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UBC Publications

UBC Publications

Record of Service in the Second World War 1955

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U*q«l»A*'t5"2*trJi.  F SERVICE I
A Supplement to the
University of British Columbia War Memorial Manuscript Record.
Vancouver, Canada, 1955. Printed in Vancouver, Canada, by Grant-Mann. Contents
2   roll of the dead, world war ii. Facsimile reproductions.
8 memorial poem, world war ii. Facsimile reproduction.
9 editor's preface.
13 citation to lieutenant gray. Reproduction.
14 roll of the dead, world war i. Reproduction.
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mi^-HahIa* rtuntd a* tHcu* Ua* ini'tlfA^ onntder- world-. Editor's Preface
This booklet is intended to illustrate and to supplement the Roll of
Service of the University of British Columbia in the Second World
War, 1930-45. It has been prepared by the University's Remembrance Committee, formed during the session 1948-49.
The first task of this committee was to assemble a record of some
two thousand students, alumni and faculty of the University who
had served in Canadian or Allied forces during World War Two.
To their names were attached, wherever available, the dates of enlistment and discharge, rank on discharge, decorations, and the
year and faculty of graduation or of proposed graduation, completed to the year 1945. This material was then given final recording
in the form of a single illuminated manuscript, the Roll of Service,
which was placed on permanent display in the lobby of the University's War Memorial Gymnasium.
The manuscript, consisting of fifty-six vellum folio pages, was
hand-lettered in delicate brush-stroke by the Vancouver artist, Mr.
Chuck Yip, who also supplied original border and cover designs,
in the same technique, conceived in a contemporary spirit and
symbolic of the memorial nature of the volume. The work was then
bound in red morocco by the University Library and, in late 1953,
placed in a specially constructed glass and steel case in the lobby
of the Memorial Gymnasium. Ever since its installation, on the
eleventh of every month, a page of the manuscript is turned at a
special ceremony conducted by a University cadet-officer and
student Guard of Honour detailed from navy, army and air force
training units on the campus.
In addition to the record of military service, the manuscript EDITOR S PREFACE
Roll contains four specially designed and illuminated pages; two
of these list the names of those who died in service; a third is devoted to a memorial poem by the editor; the fourth presents the
citation of Lieutenant Robert Gray, R.C.N. V.R., a student of this
University, who was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for
great bravery in a naval action during the closing days of the war
in the Pacific, an action which cost him his life.
These four pages are given two-colour reproduction in the present
pamphlet, together with a photograph of Lieutenant Gray and one
of the page-turning ceremony by the officer of the Guard of Honour.
Since 1953 the Remembrance Committee has prepared a companion manuscript Roll for World War One, based on a printed
Record of Service assembled and published by the University in
1924. The new manuscript consists of twenty-four illuminated
vellum pages setting forth the names and military records of some
seven hundred students, graduates and faculty either of this University or of one of its ancestral colleges (Vancouver College, and
McGill College—British Columbia) who served in the first World
War. The work was designed and executed by another Vancouver
artist, Mrs. Sylvia Macintosh, wife of a student at present in this
University. It is in process of being bound and will shortly be added
to its companion volume in the display case in the Memorial
A reproduction of the In Memoriam page from this companion
volume will be found on page fourteen.
The remainder of the present volume, following this illustrative
material, offers, as a supplement to the manuscript Roll of Service
in the Second World War, an account of the civilian contributions
which a number of departments and faculties in this University
made to the war effort, and of the University's auxiliary contribution to military training. Such material, though unsuitable for inclusion in an illuminated manuscript, was felt by the committee to
be integral to the total record.
It is the editor's hope that the present booklet will serve not only
to place on record an important aspect of the University's work in
war years but, also, by calling attention to the existence and nature
of the two illuminated Rolls of Service, to prompt those interested
to view the manuscripts when next they visit our University. Although the rolls are of particular concern to those who served, or
whose relatives served, in either World War, they are also of general
interest both as records of voluntary service and sacrifice in two
great international struggles and as examples of the products of
British Columbia artists working in the beautiful but now rarely
practised tradition of manuscript lettering and illumination.
Your editor is keenly aware that not all the records are complete.
Where information has not been obtainable, as occasionally in respect of dates of enlistment, gaps have been left in the manuscripts
in the hope that the data may still be discovered and added. Any
member of the public who, after inspecting the rolls, finds that he
has information which the rolls lack, or which has been incorrectly
set down, is earnestly asked to inform the University, so that the
records may be adjusted.
Whatever accuracy and completeness our Rolls now possess are
the result of the joint efforts of a number of University faculties,
offices and departments, the U.B.C. Tri-Services personnel, officials in the Department of National Defense, Ottawa, the U.B.C.
Alumni Association, as well as several student clubs and fraternities and the voluntary aid of many individual faculty members and
friends of the University. For all such aid and counsel, willingly
given, and for the unfailing patience and encouragement of the
University administration during the seven years it has taken to
prepare the two Rolls of Service and this booklet, the Remembrance
Committee and your editor in particular are sincerely grateful.
, may, 1955 Earle Birney.
11  VC>T>SC
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^<^%^.<^>A.s^.>^<^<^>^"^^->>^%^>^»^%^>A.»/^%^i.-;*^ Introduction
In the six years between the constituting of the University of
British Columbia by legislative enactment in 1908 and the declaration of war on August 4th, 1914, considerable progress had been
made towards the realization of the dream of the founders.
When war was declared, the very existence of the University
was threatened. Practically all development ceased; the unexpended balance of the initial legislative grant reverted to the
Provincial treasury, and contemplated appointments to the professorial staff were deferred. This change in policy, while drastic
in the extreme, was made unhesitatingly in view of the magnitude of the struggle in which Canada had voluntarily engaged.
Under these circumstances it would have been impossible for
the University to open its doors in 1915 had it not been for the
existence in Vancouver of McGill University College of British
Columbia. On this excellent foundation the University began its
work at the Fairview site.
The opening years were anxious and distressing. The war was
uppermost in the minds of faculty and students alike. Military
training was compulsory. The Canadian Officers Training Corps
devoted special attention to the training of potential officers.
Enlistments were spontaneous and heavy. When conscription
was adopted on the campus only six students were affected.
Early in the conflict provision was made, not only for those
enlisted men who would return to the University to resume their
studies, but also for many non-university men who would wish
to take vocational training in Agriculture, Engineering, Mining
and Forestry. For these intensely practical courses approximately thirteen hundred students registered. Tuition was free
and no examinations were required. The costs were borne jointly
by the Dominion Government, the Provincial Government and
the University.
As the war progressed, wartime activities on the campus increased. More and more of the staff enlisted or were granted
leave of absence to engage in wartime research or to serve in
administrative or advisory capacities in government departments or in industry. Those who remained, in addition to carrying the usual teaching load and taking an active part in the
C.O.T.C., gave instruction in vocational classes, served on food
production and food rationing boards, on committees supervising vocational education for returned men and women and
the placement of veterans. Women students took instruction
in First Aid, worked in the University Branch of the Red Cross,
organized the dispatch of food parcels to men overseas, and
spent their vacations in war work.
The valor of the men, the devotion of the women, and the
inspiring leadership of the faculty and staff during these war
years created a cherished tradition which imbued their successors
with courage, inspired them with confidence, and steeled them
with determination to maintain the traditions which had been
established at such cost in the formative years of the University.
In the interval between the two wars the University, which
had moved to Point Grey in 1925, expanded rapidly in staff,
buildings, equipment, enrolment and curriculum. Upon the outbreak of hostilities in September, 1939, the Dominion and Provincial Governments naturally looked to the University for
assistance in many departments of the war effort. To this appeal
the University responded promptly by offering to make avail-
able whatever personnel, accommodation and equipment could
be provided consistent with the maintenance of reasonably
efficient standards of instruction. From the outset, the University
co-operated closely with many departments of the Dominion
and Provincial Governments in numerous projects affecting the
national welfare.
The primary functions of a University in normal times are
teaching and research. In time of war the functions remain the
same but the emphasis changes. Early in World War II the University adopted a freely-evolving policy determined by the
changing needs of Canada and the Allied Nations as these were
made known by the Government and the National Research
Council. To implement this policy new courses were added and
many established ones were discontinued or revised. Highly
specialized researches of a confidential nature were undertaken
in many branches of the war industry. Military training was
made compulsory; a programme of physical fitness for men and
women was instituted; inter-collegiate athletics were discontinued, and social activities were curtailed—all with a view to
enabling the University to make the greatest possible contribution to the prosecution of the war.
Owing to the nature of the conflict, the need for highly-
trained technical men early became so evident that the government advised students in the sciences, whether pure or applied,
to continue their courses until graduation rather than to enlist
immediately for active service. In announcing this forthright,
forward-looking policy, the Department of National Defence
made it clear that students affected by the ruling were not in
any sense a privileged class but that, in the national interest,
they had temporarily been placed in a special category. Notwithstanding this clear directive, undergraduate enlistments
continued to be heavy.
In co-operation with the Dominion Departments of Labour
and the Provincial Department of Education, generous bursaries
were made available for specified classes of students of high
scholastic standing who, without such assistance, would not
have been able to enter the University.
Numerous special wartime courses, differing widely in nature
and content, were offered by the University and by co-operating
bodies. Many of the texts used were prepared by members of
the staff as personal contributions to the re-training of discharged
Early in the war years a thoroughly modern and completely
equipped Armoury was erected from funds provided entirely by
the members of the Canadian Officers' Training Corps. This much-
needed building greatly facilitated the work of the Corps and
was, at the same time, tangible evidence of the public-spirited
devotion of the officers and men of the Contingent who, since
the re-organization of the Corps in 1928, had assigned their
entire headquarters training pay to regimental funds. With this
gift, the members of the Corps, without financial assistance of
any kind, made a magnificent contribution not only to the war
effort but also to future generations of students.
When compulsory military training was introduced in the
1940-1941 session, the C.O.T.C. was well-nigh overwhelmed by
the sudden influx of recruits. One course was given for students
taking basic military training. In the spring of 1943 the University Naval Training Division and the University Air Training Corps were established. Following the organization of these
new units, all military training came under a capable, unified
command. The parade grounds were graded and regulation
uniforms and equipment were obtained, and the interest and
efficiency of the Corps increased. In co-operation with members
of the faculty in at least eight departments in the University,
instructors in the Corps studied scientific problems having an
immediate practical bearing on the conduct of the war.
Women members of the staff and student body were also
actively engaged in war work, both compulsory and voluntary.
The response was immediate, enthusiastic and sustained. Physical
Education and recreational activities were expanded; Red Cross
projects of many kinds were carried out; contributions to the
self-denial fund were generous, and responses to the call for
blood donors were numerous.
War conditions were reflected in the physical appearance of
the campus. Gun emplacements were erected; part of the forest
belt was cleared; traffic was diverted from Marine Drive to the
Main Mall; the wireless station was transferred; blackouts were
instituted; elaborate precautions were taken against the possibility of air raids and gas attacks; valuable records were stored
in fire-proof sub-basements; trenches scarred the grounds; agricultural lands were used as landing fields for parachute troops>
and congested parade grounds contrasted sharply with the almost deserted playing fields.
As early as 1943, discharged servicemen began returning to
the University to resume their interrupted studies. The decision
of the government to give financial aid to all undergraduates
who wished to continue their academic training was an act of
statemanship comparable with the earlier decision to encourage
students in science to defer enlisting until after graduation.
Throughout the long years of both wars the students—men
and women—gave unmistakeable evidence of their seriousness
of purpose. They were quick to realize that the nation's interests
were paramount and by their conduct they demonstrated their
determination to do their duty.
Midsummer, 1944, marked the close of the thirty-year period
covered by this introduction. During that time the University
had witnessed two World Wars—wars in which it played an
honourable part. It had proved its ability to adjust its curriculum
to the rapidly changing demands imposed by great national
emergencies without sacrificing the liberal tradition unduly; and
it had demonstrated, not once only, but twice within a single
generation, that the quality of its undergraduates and alumni
was such as to bring credit to their Alma Mater and honour to
Canada in whose service so many of her sons and daughters gave
their lives unselfishly.
2C Foreword
It is fitting that universities which can perform their true
function only in a world in which free inquiry is accepted and
practised, should record in an appropriate manner the service of
those of their members who fought, and particularly of those
who died, in defence of freedom and of their country.
Because of this, after the First World War, the University of
British Columbia compiled its Record of Service and published it
in 1924.
After the Second World War it became an obligation to see
that this record was maintained, and made as complete as possible. At the request of the Board of Governors, Professor
(Major) Earle Birney accepted the responsibility for this work.
In carrying it out he was assisted by a Remembrance Committee representing the teaching staff, the Services on the
Campus and the Alumni Association.
To the editors it has been a responsibility additional to their
normal duties, willingly undertaken on behalf of those with
whom they served. The President Emeritus, Dr. Leonard S.
Klinck, who was responsible for the publishing of the first
record of service, and who was President until the summer of
1944, has contributed an introduction which, in a very short
space, sketches the activities of this University in two World
As I did not come to British Columbia until August, 1944,1
can do little more than record my admiration of the strong
tradition of national and personal service which has characterized the members of this University since its inception.
During the eleven years that I have been here, I have come to
understand, through contacts with the Alumni, with the older
members of the Faculty and with the student body, something
of how this tradition was fostered and has been maintained.
We were particularly fortunate during the immediate postwar years, which brought a great increase in the student population, to have had with us and to have kept with us many of
those members of the Faculty who were nearing the age of
retirement, for they helped immeasurably in giving continuity
to the established traditions, and in passing on these traditions
to their successors. We were fortunate, also, that over 5,000
of our peak enrollment of 9,376 students were themselves veterans whose traditions of service, maturity and responsibility
made it easy for them to find their place in their Alma Mater.
It was a temptation to the Committee to include the story
not only of the graduates and the students who enlisted from
the University, but also of the student veterans who came to us
after the war, and whose only University affiliation has been
with the University of British Columbia. Unfortunately it
proved impossible to obtain full details about such a large
number of students; consequently, the present record is confined to those who were enrolled in the University prior to or
during the war.
Because of this, I should like in a general way to express the
University's gratitude for the contributions made by the student veterans during the war and in the succeeding years. The
record of those years and of the veteran programme is to be
found in a separate article in this volume. I merely want at this
time to record the fact that those who returned to the universities from the Services left a lasting impression on Canadian
university life because of the maturity, responsibility and sense
of purpose with which they participated in their own higher
education. We are grateful for their contribution.
The primary purpose of this volume is to commemorate those
who, bred in the tradition of our society and of this University,
honoured this tradition in their defence of our society. We
honour particularly those who died.
23  The Veteran Returns
During the earliest years of the war the Government of Canada prepared the plan for the rehabilitation of the men and
women who served in the armed forces. By the time hostilities
had ended, a programme of rehabilitation on a hitherto unprecedented scale was ready to be put into effect. It provided
ample means for the education of qualified war veterans in
Canadian universities. By the autumn of 1945 the universities,
working in the closest harmony with the Department of Veterans' Affairs, were ready to receive the rapidly increasing
number of men and women who, on being released from the
armed services, applied for university education.
The University of British Columbia made special arrangements, in addition to the regular admission of students in
September, permitting veterans to register in January, May and
July so that upon their release from the services, they were able
to commence their studies without undue delay. The consequent
intake of veterans at the University of British Columbia was
very rapid. The records of the Department of Veterans' Affairs
show that in 1944-45 only 208 veterans were in attendance at
the University, whereas during the Session 1946-47 there were
4762 enrolled. This latter figure takes into account only those
student veterans who were in receipt of rehabilitation allowances. An additional number who had by this time already exhausted their entitlement to allowances were continuing their
studies at their own expense. It is reliably estimated that well
over five thousand student veterans were in attendance at the
University of British Columbia during the 1946-47 session. In
addition to these there were other students who had served
during the war with the Merchant Marine. Many of these
students from the Merchant Navy, although they were never
classified as war veterans within the terms of the government's
rehabilitation plan, had seen long and hazardous war service
and the University made liberal use of its own financial resources in order to provide aid for those who were in need.
University bursary and loan funds were also made available on
a large scale for all student veterans who required financial
assistance in addition to their rehabilitation allowances.
Veteran enrolment reached its peak in the Session of 1946-47;
during the Session of 1949-50 the number of student veterans
who were still drawing allowances had dropped to 2114. By the
spring of 1950 there were 3690 veterans who had successfully
completed their courses and had received their degrees while
still in receipt of allowances. Taking into account those who
completed their courses at their own expense, it is estimated
that approximately four thousand veterans had graduated by
June, 1950. An additional number, after having successfully
completed the second or third years, had left in order to enter
professional courses in Medicine, Dentistry, Optometry, and
Physical and Occupational Therapy at other universities.
The size of the student body at the University of British
Columbia was increased by the influx of veterans to a proportionally greater extent than at any other Canadian university. In 1944-45 the student body numbered 2569; in 1947-48
it numbered 9374. It is interesting to note that among the
student veterans about one in five attended high school in
some other province, whereas only one in ten of the non-veteran
students had done so. Doubtless the timely action of the Board
of Governors of the University in agreeing to accept all qualified
students contributed to this trend.
The student veterans as a group differed in several significant
respects from the other students. On the average they were
older by some four or five years. Most of them had been away
from school for several years. The average length of time they
had spent in the armed forces was between forty and forty-five
months, during which time they had been trained and disciplined. Between sixty and sixty-five percent of them had served
in a combat zone and practically all of them had journeyed far
from home in the course of their service. A number had been
wounded; others had been prisoners of war. They represented
all ranks from Air Commodore and Colonel to aircraftsman and
private. Many had been decorated for acts of bravery and devotion to duty. Very few of the non-veteran students were
married, but of the student veterans, fully twenty-five percent
were married and the percentage increased as the students progressed. Of the married veterans one-third had children. Both
the numbers and sizes of the families increased and by graduation some of the veterans took pride in families of three or even
four children. The faith, courage and resourcefulness of the
veterans' wives who cheerfully carried on in spite of inconvenience, hardship and sometimes unavoidable disappointment
matched the devotion to duty which their husbands had displayed during the years of conflict. The University will long
remember'these pioneering women with pride and affection.
Although over seventeen percent of the men and women in
the armed forces of Canada had educational qualifications
equivalent to junior matriculation or better, there were many
veterans who sought a university education in spite of the fact
that they had not completed junior matriculation. The rehabilitation programme provided pre-matriculation courses for these
veterans whereby they were enabled to qualify for university
entrance in as brief a time as possible. Such students more than
justified the opportunity which the rehabilitation programme
afforded them.
In order to provide for the greatly enlarged classes, the University added many new members to its staff and erected
numerous temporary structures on the campus to serve as classrooms, laboratories, study-rooms, lunch-room, dormitories and
offices. In spite of these measures, many classes were crowded
and several laboratory sections carried on into the night. The
supplying of text-books and equipment was a major problem
that was finally overcome by the persistence and diligence of
the University staff. The veterans cheerfully accepted all of
these insufficiencies and, in their determination to make good,
seemed oblivious of many inconveniences. The wholehearted
enthusiasm for the venture that was displayed by the teaching
staff amply compensated for the many improvisations, with the
result that the quality of instruction was enhanced rather than
In recognition of the maturity of the student veterans, the
Faculty Council relaxed some minor disciplinary regulations
and granted the veterans exemption from obligatory physical
training periods and made certain minor concessions to them
with regard to courses. These steps were fully justified by the
high standard of the veterans' scholastic success and deportment.
The majority of student veterans, particularly those who
were married, found it necessary to supplement their rehabilitation grants with earnings during the term and over the Christmas and summer vacations. In order to facilitate this, the
University established an employment service. The employers
of the province willingly co-operated and many veterans were
thus enabled to earn as well as learn. Wherever possible the
University employed its student veterans on janitorial and
maintenance work and for services in the library, book-store
and lunch-rooms. The employment service also assisted with
the placement of graduates and each year brought to the
campus groups of employers from all over Canada to interview
and hire the new graduates. The fact that an almost negligible
number of veteran graduates turned for employment to some
other country than Canada can be attributed in no small
measure to such services.
In conjunction with the employment service, the University
established a Counselling Bureau for student veterans. Here
they were able to obtain academic and vocational counselling,
advice on their progress and help with personal problems. This
bureau also provided the liaison with the Department of Veterans' Affairs, distributed allowance cheques, and fulfilled the
services required by the Veterans' Loan Board, Scholarship
Committee and other bodies.
The success of the student veterans more than justified the
faith and vision of those who planned the rehabilitation programme and of those who threw open the doors of the University to receive them. Instructors found them to be the most
interested and interesting students they had ever taught. Their
conduct was above reproach and the University authorities
found them to be imbued with a helpful initiative that lightened
the labours of the administration. They became partners in a
challenging enterprise rather than pupils to be directed and
controlled. They raised university life to a level of maturity it
had never previously attained and they showed unfailing appreciation for every service the University performed.
Contrary to the expectations of some, the veterans settled
down to academic life with a minimum of apparent difficulty.
A strong sense of responsibility and a determination to make
good seemed to prevail over any other attitude. They actively
assisted the University in developing residential camps for hun-
dreds of married and single veterans. They formed the University of British Columbia Branch of the Canadian Legion as
a centre for their various activities; they organized play schools
for their children, organized co-operative stores in their camps,
and worked to the advantage of the University in many other
Many of the student veterans became prominent in student
affairs and held high office in student organizations. Several
starred on the University's athletic teams, although many
found little time for either sports or entertainment. The responsibilities of maintaining a home and keeping up with their
studies completely absorbed the time of most of them.
The progress they made in their studies was somewhat superior to that of other students. As a group the married student
veterans excelled all others. At each successive graduation, veterans figured prominently in the list of those who had won
scholarships or prizes. Approximately fifty percent of those
whose initial period of entitlement had expired prior to graduation were granted continuous allowances because they had obtained at least Second Class standing or stood in the top twenty-
five percent of their classes. Of those who failed and repeated a
year at their own expense over eighty percent successfully completed the next higher year. In 1948-49, ninety-two percent of
all the student veterans who were on rehabilitation allowances
passed to the next higher year or graduated.
A considerable number of veterans who achieved high standing have continued to graduate work. Many others have entered upon their professional and occupational careers. They are
among the strongest supporters of the University in their various walks of life.
The return of the veterans was the greatest single event in
the history of university education in Canada. The scale upon
which the academic training of veterans was conceived and
carried out greatly surpasses any other national venture in
higher education. Its success surpassed all expectations and its
effects upon our educational and national life will be far-reaching and enduring. Soon the sons and daughters of our student
veterans will enter our universities. Their mothers and fathers
have left for them a splendid tradition of initiative, and of devotion to the best that a university can offer.
3i The University of British Columbia Contingent
Canadian Officers' Training Corps
After the First World War the University of British Columbia
Contingent Canadian Officers' Training Corps was disbanded.
On 28 November, 1927, about 150 students submitted to the
University authorities a petition requesting that a University
contingent be organized for the purpose of offering officer-training to interested students. After the Students' Council and
Board of Governors had given approval, the Senate gave permission for the formation of the C.O.T.C., and a University
Military Committee was established. Lt. Col. H. T. Logan,
M.C., was appointed as the first Commanding Officer. Enlistment proceeded immediately. Quarters for administration and
training were provided in the basement of the Arts Building,
and training got under way. Lt. Col. Logan initiated the policy
which resulted in the assignment of all Corps members' pay to
the Regimental Funds. The understanding was that the funds
which remained after current expenses had been defrayed
should become the nucleus of a Corps building fund.
The years 1929-1939 witnessed a steady expansion of the
unit. Numbers almost doubled, rising from 53 in 1928 to 94 in
1938-39. Again, there was an increasing demand from local
militia units for officers trained in the Corps. Two changes in
command took place. In October, 1930, Lt. Col. Logan was
succeeded as Commanding Officer by Lt. Col. (now Major
General) H. F. G. Letson, M.C., E.D., and in 1937 Lt. Col.
G. M. Shrum, M.M., was appointed to succeed Lt. Col. Letson.
The outbreak of war in September, 1939, created new problems. The challenge of training larger numbers of cadets necessitated an increased establishment. The parade strength of the
unit rose to 219, as a result of two innovations. One of these
permitted graduates of accredited Canadian Universities to enlist as cadets and the other granted first year academic credits
to students who qualified in C.O.T.C. exams.
In 1940, the Dominion Government inaugurated the policy
of compulsory military training for all physically fit male students of the University. By agreement with the universities,
however, the conscription of eligible students into the armed
forces was postponed until graduation and training was given
on each campus.
As a result of this new policy, the enrolment in the Corps
reached 1738 in 1940-41, and an all-time record of 1879 m I94I_
42. During the war years, the total enlistments from the Corps
into the services reached 1680. Of this number 417 enlisted in
the Royal Canadian Navy, 629 in the Canadian Army (Active)
and 634 in the Royal Canadian Air Force.
In the year 1940-41, the assigned pay which had accumulated
as a result of the policy initiated in 1927 was sufficient to begin
the construction of the U.B.C. Armoury. In 1942 the building
was officially opened by the Lieutenant-Governor of the Province and was turned over to the University. Subsequently all
service training on the Campus was concentrated in one building. In the following years additions were made to the building
to provide space for stores, training equipment, and offices. No
other contingent in Canada possesses a comparable building.
To all present and former members of the Contingent who contributed to the undertaking, the Armoury has been a source of
pride and satisfaction, and it has added in no small measure to
the high morale that has always characterized the U.B.C. Contingent.
33 University Naval Training Division at the
University of British Columbia
The University Naval Training Division was established at
the University of British Columbia in March, 1943. Its purpose
was to supply partially trained ratings and potential officers for
the rapidly expanding Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve.
Lieutenant H. M. Mcllroy, C.O.T.C, Department of Mechanical Engineering, was appointed Commanding Officer, with
the rank of Lieutenant Commander (Special Branch). He was
responsible for administration and discipline in the Division and
for general liaison between the University and the Naval Service.
The Naval Service assigned the U.N.T.D. the status of tender to H.M.C.S. "Discovery," Stanley Park. University students who were accepted by the Naval Service were attested on
Divisional Strength at H.M.C.S. "Discovery" and then drafted
to the U.N.T.D. for training. Under this arrangement, members
of the U.N.T.D. were R.C.N.V.R. ratings on leave to continue
their University courses, and in receipt of Bounty Pay for those
Training Parades they attended. Any member who left the
University for any reason was immediately recalled to Active
Service. Thus the status of the U.N.T.D. members was essentially different from that of the members in the corresponding
Army and Air Force units on the campus.
Like other service units at University of British Columbia,
the U.N.T.D. conformed to the pay assignment required by the
University and each officer and man received only five dollars
training pay during the University Session.
The training syllabus was laid down by the Commanding
Officer, Naval Division, Toronto, and was revised periodically
as training progressed and conditions warranted. Training was
given for six hours a week during the University Session and for
two weeks during the summer at either a west coast or an east
coast R.C.N, training establishment. Ratings were also given
an opportunity to serve for a full summer on Active Service
ships on Atlantic convoy. Eventually, the training programme
was extended to cover four years of a normal University course.
35 The University of British Columbia
Air Squadron
Pursuing a policy of military preparedness, the Board of Governors agreed with the Department of National Defence for Air
that a unit of the University Air Training Corps be established
on the Campus. The unit, later to be known as No. 6 University Air Squadron, R.C.A.F., came into being June 28,1943.
Captain J. Allen Harris of the Canadian Officers Training Corps
was appointed Commanding Officer, with the rank of Squadron
Leader. He was assisted in the task of directing the unit by one
regular air force officer and three officers chosen from the
Originally only students who could meet aircrew medical
standards were enlisted. Later, however, students who were unable to meet these rigorous physical standards were enrolled as
technical personnel.
During the University session the unit trained for six hours
per week in a wide variety of military subjects to prepare
members for active service. Most members of the unit attended
summer training camps at Vulcan, Macleod and Claresholm.
Twenty-eight members of the squadron who were graduates
of 1944 enlisted for active service.
36 Contributions to Wartime Research
The Faculty of Applied Science
During the war the Royal Canadian Navy and the National
Research Council worked in close co-operation on the problems
of ship protection arising from the use of magnetic and acoustic
mines. For the West Coast the Research Council organized a
small Vancouver Group under the direction of a member of the
Applied Science staff of the University of British Columbia-
The members of the Group, almost all of whom were science
graduates of U.B.C, were appointed to the staff of the National
Research Council.
This Vancouver Group, working with a corresponding group
of Naval Officers, was responsible for the operation and maintenance of the Vancouver De-Haussing Open Ranges. These
Ranges were laid in English Bay; the Recording Station was in
Stanley Park. On these Ranges, hundreds of ships of many
different kinds were tested, their magnetic signatures obtained
and analysed, and recommendations made for the proper operation of their De-Gaussing equipment.
Other projects undertaken included the installation and operation of the Acoustics Range. Hydrophones were laid at the
site of the De-Gaussing Shallow Range and the Sound Recorder
located in the Stanley Park Station. The Range was used for
obtaining acoustic records of minesweepers and other ships fitted with Acoustics equipment.
Extensive use was made of the Electrical Engineering Lab-
oratories and Machine Shop of the University of British Columbia for the construction and testing of special apparatus.
During the war years nearly all members of the Staff of the
Faculty of Applied Science were engaged in some form of war
activity in the summer months. Some were granted leave of
absence on a full-time or part-time basis while others were retained in a consulting capacity in addition to their university
One staff member was Consulting Geologist for the provincial
Department of Mines and was also a member of the Strategic
Minerals Board. Several of our geologists were retained by the
government to act as consultants or to take charge of field
parties in search of vitally needed minerals. Moreover, several
of the engineers on the staff found opportunities for useful work
with various manufacturing concerns in this province.
The Faculty was also closely concerned in the organization of
the British Columbia War Metals Research Board which came
into being in March, 1942, to provide research and consulting
service for the metal fabricating industry in the Province, and
to assist governmental agencies by providing analytical, testing,
and other facilities necessary for the production of wartime
supplies and equipment.
The Board was supported by the Provincial Departments of
Mines and of Trade and Industry; by the Dominion Department of Mines and Resources; and by payments and contributions made by a large number of private companies in British
Columbia. The Dean of the Applied Science Faculty was chairman of the Board. Various government departments, industry,
and the University were represented on the Board.
The work of the Board was carried on in the laboratories of
the Department of Mining and Metallurgy in the University,
by a staff composed of members of the Department assisted by
other University faculty members; by specialists whose services
were loaned by government departments; by industry; and by
a small staff of technicians and university students. About two
hundred projects were undertaken, some small, others extensive, but all directly related to the design or production of
metal and mineral products needed in the war effort.
As an indirect result of the success of the operations of the
War Metals Board, the British Columbia Government, in
March, 1944, organized the British Columbia Research Council
to extend similar services to fields other than metallurgy. On
April 1, 1945, the War Metals Board was dissolved and the
Staff and activities transferred to the B.C. Research Council,
beginning, thus, the Division of Mining and Metallurgy of the
Council, which, later, was expanded to become the Division of
Engineering of the Council.
The Department of Bacteriology and
Preventive Medicine
During two wartime years one department member directed a
full-time graduate assistant who investigated the Clostridium
welchii (gas gangrene) toxins, under a grant from the Associate
Committee on Medical Research of the National Research
Council of Canada.
A second member was largely responsible for production of
the first quantity of cholera vaccine to be prepared in North
America, for the use of troops proceeding to certain areas overseas. He, in association with another member of this department, devised methods of assessing the immunizing potency of
such vaccines, and was, throughout the war, a member of the
Standing Committee on Nutrition of the British Columbia
Division, Canadian Red Cross Society.
A third member directed and carried out researches, during
the entire war period, into various problems of bacterial food
poisoning, under the auspices of the Associate Committee on
Medical Research of the National Research Council, and Con-
naught Medical Research Laboratories. Some of these projects
were undertaken at the request of the Emergency Public Health
Laboratory Services of Great Britain. In addition, as Research
Member in charge of the Western Division of Connaught
Research Laboratories, this staff member secured appropriate
strains of V. cholerae from various parts of the world early in
the war, and subsequently directed the production of cholera
vaccine therefrom. He also enquired into special hazards from
plague and certain other exotic infections. Besides these duties,
he also, as Director of the Division of Laboratories of the Provincial Department of Health, was responsible for the laboratory techniques and control of communicable infections in both
civilian and military populations throughout the Province, and
the laboratory aspects of the Red Cross Blood Donor Service
for British Columbia were under his direction.
The department was represented on the following committees: Civilian Protection Committee of British Columbia; Epidemic Emergency Committee of British Columbia; Canadian
Red Cross Society Blood Donor Service (Chairman, Laboratory
Section; British Columbia Division); and the Committee on
Bacteriological Warfare.
The Department of Biology and Botany
Many phases of the contribution of the members of the Department of Biology and Botany are, to date, of a nature which
precludes public presentation. The reportable activities are such
that the joint contribution rather than the individual effort is
what should be stressed in this summary. The following are but
a few of several contributions the Department was able to make
to the University's war work.
Physiological adjustments of aviation and of rescue devices
to reduce and to alleviate physiological stress caused by acceleration pressures generally known as "blackout" were communicated to leaders in aviation medicine and research in Canada and in Britain.
Methods were devised to facilitate the use of marine plant
products as agar, algin and carageen. These colloidal products
were used during the war and since, as food stabilizers, as substitutes for textiles, as insulating materials and in many other
ways where plastics of particular kinds were required. The major
portion of the work was conducted under the National and
British Columbia Research Councils.
This department also made a substantial contribution by
training research students. Graduates served in major and
minor posts with the medical and dental corps and in Biological
Research Laboratories. Three graduates directed separate penicillin producing groups and another received the M.B.E. for
respiration research.
The Department of Chemistry
The main contribution made by this department was in the
preparation of new explosives. About twenty-four compounds
were submitted to the Government testing laboratories.
The Department also contributed studies on the physical and
chemical properties of smokes and investigated the conditions
under which they could best be produced and disseminated.
Certain additional research projects were carried out under
departmental supervision. Among these was an attempt to produce organo-metallic derivatives of cadmium on a scale larger
than was possible by the existing methods. Another concerned
methods of extracting uranium from pitchblend. The results
obtained are not released as they have not been declassified,
and the work is being continued under a special National Research Grant.
The Department also carried on extra-mural war research at
the University for the Department of Chemical Warfare, as
well as for the National Research Council and its various Committees. Students assisted by carrying on the work as part of
the thesis requirements for Honours and Master's degrees. Such
investigations included an attempt to improve carbon monoxide
gas masks; the development of methods for the detection of new
war gases; the creation of a new process for the production of
nitric oxide, required for the preparation of new explosives; and
the development of new flares for signalling purposes.
The Department of Forestry
One member of the Department was granted leave of absence
in order to increase the production of vitally-needed Sitka
spruce for the manufacture of bombers and other essential aircraft. From March to June, 1942, he was Superintendent for a
large spruce operation in the Queen Charlotte Islands. In June,
1942, a Crown Company was formed to correlate and increase
all spruce production in British Columbia. This company controlled the production of spruce from the woods to the final
product, including the allocation of aerograde spruce to the
airplane manufacturers in Canada, the United States and the
United Kingdom. The same faculty member was production
manager for this Crown Company until the fall of 1945, when
he returned to the University.
A second member of the department was granted permission
to give part-time assistance as Statistician to this Crown Company. This University of British Columbia representative compiled, in addition to his regular University duties, monthly,
quarterly and annual reports of log and lumber production from
January, 1943, until the fall of 1945.
The Department of Mathematics
Several members of the Department of Mathematics were
instructors in the No. 2 Canadian Army Course at the University of British Columbia.
One member of the Department served in a civilian capacity
as operations analyst with the United States 3rd Air Force in
Florida and the United States 8th Air Force in England from
August, 1944, to August, 1945.
The Department of Physics
Because of the very nature of its work, the Department of
Physics was privileged to add a great deal to the University's
part in winning the war. The services of members of the staff
were in great demand and many of them gave their time and
efforts wholeheartedly, not only on the campus, but in many
far-flung parts of the world.
The Head of the Department organized and directed a course
for radio-technicians at the University of British Columbia.
Over six hundred service personnel, with a maximum of one
hundred and fifty at any one time, were given their elementary
training for this new scientific development in warfare. He was
also concerned with the Educational Services of the Canadian
Legion, as described in the report of the Department of University Extension, and he served as co-director of the Numbers
I and 2 Army Courses. Not the least of his efforts were directed
towards the C.O.T.C. of which he was Commanding Officer
during the entire war period. Besides these onerous duties, he
accepted responsible positions with the National Research
Council, B.C. Research Council, the Committee on Military
Training of the National Conference of Canadian Universities,
and with various Department of National Defence committees
which dealt with the recruiting and training of military personnel.
When the housing problem of student veterans became acute,
towards and after the end of the war, this staff member organized and directed the accommodation plans of the University,
and also served as a Counsellor at the University Counselling
office set up to deal with veterans' problems.
Another member of the Physics staff served, during the summer months of the war years, on important war projects. In the
course of this work, he was attached at different times to the
Radar Section, National Research Council; the War Metals
Research Board; the Synthetic Rubber Research Project, University of Notre Dame; the National Research Council Committee on Rubber Research; and the United States Rocket Research Project. In the last year of the war this member directed
various rubber research projects at the University of British
One staff member was granted leave of absence from the
Department from 1941 to 1945 in order to devote himself en-
44 contributions to wartime research
tirely to war work. In the course of these four years he was research physicist on radar problems for the Allied services at the
National Research Council. In this capacity he was in England
serving the British Admiralty, was design and production engineer for a Crown Company manufacturing special radar
equipment, and served as British Admiralty Technician Mission
representative to the same company.
In the early spring of 1941, another University of B.C. physicist was called to a position in charge of optical design at Research Enterprises, Ltd., Leaside. In this capacity, he was responsible for the design of most types of military fire control
instruments, including directors, dial sights, tank and trench
periscopes, identification, sniping, sighting and stereo telescopes, binoculars, and range finders.
Near the conclusion of the war, he was granted an honorary
commission at C.M.H.Q. London, to investigate German optical instruments. To do this work more effectively, he was
loaned to the Scientific Advisory Section (S.I.A.S.) of G-2,
SHAEF Main (Versailles and Frankfurt-am-Main). His duties
at this headquarters included work on a comprehensive file of
German scientists and advisory reports on the post-war treatment of German science. His field work included several trips
to the Leitz and Hensoldt plants at Wetzlar, the Zeiss and
Schott plants at Jena, and the Hensoldt plant at Munich.
Another member of the Department took part in planning
and organizing the Radio Technicians Course. He instructed in
the first session of this course. For three and a half years he
worked in the Atomic Energy Project of the National Research
Council, first at Montreal and later at Chalk River. He joined
the group as Associate Research Physicist, Grade II, and was
later promoted to Research Physicist and placed in charge of
the Theoretical Physics Branch of the Project. He was a member of the Design Group responsible for the basic design of the
heavy water nuclear reactor at Chalk River and took part in
a programme for training research workers and operating and
design engineers.
The Department of University Extension
The director of the Extension Department served as chairman
of the Canadian Legion Education Services for the Western
Command for the duration of the war. This position entailed
the preparation of correspondence courses and the holding of
classes in the various army establishments in British Columbia
and Alberta. These services were particularly appreciated at
the more isolated coastal defence stations.
The Extension Department co-operated with the Canadian
Legion Educational Services to provide both educational and
recreational courses and material. The courses included not
only vocational subjects such as mathematics, physics, and
engineering, but also such cultural courses as music, art appreciation, English literature, and handicrafts. The Department
also co-operated with the National Film Board in providing
both technical and educational films for all military camps in
the province.
In order to improve relations between management and
labour, and consequently to increase production, the Extension
Department in co-operation with the Federal Department of
Labour offered a number of courses in personnel administration. It is of interest to note that before these courses were
provided there were very few personnel departments in British
Columbia's industrial organizations.
The Department also arranged for its own members and for
members of the University to visit military camps and give
lectures or take part in discussion groups.
46 JL HE text of this booklet is set in Monotype Caslon Old Style types with headings
in Garamond Italics. The type used on the cover and title page was designed by
Jan van Krimpen for the Joh. Enschede en Zonen type foundry of Haarlem and
is called Open Kapitalen.


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