The number of people from Dundee University who died during the First World War may be more than double what was previously thought.
The official war memorial recorded 37 staff, students and alumni who died, but Dr Kenneth Baxter has discovered far more lost their lives.
While not able to ascertain an exact number, the university’s archivist suspects the actual number is at least double.
His findings are revealed in Tayside at War, a new book published by Abertay Historical Society which explores different ways the war impacted the area and university. Called University College, it was part of St Andrews University at the time.
Dr Baxter said: “The Great War had an enormous impact on University College. Staff and students flocked to join the war effort, which meant those left behind faced real challenges.
“While the nature of surviving records means that the true number of war dead with connection to the university might never be known, my own research would suggest that the war memorial records less than half of those who died.
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“I have come across an additional 39 former students, some of whom were studying at University College when they died, who were either recorded as war deaths by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission or appear on other memorials or rolls of honour.
“There were also serving governors and ex-governors who we know died, as well as other possible casualties that I have not been able to prove one way or another.”
Dr Baxter has also found other ways in which the war impacted the university, including the treatment of certain staff.
He added: “Dr Wilhelm Stede, the lecturer in German since 1912, was suspended by the court of St Andrews University as he was a German national. He was later one of a group of five Germans and one Austrian arrested and removed from Dundee as ‘alien enemies’ and left behind an American wife and young child.
“Despite support for Stede’s case from local notables, including professors Stalker and Kynoch, there was no reprieve. He was eventually informed his employment would be terminated.
“A paradox was the eagerness of his students to join the war effort. By December 1914, 48 students, or 36 percent male students, were in the forces and it was opined that this rate would have been even higher if it was not for the fact that many male students were too young to legally enlist.”
Tayside at War will launch at 11am in the Dalhousie Building, Dundee University on December 1.