The First Fifty Years of the Rhodes Trust and the Rhodes Scholarships, 1903-1953

By Godfrey Elton | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV
WAR

THE years went quietly by. The summer term of 1914 drew to its close. There may have been those, even in Oxford, who saw what was coming; but, so far as I can recall, 'Commem.' was as gay, Lord's and Henley as crowded, as ever. Rhodes Scholars had scattered for the vacation, many of them to the Continent--for those were the days of cheap 'pensions' and unrestricted travel. Seventy-three new Scholars were due to arrive in October--forty-seven from the United States, twentysix from the Dominions. Then suddenly it was war.

I was deluged with letters and telegrams asking for information or advice. It was not easy to give either. The University itself was hesitating; might even decide to shut down. After all, this was the first time that either Colleges or University had had to face total war. The Boer War had scarcely scratched the surface of Oxford's life, and had left no lessons. It is not surprising that there was uncertainty and hesitation. Meanwhile, there were my letters and telegrams, demanding answers. The Americans were the problem. The war would claim most of the Dominions Scholars: but America was not in the war, nor very likely to be, so far as one could then see. Should the American Rhodes Scholars, more particularly the forty-seven new ones, be discouraged from coming? Or actually forbidden to do so? Or, if the University was proposing to carry on 'as usual', should they even be encouraged to come?

I was in continuous communication with Lord Milner. On August 6th, in reply to a letter from me, he wrote suggesting that I should leave the decision to the Scholars themselves 'and not give them a lead'. On the 13th he wrote: 'Personally, taking as I do a rather grave view of the probable duration and severity of the war, I think . . . in the interest of the Scholars themselves

-103-

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The First Fifty Years of the Rhodes Trust and the Rhodes Scholarships, 1903-1953
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • EDITOR''s FOREWORD vii
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • Contents xi
  • Chapter I- THE BEGINNINGS xiii
  • Chapter II- Lord Lothian and the Years of Peace 16
  • Chapter III- World War Again 33
  • Chapter IV- The New Era 44
  • II- THE RHODES SCHOLARS AND OXFORD 1902-31 57
  • Chapter II- First Arrivals 77
  • Chapter III- Settling Down 92
  • Chapter IV- War 103
  • Chapter V- Change 111
  • III- THE RHODES SCHOLARS AND OXFORD 1931-52 127
  • Chapter II- The System at Work 134
  • Chapter III- The Second World War 161
  • Chapter IV- Peace and Its Problems 174
  • IV- THE AMERICAN SCHOLARSHIPS 183
  • Chapter II- Post-War Changes 202
  • V- RECORDS AND STATISTICS 217
  • Appendix TRUSTEES AND OFFICERS OF THE RHODES TRUST 1955 267
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