Circle Members contribution to the War Effort 1914--1918

This year, 2014 will go on record as most successful for Glaswegians, the Scots and the Commonwealth, thanks to the highly successful games, hosted by Glasgow City in July.

No one can dispute the good that has been done by this spectacle of Sport and Athletics in terms of success on and off the field, but also in bringing together representatives of all countries of the Commonwealth, where the spirit of friendship was so noticeable.

Running in parallel with the games has been a plethora of documentaries on Television and in the Press, highlighting the terrible sacrifices made by men of the same Commonwealth during the First World War and reminding us that 2014 marks the Centenary of the commencement of hostilities which affected so many families throughout the world, and it is fitting that these atrocities are remembered in the hope that they will never be repeated.
Regrettably we are aware of the ongoing conflicts and troubles in several parts of the world today.

It is well worth noting that during the conflict of 1914-1918, The Scottish Photographic Circle, whose members were fully aware of the troubles in Europe, decided at the first meeting of session 1914/1915 that as far as possible the Circle would continue ‘business as usual.’ So aware were those early pioneers of Scottish Photography, how serious the situation was in Europe, and keen to show that their interest extended beyond the bounds of Photography, they decided that although it was not possible for their members to become active at ‘The Front,’ there should be a contribution made by the Circle, in recognition of the plight and sacrifices being made, to the relief funds of the crisis.
A decision was made at that meeting on 2nd of September 1914, that each member would donate three prints to be sold at the THE ART UNION and the proceeds be given to The Scottish branch of The Red Cross fund. The grand sum of £115 was raised from the sale, which was a considerable amount in those days.
Further discussion took place and it was agreed that the said amount be used to purchase a bed for a field hospital in the name of ‘The Scottish Photo Pictorial Circle’ as it was known in those days, and any balance be disposed of at the discretion of The Red Cross.
The President W.H. Wilson subsequently reported at the meeting at the start of session 1915/1916, that the Circle had been responsible for an additional hospital bed in Rouen, and that a postcard had been received from Private W. Baines of 1st. Battalion, East Surrey Regiment, acknowledging the use of the bed.
In response a letter had been sent from The Circle to Private Baines, but no reply was received and the sad conclusion arrived at that the soldier had succumbed to his wounds
As members of The Scottish Photographic Circle in 2014, a year when we celebrate one hundred and seven years of our existence, we can be justifiably proud to belong to a photographic society whose early members displayed such consideration, sympathy and interest for matters not directly connected with Photography.

Long may we continue.

We are grateful to Bob Copeland for bringing this information to our attention.
Bob is a current member and past President of the Scottish Photographic Circle.