Students and staff have marked Remembrance 2023 in many ways, supporting the Royal British Legion’s (RBL) Poppy Appeal, taking part in acts of Remembrance, and showcasing research focused on members of the Armed Forces community.
On Friday 10 November the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mark Power, and LJMU’s Armed Forces Champion, Dr Gus Ryrie, laid a wreath at the Cenotaph outside St George’s Hall, taking a moment to remember, reflect and share hope for a peaceful future.
Students from the North West University Officer Training Regiment, as well as staff and student reservists and veterans, are set to join the city’s annual service of Remembrance on Sunday 12 November. LJMU students from the Liverpool University Air Squadron will march at a parade in Southport on Remembrance Sunday.
Students, in conjunction with the Armed Forces Champion and Liverpool John Moores Students’ Union (JMSU), supported the fundraising efforts of the RBL for their annual Poppy Appeal with students volunteering to support fundraising activity in Liverpool city centre.
The charity is a Corporate Fellow of LJMU and in the past the university has worked with them to conduct research to benefit veterans and their families and, through its on-going commitment to supporting the Armed Forces community, is looking at ways to continue working in partnership with the charity for the benefit of those communities.
Meanwhile, Dr Nadine Leese, Reader in Women’s and Gender Studies, has worked in collaboration with the National Army Museum in London to display the War Widow’s Quilt, part of the War Widows Stories research project, during the Remembrance weekend.
LJMU’s support for the Armed Forces community
LJMU signed the Armed Forces Covenant in 2021. Since then, it has appointed its first Armed Forces Champion and formed a cross-university Armed Forces Steering Group, which brings together colleagues across all factions of the university to drive forwards everything from research to HR policy development, all with the aim of better supporting students and staff from the Armed Forces community and creating positive change for the community across the UK.
In May 2023, LJMU gained silver status under the Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme in acknowledgement of it’s work being undertaken in support of the Armed Forces Covenant.
Find out more about LJMU’s pledge to the Armed Forces community.
In the university’s Bicentenary year, it’s a poignant reminder of the history of the institution which found its classrooms increasingly empty during both the First and Second World Wars, as students were conscripted as soldiers and many others joined the war efforts at home.
Some of the university’s buildings, such as the F.L. Calder College premises on Colquitt Street were damaged by bombing during the Second World War, although the School of Pharmacy building survived perhaps in part thanks to its location facing Hope Street. The I.M. Marsh campus was also bombed but no injuries were recorded. It is noted that our College of Technology provided courses in radar for the RAF, aircrew training and production planning during WWII while I.M. Marsh students helped to turn the sports fields into allotments and air-raid shelters were also built.
Many more opportunities for female students are documented across LJMU’s history after both world wars, meanwhile an influx of former soldiers looked to education after their service was complete. After the Second World War there was increased demand for teachers which then saw the creation of the Ethel Wormald College of Education.
The lasting legacy and impact of the wars can be traced through the university’s long history. More about LJMU’s Bicentenary.