First World War: School News March 1916

From Bootham magazine, March 1916

Natural History

“The interest in natural history seems at present less in amount than in previous years, though those who are working at the various subjects are keen, and the work reaches a pretty high standard. Ambulance work, house matches, and the bath are mentioned by various members of the committee as matters which occupy some of the leisure at one time given to natural history. There has also been considerable difficulty in arranging excursions owing to increased train fares. Walks to Askham, Hobmoor, and Wart-hill have to a certain extent replaced longer journeys. It is worth pointing out in this connection, however, that quite good natural history work can be done without going far.”

Air Raid Preparations

“The frequent and successful air raids that have been carried out in this country so recently have made the possibility of their arrival over York a very real one, and we are accordingly making preparations to receive them. Weekly air raid practices have been instituted, which comprise a general rush downstairs with whatever clothing can be laid hands on, but the prospect of any prolonged stay in the box-room during the night is not a very pleasant or a comforting one.

On February 19th about twenty of those who had gained First Aid certificates underwent a very novel experience, when they offered themselves as subjects for the air raid practice held by the St. John Ambulance Association in York. About ten o’clock at night they were asked to place themselves in various parts of the city, bearing labels telling them of their injuries, and there they waited until the ambulance found them, bandaged them, and then motored them back to the hospital for proper medical treatment. Luckily for the success of the test the moon was at its best and the night clear, and no great difficulties had to be met with, while the experience was thoroughly enjoyed by all of us who underwent it.”

First World War: School News, Autumn 1915

Ambulance Drill

“It has been decided to continue the Ambulance Drill again this year, and with the experience of those who have already gained the certificate to command us we have quickly passed the more elementary stages, and hope to be working with a motor ambulance next term. One afternoon a week is devoted to it, and on the last Tuesday of November we were inspected by a sergeant of the St. John Ambulance Association, who expressed himself highly satisfied with the work that was done. Section eight, under the command of Hickes, was placed first with twenty-six out of thirty, but as the lowest was only twenty-two there was very little to choose between them. An additional twenty-one are taking the First Aid classes again, conducted by Dr. Craig.”

Belgian Refugees

“…The next [lecture] was an account, given by Mr. T. Cox, of the brush-making that is done by the Belgian refugees in their camps in Holland. Our own Belgians are still living and prospering under their new conditions, and though we fear they are not so much in our minds as of yore, we are reminded of them every week by the inevitable lightening of our pockets.”

From Bootham Magazine, December 1915

See previous posts from September 1914 and January 1915 about the Belgian family that the school supported.

The Ambulance Unit at Bootham School

“Perhaps the event of most importance during the term was the inauguration of an ambulance unit, composed of about fifty boys, under the supervision of Mr. Walker. We had nine stretchers lent us, but later obtained some of our own. We gave up football practices twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays, when we practised the drill in the field. On Saturday evenings some twenty of the unit took First-Aid lessons, and at the end of the term an examination was held. Fifteen entered and fifteen passed. During the term two route marches took place, under the supervision of Mr. Knight; whilst subjects and lunch were forwarded in Mr. Walker’s car. Both marches were thoroughly enjoyed by all, although on the first occasion a great amount of doubling was done, perhaps a little unnecessarily, as we were not yet hardened to it. Some of those training now hope soon to join the Anglo-Belgian unit which is at present doing such beneficent and wonderful work at the Front. Before the unit had set out for Belgium, Mr. V. W. Alexander gave us a very interesting lecture on the day’s routine of work at Jordans, and how everything was conducted there.”

From ‘Bootham’ magazine, December 1914