Queen's and World War One 

Numbers in the Queen's University Officer Training Corps

Britain declared war on Germany on 4 August 1914 which was during the university's long summer vacation. When the new academic year began in October many members of Queen's, both staff and students, joined the Officer Training Corps and the University Senate also allowed men who were not Queen's members to join the Corps.

The Officer Training Corps in the universities ran courses of instruction in order to train officers for the army. During the courses of instruction, the officers were quartered in the university and the use of the university grounds and any lecture rooms that were required for the holding of the courses was sanctioned by Reverend Thomas Hamilton, the Vice-Chancellor of Queen's. For example the newly acquired athletic field in Newforge was handed over to the OTC for military training for the period 1915-1917.

In a report submitted to a meeting of the Senate of the Queen's University of Belfast on 11 April 1917, the Committee of Military Instruction stated that the Queen's Officer Training Corps had run 10 Schools of Instruction for young officers from September 1914 until February 1916 and that 477 officers had been trained in these courses.

In February 1916 the War Office changed the regulations which governed the selection of officers for the army whereby from then on all officers, before they were commissioned, had to pass through an Officers' Cadet Battalion which was separate to the Officers' Training Corps. There was a complete course of training which lasted around 5 months in the Officer Cadet Battalion. As a result of these changes from February 1916 onwards there was a drop in numbers in all university Officer Training Corps across Britain.

In another report submitted to a meeting of the Queen's Senate on 19 February 1919, the Committee on Military Instruction stated that the total number of commissions granted to members and former members of the Queen's Officer Training Corps since August 1914 was 740 and the number of commissions granted since the formation of the Corps was 804.

From the entries in the Book of Remembrance it is possible to see the variety of regiments that members of Queen's enlisted into and this is a reflection of the increased number of regiments and battalions that were formed in the regular army during the course of the war.

Queen’s University Officer Training Corps Handbook and Rules, July 1913