forms of training from signalling to care of the feet and bayonet practice.
Article on the Belgian Hospitality Fund (1914-12-09/1914-12-09)Original Source: University of Leeds Special Collections
An article from December 1914 details three Belgian refugee families who were then living at De Grey Terrace. The money to support these families had been raised by the university with donations from the Pro-Chancellor but also from students who had already raised £40.
These families included that of an artist, M. Neumans, who had manged to save some of his art works from his gallery in Brussels and which were on public display in Leeds.
Article entitled Gryphons for the Trenches (1915-06-26/1915-06-26)Original Source: University of Leeds Special Collections
'The Gryphon' was not only read by students and staff at the university but also those on the front line. Copies of the newspaper were sent with food parcels which also included chocolate, malted milk and Oxo.
Article entitled Trench Cookery (1919-06/1919-06)Original Source: University of Leeds Special Collections
These food packages filled with small luxuries are a stark contrast to an article on 'Trench Cookery' from June 1919 which recalls and satirises the lack of food on the front line. Recipes here consist mainly of boiled water and imagination.
Sheet music for Leeds University Song 1919 (1919-06/1919-06)Original Source: University of Leeds Special Collections
This sheet music for the 'Leeds University Song 1919' was an insert in the April 1919 edition of 'The Gryphon'. The song celebrates the return of service students and staff and mourns and commemorates the loss of those who died in the war.
Cartoon entitled The Primrose Path (1920-02/1920-02)Original Source: University of Leeds Special Collections
After the war, the university saw a rise in ex-service students. This cartoon entitled 'The Primrose Path' depicts a soldier resembling Charlie Chaplin who, on de-mobilisation, receives his offer to study at the University of Leeds. He proceeds to join several societies and ends up in the pub with a pint.
Article on the Ex-Service Student (1919-12/1919-12)Original Source: University of Leeds Special Collections
The joviality of the cartoon contrasts to this article on ‘The ex-service student’ published in December 1919 which voices concern over the lack of jobs for graduates and especially ex-service graduates.
It also emphasises that, as older students, many ex-service graduates will need to work to support themselves and won’t be able to move on to further academic study.
The article stresses the difficulties of coming into the university following army life.
Cadets at Leeds University Officer Training Corps practicing long distance signalling (1914/1916) by University of LeedsOriginal Source: University of Leeds Special Collections
The newspaper played a key role, both during the First World War and afterwards when returning soldiers were attending the university. It would go on to play an important role in the Second World War too. Read more about this in our online exhibition 'When the war is over'.
The items in this exhibition are from the University of Leeds Archive which preserves the records of the University of Leeds and its predecessors, giving us an insight into past University life.
Learn more about Yorkshire and the First World War on our website Legacies of the First World War
The University of Leeds and predecessor student newspapers have been fully digitised. Search the newspapers here
See more highlights from our student newspapers here