McGill University War Records Office

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McGill University War Records Office

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In January 1942, with the approval of the McGill University Board of Governors, Principal and Vice-Chancellor F. Cyril James established the McGill University War Records office. The objective was to compile a thorough record of the contribution to the war effort by McGill faculty, students, and staff--past and present, in all branches of armed and civilian war services. In conjunction with the Office of the Principal and Vice-Chancellor, and the Graduates’ Society, the War Records office solicited information from individuals and families to create files concerning their participation in the war.

Associated with The McGill News for more than a decade at the outbreak of the Second World War, serving in succession as Associate Editor, Editor, Chairman of the Editorial Board, and Vice-Chairman of the Editorial Board, Robert Collier Fetherstonhaugh (1892-1949) was appointed Custodian of the McGill University War Records in January 1942. In the spring 1942 issue of The McGill News, he expressed his vision for the War Records office, writing that one day he hoped “McGill may possess war records not surpassed by those of any university in Canada, or, indeed, of any university elsewhere.” The material in this collection contains documents compiled by Fetherstonhaugh during the course of the Second World War, and in the period immediately following.

In May 1946, the War Records office ceased its information collection activities, and in the same year the University granted Fetherstonhaugh the honorary degree of LL.D. In 1947, Fetherstonhaugh published the book McGill University at War 1914-1918; 1939-1945, based on the records he had meticulously acquired and organized during the war years.


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