As I mentioned at the start of this blog, I’ve always wondered why Samuel stayed at university for over a decade, first studying Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, then Politics Philosophy and Law, then Forensic Medicine and more law, and finally even more Chemistry and Metallurgy…but perhaps this military call-up paper sheds some light. Dated 22 September 1908 it has recently been found in a cardboard Cadburys chocolate box (with a picture of roses on the front!) kept safe by my grandmother and then my aunt, also containing several other interesting documents. Just as his second academic year was starting at Glasgow University the Russian authorities in Vilna were tracking Samuel down.
Here is the translation:
I wonder if it may have been in response to these words that Samuel decided to remain studying at University for as long as possible? Surely it can be no coincidence that he finally finished his studies just about the time that WWI ended? Here is the final piece of paper that kept him safe, dated 1917:
These call-up papers give me a clue about his father’s name, here stated as Abram-Girsh Gross. This is the Russian version of his name rather than the Hebrew, I am reliably informed, but it’s something to compare with other documents so that I can work out exactly what his parents names were and then try to trace precisely where they lived.