Faculty of Medicine and the First World War 1914-1918

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Anderson's Stuart's reign as Dean also encompassed the years of the First World War. From the outbreak of the war in 1914 all sections of the University pledged their support. Many students and staff enlisted immediately, two of note being (Sir) Charles Bickerton Blackburn, later to become Chancellor of the University and (Sir) Victor Marcus Coppleson, later to establish the Medical Foundation. Countless graduates enlisted to serve and numerous enrolled students were called to action as members of the Sydney University Scouts.

As there was a high demand for doctors a special final examination for the degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Master of Surgery was held in December 1914 for the benefit of fifth year students who wished to volunteer for active service. Fifteen candidates were successful and all offered their services to the department of defence, among them Norman McAlister Gregg and Gordon Bradley Lowe.

The first graduate of the University of Sydney to die on the battlefield was Dr Brian Golden Anthill Pockley, a medical graduate of 1914. Dr Archibald Waller Scot Skirving, the son of Robert Scot Skirving, was killed shortly after.[1] On the campus home front, Professor Wilson was given the direction of the Military Intelligence and Censor's Department in New South Wales whilst the physical and intellectual resources of the Medical School were greatly utilized in the organisation of hospital arrangements and the supply of vaccines for the immunisation of troops.

With the return of staff who had been serving abroad and the post-war influx of students, the Faculty entered a new phase of development. Its reputation had been enhanced by the services its graduates had given to the war effort, both at the front and in scientific research.[1],[1]