In this letter, Osler told Jacobs of the changes brought by the first few weeks of World War I, including turning university
buildings into hospitals. He also mentioned the stories told by the large numbers of Belgian refugees. When Germany invaded
Belgium on August 4, 1914, they encountered a fierce resistance, which delayed their entrance into France by a month. Reprisals
were harsh, and many Belgians fled the country, including over 200,000 who went to England. The Oslers and others in Oxford
opened their homes to many Belgians, and raised funds to help bring more to safety. Osler regretted that he could not attend
the celebration of the first 25 years of the Johns Hopkins Hospital to be held that month.
Number of Image Pages:
2 (374,625 Bytes)
1914-09-15 (September 15, 1914)
[Jacobs, Henry Barton]
Original Repository: Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives. William Osler Collection
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
World War I
Sir William: Regius Professor at Oxford, 1905-1919
From the Regius Professor of Medicine, Oxford
15, September, 1914.
I hope Mrs. Jacobs has had a good summer. What a mercy it is you were not on the Continent with all this row!
I am terribly disappointed not to be at the Celebration, but it was simply impossible to get away. There is so much to do.
Grace and Revere came back at once. She is working like a Trojan. Really the people have come out extraordinarily and the
whole country is at work. Revere will join the Officers' Training Corps, which will form a full regiment. There will be
no games, and they will all have the winter's training, and, when fit, he will apply for a commission.
We are trying to get in touch with the Liege and Louvain professors and their families. We have three of them here who tell
a ghastly story. Denys, the well-known bacteriologist, was with us on Saturday. He vows that in Louvain, all told, there are
not 60 shotguns in possession of the civilians. It is scarcely credible the tales they tell, but you will have heard it all
I expect from the Belgium Commission now in America.
We have turned the big Examination Schools here into a hospital for 450 beds. Our first wounded from the front came on Sunday,
among them 67 Germans, some poor devils very badly hit.
I am helping with the special Canadian Hospital in London which will look after the Canadian Contingent, as well as other