Professor Lawrence Goldman’s description of the outbreak of World War I during the summer vacation at the University in August 1914 (Oxford Today, Michaelmas 2014, pp. 36–43) stirred memories of a similar scene at Christ Church during Michaelmas term, 1945. At that time I was serving in the US Army. The War in Europe ended in May 1945, and I then went on to serve in the army of occupation in Berlin. I had been transferred to Berlin for the occupation as part of the US Third Army.
During this time the US Army provided an opportunity for those soldiers awaiting discharge to apply for transfer to a programme at Oxford.
My application to study at Oxford was accepted for participation in the PP&E programme while matriculating and residing at Christ Church. The highlight of this for me was a tutorial with Professor Roy Harrod, the distinguished economist, who had just returned from Bretton Woods where he participated with Professor John Maynard Keynes in the development of the International Monetary Fund.
My rooms at Christ Church were in Tom Tower, just under the large bell that struck each evening at a designated time. On one occasion I was offered access to the top floor of the Tower where the ropes were placed to ring the bell.
On that occasion I saw several large wardrobe cases which I was told had been placed there by German students who were then living at Oxford and who had to leave Oxford suddenly when World War II broke out to report back to Germany for service in the German army.
What happened to these cases (or to the students) I don’t know, but once again it was apparent that the more things change, etc.