Bolton School is one of the oldest schools in Lancashire. It was re-endowed by Lord Leverhulme in 1915 on condition that the Girls’ and Boys’ Schools should be equal partners and have equal facilities. (1) The school’s junior branch of the League of Nations Union (LNU) was set up in 1926 and was actively supported by members of staff. However, interest in the League of Nations and international issues began as early as 1921 when Professor Marven lectured to both the Girls’ and Boys’ Divisions on the League. Several girls won prizes in a local League of Nations competition that year. In the 1923 school mock General Election the League candidate was successful. Annual lectures were given by Professor Gilbert Murray (1924), Sir John Russell (1930) and Sir Norman Angell (1935), amongst others.
The junior branch met twice a year. Other activities included corresponding with children in foreign countries, holding a ‘Model Assembly’ (1928), providing a League Reading Room (1930), entering Lord Cecil’s poster competition (one poster was exhibited in London) and holding a Peace Ballot in 1935. Some pupils also attended the Cambridge Anti-War Exhibition in Bolton. In 1937 and 1938 the school held a joint meeting with Wigan High School, discussing the conflict between patriotism and internationalism at the first meeting and the mandate system at the second. The group remained active until the outbreak of the Second World War. (2)
(1) Bolton School. History
(2) Bolton School Magazine Girls’ Division, 1921-1939. Bolton School Archives.