University of Melbourne

The University of Melbourne, established 1853, had grown to 1,104 full-time students (plus an additional 220 taking single-subjects) by 1914. Students, staff and graduates at the University of Melbourne contributed to World War I in a number of ways, including enlisting in the military and medical corps; women, who were ineligible to enlist, paid their own passage to volunteer in hospitals overseas. The official Record of Active Service listed 1978 men who served, of whom 253 were killed.

The University also provided expertise to assist the war in other ways. This service ranged from contributing legal advice and translation services to contributing scientific expertise in the manufacture of munitions in factories in Australia and abroad.

The University expected public service of its members, and many joined up enthusiastically, yet there was also ambivalence and even outright hostility towards the conflict and the means by which it was fought, especially over issues of conscription.

The first female medical graduates of the University of Melbourne, c1892. from the Melbourne University Archives.