*Posted on behalf of Shanine Salmon, Archive Volunteer*
The Great War of 1914-1918 saw major changes at the IOE, or London Day Training College as it was then known. The Staff Register, from September 1912 saw lecturers leave the LDTC to join the war effort. Alfred Edward Harris; who had only joined the LDTC in 1914, Dr Henry Hulbert who left for the Royal Army Medical Corp, who had been at the college since 1903 and Evelyn Perry who left to work as an organiser of Physical Training in a munitions factory in 1916. As a result the college saw an increase in female lecturers; a trend also reflected in the student body of the college as male students enlisted.
Female staff at the college was not a new development; Margaret Punnett had been vice-principal at the LDTC since 1902 but during 1915-1919 five women and two men join the college. For all seven the roles are temporary, lasting between 1-4 years and part-time, usually as they are teaching at other schools. This is definitely seen as a short term arrangement, however from 1920-1926 the numbers of female lecturers seem to increase yet again due to the high loss of men in the First World War.
The majority of lecturers seem to have chosen to enlist themselves rather than be conscripted into the military. The majority leave the college in 1915-1916. In fact the year seems to have a high number of resignations, not all due to military service. Many lecturers, such as John Steel, leave the LDTC for other secondary education teaching posts. Lecturers appear to leave the LDTC to replace teachers who had enlisted.
Lecturers William MacPherson and Edward Minihane returned from service in 1919. There were others like John Steel (along with many students of the college), who sadly lost their lives.