UBC Archives Audio Recordings Collection

[Interview with Arthur Lord, Armed Forces at UBC Project, Part IV] Specht, Allen 1974-06-04

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Arthur Lord
June 4, 1974
Tape Side 2
Mr. Specht: Was there a different atmosphere on campus between the First World War and the Second World War? I know its a difficult question, but I wonder if you could describe how there might have been differences - differences in attitude perhaps?
Mr. Lord: Difference in attitude of students after the First War as compared with the other war?
Mr. Specht: No. I was thinking during the war, their approach to the service.
Mr. Lord: Between the two wars you mean?
Mr. Specht: No. Say during the First World War I wonder what the attitude was of the students and in the Second World war what the attitude was? Is it possible to compare?
Mr. Lord: Oh, I don't think so...Well in the First World War, there was an eagerness of young men who wanted to go overseas. There was that tremendous spirit that had been...propaganda that had worked on the students, the young people who didn't need much propaganda. They were infused with the idea that the war couldn't be won without them and they wanted to get over. You know I felt that way myself. I think principally because most of my...some of my friends had already gone and two of my brothers had already gone. Of course I was only nineteen then. I felt that if I didn't get in soon I wouldn't get there before the war was over, I don't think there was that spirit in this
war, the Second War. Well the reason I think, being because they were the sons of a lot of them who had been through the First War and they'd cooled them down a bit and say 'don't be too anxious to get there, you'll get there in good time alright and if you want to do your duty you'll do it. Go ahead, but don't think it too much of an adventure.' I think that attitude was a little more mature, possibly than it was, in the First War.
Mr. Specht: When did you take your discharge?
Mr. Lord: March of 1918.
Mr. Specht: I'm sorry. I was referring to the Second World War. What were circumstances?
Mr. Lord: Oh. I think that war was declared and..,at least the armistice was signed and that was the end of it. I think the C.O.T.C. was kept on for a few eels, but gradually that petered out. I wanted to get back to me duties at city hall and spend more time than I was able to do during the war.
Mr. Specht: You had been with the C.O.T.C. then for approximately five years?
Mr. Lord: Yes, approximately that.
Mr. Specht: Did you have a...what were your feelings towards your experience?
Mr. Lord: Toward the C.O.T.C.?
Mr. Specht: Yes, in the Second World War.
Mr. Lord: Oh none in particular except there was a job to be done, the younger ones and my attitude was if the experience I had in the First World War could be of any help to them, well then I was very pleased to do it. Because everybody was doing their bit in the war.
Mr. Specht: After the war, after the First World War the C.O.T.C. was disbanded at U.B.C. after the First World War. You talked about that in our previous interview. I wonder though, after the Second World War there doesn't seem to have been the anti-military feeling.
Mr Lord: I couldn't say. Because I don't Know what the...I wasn't on the campus. The cadet corps, at least the C.O.T.C. kept going for a while but purely voluntary basis and they had their group and the Army group and the Air Force group and they kept on for quite a while. I know they all paraded. Quite a few of them did parade on the annual armistice day, Remembrance Day Parade at the Memorial Gymnasium. They were represented by the three services, three branches and they kept up like that for quite a while, but its no longer in existence.
Mr. Specht: It lasted until 1968, but right after World War Two they had a very large contingent. The C.O.T.C. alone had over a hundred members and they don't seem to have encountered the opposition that occurred after the First World War. Did you have any subsequent involvement with the units on campus after you were out?
Mr. Lord: With any of the activities?
Mr. Specht: Yes.
Mr. Lord: No. Except I was on the Senate and the Board of Governors. I was on the Senate for thirty-six years and on the Board for twelve years.
Mr. Specht: Did you attend any functions though?
Mr. Lord: Oh yes. The re-union functions. Is that what you meant by functions? I attended all the re-unions that took place every five years. Each class you see...there were a lot of them that took place every...there were a lot of functions that took place every year, but our class of 1921 would be there at the same time as others who were having a five year re-union and they'd take place in different parts of the university. Our group now is too small, fifty of them a little while ago. A lot of... you'd be surprised how many came from different parts of the United States and Canada for this.
Mr. Specht: Did you - were you ever invited to C. O. T. C. affairs?
Mr. Lord: Yes, oh yes. I would get an invitation as a former officer.
Mr. Specht: To what for example?
Mr. Lord: Oh social functions, but that's about all they'd be doing. No other reason to go out except that they were having a social function and being a member of the officer's mess they'd send a notice of it.
Mr. Specht: What do you think of the idea of the university as a place for military traininig?
Mr. Lord: Oh I think its a good idea. Particularly on a volunteer basis...For those who feel they'd like to have a bit of background in military training why yes the university would be a good spot for them. But whether it would go over very well now or not I don't know.
Mr. Specht: Well it was disbanded eventually in 1963.
Mr. Lord: Yes that's what I say it wouldn't go over now. Well the interest in it had waned hadn't it?
Mr. Specht: Yes. Although also the government wanted to cut down the costs. Why do you think the university would be a good place though? For people who wanted training, what do you think the university offers?
Mr. Lord: Training for what?
Mr. Specht: Offers, that would be a good setting for military training.
Mr. Lord: It doesn't offer anything at the moment.
Mr. Specht: No, I mean in the past. Like I'm speaking more of theoretically.
Mr. Lord: Well its just another activity and there are certain ones who...liked it, for instance, why would I join the cadet corps at King Edward High School when I was a kid? There are those who belong to different reserve battalion, the 6th D.C.O.R. and the 72nd Highlanders are still going as reserve battalions and there are those who like to have that type of training.
Mr. Specht: Yes. On campus you would have the opportunity to produce officers who have a university education. At U.B.C. not presently but in the past, a lot of the faculty members also had some military background.
Mr. Lord: Yes, a lot of them.
End of Tape 1, Side 2


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