Archive and Special Collections

Dark Clouds

The 4 August 2014 marks 100 years since the First World War began. This historic event changed the lives of a generation; its impact on families and communities is still felt today.
The colleges and institutions that would eventually become our University played significant roles during the conflict, not least through the volunteers and conscripts that were thrown into diverse theatres of war. At our Headingley Campus the most visible monuments of that terrible war are the original college buildings, little changed since 1914.  The Leeds Training College at Beckett Park was officially opened only a year before, but was quickly converted into a military hospital.  Designated the 2nd Northern General Hospital, it was one of many Territorial and Reserve Forces hospitals spread across the country created in anticipation of war casualties. From its inception until the last wards were closed in 1927 there were conservative estimates that Beckett Park Hospital admitted 57,200 cases, performed 11,694 surgical procedures and witnessed 226 men die within its walls.

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