November 12, 2018, by Liz Cass
East Midlands Universities Officers’ Training Corps Remember
The impact of the First World War on University College, Nottingham, was profound. By its very nature, an institution concerned with higher education was likely to have a large number of young men on its books, both as students and staff, in the appropriate age range to join the armed forces. In addition, the formation of the Officer Training Corps (OTC) had encouraged the notion even in peace time, that educated young men should be considered as potential military leaders in the event of war.
In 1906 Lord Haldane, the Secretary of State for War, appointed a committee to look into the problems caused by shortages of officers in the military reserve. The committee recommended the formation of what became known as the OTC with a senior division in the universities, and a junior division, now the Combined Cadet Force, in public schools. University College Nottingham OTC was formed on 27 April 1909, following a petition signed by 27 students. The Commanding Officer, from the beginning and throughout the war, was Captain Samuel R.T. Trotman, M.A., F.R.I.C.
More than a century on, members of East Midlands Universities Officers’ Training Corps, are set to be involved in a research project looking back at members of the OTC during war time.
Mike Noble, of The Centre for Hidden Histories at the University of Nottingham, explains his research here while current students reflect on the sacrifices made by their predecessors during World War I.