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From the Artists Rifles to Oxford


From the Artists Rifles to Oxford


This story was shared at the Somerville Great War Roadshow at Somerville College, 15 Nov 2014.

I was executor to an elderly friend, J F (Jeff) Cooper and amongst his effects, I discovered this photograph of nurses at Somerville College in Oxford, taken during the war when it was in use as a military hospital. Jeff Cooper served in the Artists Rifles in France. When he was wounded in August 1918, he was repatriated to England and was told he was going to Newcastle. On the journey, he became aware that others were going to Somerville in Oxford. Jeff had a scholarship to Jesus College, Oxford which he intended to take up after the war and he was able to persuade the Medical Officer at Dover that it would be more suitable to send him to Oxford rather than Newcastle. To his amazement, his request was granted and he was subsequently able to recount how he was at Somerville, a women's college, before he was up at Jesus!


Peter Batts


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