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Copy of Officers' Training Corps (OTC) Inter-Unit MacDougall Trophy Fixtures list 1938

 Fonds — Box: CLX-A-1556
Identifier: Coll-1756

Scope and Contents

The 'Fixtures list' shows at the top of the page, a note of ‘G. O. E. Berry’. However, ‘G.O.E.’ as an abbreviation may be quite separate a note from the name ‘Berry’. There is also note of ‘5-30pm’, which is a repeat of the start time in the printed content of the 'list'. The name 'Berry' may be a misinterpretation however... perhaps it is 'Barry' referring to the shooting-range at Buddon Point, Barry, near Carnoustie, Angus.

The page appears to have been clipped shorter.

The Fixtures are to take place over the period Monday 31 January to Friday 4 March 1938. Teams of 8 firers compete from the 'Arty' (Artillery), Engineers, Infantry, R(D)VC, and Medical units.

Matthews et. al. describe the R(D)VC OTC contingent as a Cavalry unit - with a strong influence from the Army Veterinary Corps (AVC) - distinguishing it from the units of the EU OTC. By 1938, the Cavalry unit had become Mechanised.


  • Creation: 1938

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Open. Please contact the repository in advance.

Biographical / Historical

The Edinburgh University Officers' Training Corps is one of Scotland's oldest military volunteer Units. By 1860 undergraduates of the University had formed No.4 Company of the Queen's Edinburgh Rifles and in 1872 they also supplied recruits to the 1st Edinburgh City Royal Garrison Artillery Volunteers. A Medical Volunteer Company was also formed in 1890. In 1908, they combined to form one of the original eight University Officers Training Corps (OTC) contingents.

Also in 1908, and as part of the Haldane Army Reforms, the OTC was formally established as a distinct unit in the British Army. It had the remit of supplying officers for the Special Reserve and the Territorial force.

In September 1912, and against the background of Army Reform and the establishment of OTCs, the Royal (Dick) Veterinary College OTC was formed by Ainsworth Wilson FRCVS. The R(D)VC OTC dissolved over the period 1939-1941 after the outbreak of war. From 1951 when the R(D)VC was incorporated into Edinburgh University, veterinary students could join the reorganised Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt Universities OTC.

In 1938 however, the EU OTC consisted of the Artillery, the Engineer, the Infantry, and the Medical Units, and was open to ‘all men students’. There was an entrance fee of 7 shillings and 6 pence (10 shillings and 6 pence for the Artillery Unit). There was no charge for uniform and equipment, riding, shooting, field-days, and the annual fortnight’s camp. In 1938 the camp was at Redesdale, Northumberland. Annual camps were a highlight of the R(D)VC OTC year too, and in summer 1938 that contingent camped at Aldershot.

Also in 1938, on 12 May, the EU OTC Unit fired its first 21-gun Royal Salute from Edinburgh Castle on the anniversary of the Coronation. The previous year, in July 1937, the R(D)VC had been invited to join the EU OTC in providing a guard of honour for Queen Elizabeth when she was awarded the Honorary Degree of LL.D.

All members of the OTC could qualify, by passing a ‘Certificate A’ and ‘Certificate B’, for a Commission in the Regular Army or the Territorial Army, or could register in the Officer Cadet Reserve. During the first year in the OTC, a member had to attend, ‘in mufti’, thirty parades (or fifteen if attended a school OTC) and fifteen in subsequent years. The headquarters were in High School Yards, Infirmary Street. The R(D)VC OTC was housed in the College buildings at Summerhall. Training consisted of lectures in military tactics, law, and animal husbdandry, and regular parades were held in the clinical yard at Summerhall. Instruction was given in grooming, saddling a horse, examining the parts of a rifle, and squad and arms drill. Veterinary candidates for a Commission in the Army were exempt from examination on subjects concerned with other branches of military service and were examined solely on relevant veterinary subjects.

In 1938, the Commanding Officer of the EU OTC was Lieutenant-Colonel F. S. C. Moffat, D.S.O; the Adjutant was Captain C. A. R. McRae, the Seaforth Highlanders; and the Chaplain was the Rev. D. W. P. Strang, M.C. M.A. The Officers commanding the units were: Artillery – Captain C. P. Beattie (Lieutenant W. R. Logan); Engineer – Lieutenant J. Gibson; Infantry – Captain D. J. Beaton; and Medical – Major A. MacG. Duff, M.C., M.B., Ch.B. In 1938, the Commanding Officer of the R(D)VC OTC was Major John Neish Ritchie who would later on become Sir John Neish Ritchie, Chief Veterinary Officer for the UK.

In a report to the University of Edinburgh Journal‘ in 1938 (published Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd, and on pp.283-284), the Adjutant, Captain C. A. R. McRae, noted that there was ‘no full-time member of the University staff to be found amongst the officers of the Contingent’ and that there wasn't any ‘prospect of securing one in the near future’. He went on to say that, ‘Although the Corps is now an organisation of which the University can well be proud, it does not appear to be receiving, from the University in general, the full measure of support to which it is entitled in these difficult times’. The report lists: training organised by individual units for the Victoria holiday period; drill orders carried out by the battery at Dreghorn and Habbie’s Howe; a tactical exercise at Carlops; a practice camp at Redesdale; training at Chatham for the engineer unit; and, camp at Turnberry for the infantry and medical units.

A contingent of the R(D)VC OTC would compete with the EU OTC contingents in the regular competitions of the Inter-Unit shooting league. The 'Fixtures list' for the Inter-Unit MacDougall Cup, referred to in this description, may have derived from either of the R(D)VC OTC or the EU OTC.

The Inter-Unit MacDougall Cup was presented by Dr. Robert Stewart MacDougall, M.A. (Hons.), DSc, FRSE (1862-1947) entomologist, agriculturalist, and forest zoologist. MacDougall was a Lecturer on Agricultural Zoology and Forest Zoology at University of Edinburgh, and was Professor of Biology, Royal (Dick) Veterinary College, Edinburgh, 1903-1930.


1 folder

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated in 2016. Accession no. SC-Acc-2016-0112.

Processing Information

In the creation of this description, the following works were utilised:

  1. 'The Royal (Dick) Veterinary College contingent of the Officers Training Corps', by Peter K. Matthews, Alastair A. Macdonald and Colin M. Warwick, in Veterinary History, Vol.18. No.1.
  2. University of Edinburgh Journal, Autumn 1938. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd, pp.283-284
  3. Edinburgh University Calendar 1937-1938 (p.98), and 1938-1939 (p.101). Edinburgh: James Thin, 1937, 1938
  4. Full Circle. A history of the City of Edinburgh Universities’ Officers Training Corps‘, George O. Sutherland. Edinburgh Universities’ Joint Military Education Committee / Witley Press, Norfolk, 2014, pp.34-35, 138

Catalogued by Graeme D. Eddie, 4 July 2016.

Copy of Officers' Training Corps (OTC) Inter-Unit MacDougall Trophy Fixtures list 1938
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

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