Oxford and the Great War: Contemporary Echoes

In the fifth of our series about Oxford and the Great War, this short video considers the attitude of serving officers and officers-to-be towards the conflict:  how much has life changed for the rank-and-file soldier, and how much stays the same? What motivates soldiers to take the risks they do?

The Oxford University Officers’ Training Corps, founded in 1642, has trained and sent officers from the university to nearly every war or conflict over the last three decades. During the First World War, nearly all undergraduates who joined up would pass through the OTC for training on their way to the front. This included JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, Noel Chavasse and Lawrence of Arabia. More than 2000 student officers never returned. Today the OTC provides leadership training and character building for students from Oxford and other local universities, and forms an important part of the military fabric of Oxford University. 

Also in our video series Oxford and the Great War:


Video and still image © University of Oxford.