The next Archival record regarding the war comes in Reports to Governors and Committees February 1915 to July 1915. The Index lists under the entry War:-
Additional payment to certain members of staff
Billetting in Gymnasium
Enlistment of members of staff
Manufacture of munitions of war
Under the first heading, after the establishment of a staff subcommittee, the following decisions were agreed:
(a) That in the case of the men staff no action be taken at present
(b) That during the continuance of the war
1. Mrs. E. Shipston – the Refreshment Room Matron – receive an additional weekly payment of 2/6 (two shillings and sixpence/12.5p), making her total weekly payment of £1. 5. 0 (one pound an five shillings/£1.25).
2. Mrs. P. Staynes – House Matron – receive an additional weekly payment of 2/6, making her total weekly payment £1. 4. 6 (one pound four shillings and sixpence/£1.22.5)
3. The Charwomen engaged for cleaning to be paid at the rate of 6d per hour insted of 5d as at present
The next war related record from the Archive appears in the Principal’s Report to the Education Committee, Wednesday, 2nd December, 1914 in Principal’s Reports – 1914 -15.
IV. PRO PATRIA
Several of the staff, many old boys and very many of the Evening Students and of the other members of the Polytechnic, are serving their country at the front or in other performances of military duty. It appears desirable that some permanent record should be made of this service. If the suggestion were considered favourably and due notice given it would enable us soon to secure as complete a list as possible. The method of making the record would be a matter for the General Purposes and Finance Committee and it therefore appears that for the present it would be sufficient to recommend to the Finance and General Purposes Committee and to the Governors –
That it is desirable that arrangements should be made to fix in some suitable position within the polytechnic a record of the names and service of those members of staff and of the students and members who are serving their country in other than a civil capacity during the present war.
Currently these records cannot be digitised, but are exhibited in the foyer of the Dreadnought Library.
When Britain and the Empire declared war on Germany at 11pm on August 4th 1914, for violating Belgium’s neutrality, The Woolwich Polytechnic, forerunner of the University of Greenwich, was closed for the summer.
On re-openning in September the impact was not initially felt since most of the evening students worked at the Royal Arsenal and so were classed as a reserve profession, and the days school boys were too young to serve.
The first action by the Polytechnic was to set up special classes for those affected by the War, and a relief fund:
Transciption from ‘Reports to Governors and Committees August 1914 to January 1915′.
21. SPECIAL CLASSES CONSEQUENT UPON THE WAR.
(a) That the opening of suitable separate classes/ in Trade Dressmaking and in Commercial subjects,/ exclusively for those thrown out of employment/ by reason of the War, be approved, and that the/ Principal be empowered to admit eligible persons/ to these classes without payment of fees.
(b) That the Principal be empowered to admit Belgian/ refugees in to the ordinary classes without payment/ of fees.
(c) That a class be formed for former scholars of the/ Girls’ Trade Schools, who are discharged by reason/of the War.
(d) That Mr. E. C. Hulin be engaged to conduct this/ class at a salary of 10/6 per evening.
22. RELIEF FUNDS.
That the Governors raise no objection to the/ formation of a Polytechnic fund for the relief of/ persons distressed by the War, on condition that donations are not canvassed.