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Person Details
17 Jul 1887
Codicote Hertfordshire
He was the son of Francis and Emily Dolley and the brother of Emily, Augustus, Geoffrey, Leslie and Oscar Dolley of Watford. He was the husband of Hilda Daisy (née Lynn) Dolley of 39 Penn Road Holloway London.
Reginald Dolley joined the staff of University College Nottingham as an Assistant Lecturer in History and Literature in 1910 and offered a variety of courses to both undergraduates and working people. He specialised in 17th Century history and was an authority on Judge Jeffreys. He was promoted, aged only 27, to Professor of History in 1914, a chair and promising career from which he surprisingly resigned less than a year later in order to move to London and enlist. Perhaps his wife, a native of the south east, felt that separation would be more endurable in a familiar environment.
01 Jul 1917
29
747547 - CWGC Website
Second Lieutenant
6th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Dolley enlisted for officer training (as a Private 8310) with the Inns of Court OTC on April 4th 1916. An apparently successful cadet, Dolley became a sergeant four months later before being discharged to a commission on January 24th 1917. He arrived in France in February 1917 as part of 59th Division, 2/6th Sherwood Foresters remained on the Western Front until being disbanded in July 1918. During the first part of 1917, the unit was involved in fierce actions around Arras and the Hindenburg Line. Reginald Dolley of “A” Company 2/6th was killed on July 1st 1917 and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial. 'He was last seen,' according to University College Nottingham's Union Magazine (VIII 241), surrounded by the enemy refusing to surrender in a German trench which his company had taken. One of his platoon speaks of him "as the finest man and the best officer I ever saw."'
During the autumn of 1914 Dolley gave four well attended lectures in Nottingham about Anglo-German relations. Nottingham Daily Express November 27th 1914 WHAT THE END WILL BE Professor Dolley’s Prophecy Respecting Germany Treitsche and Clausewitz rather than Nietzsche were responsible for Germany’s militarist obsession. Prof. RCF Dolley declared last evening in the course of the fourth of his series of lectures on “Before the War and After” which he is giving each week in the Nottingham High Pavement Schoolroom. Clausewitz whom he described as the Machiavelli of this war had said that war must be made upon all and against all in the hostile country while Treitschke’s mission was to bring about the unification of Germany as a legitimate outcome of Prussian policy. On the other hand, Nietzshce, a Slav and an internationalist, wrote that ‘psychological uncleanness in every word and idea betrays the German and described the Kaiser as a ‘canting, psalm singing bigot’. The lecturer exonerated the press of both England and Germany from any responsibility for the war. The press – and this was true at any rate of the English newspapers- either reflected public opinion or nothing at all. It did not manufacture public opinion although it might attempt to guide it. Germany, Professor Dolley concluded, will emerge from this war as large if not larger than she came into it. To speak of breaking up the German Empire is absurd; the Fatherland is a fact. It has to stand. As part of its Trent to Trenches 2014 centenary commemoration of World War One's outbreak, Nottingham City Council funded four Reginald Dolley Memorial Lectures. They were delivered by Cyril Pearce (Conscientious Objection), Diane Atkinson (Elsie and Mairi Go To War), Julian Putkowski (Executed Sherwood Foresters) and Andy Robertshaw (Trench Archaeology). Research by David Nunn
Remembered on

Photos

  • Courtesy of Richard Clay -
  • University College Nottingham described by its most famous alumnus D H Lawrence as ‘The big college built of stone, standing in the quiet street, with a rim of grass and lime trees all so peaceful...its rather pretty, plaything Gothic form...almost a style in the dirty industrial town.’ Reginald Dolley taught here between 1910 and 1914. The building became for a time Nottingham's main public library and is now part of Nottingham Trent University.
    Photo David Nunn - University College Nottingham described by its most famous alumnus D H Lawrence as ‘The big college built of stone, standing in the quiet street, with a rim of grass and lime trees all so peaceful...its rather pretty, plaything Gothic form...almost a style in the dirty industrial town.’ Reginald Dolley taught here between 1910 and 1914. The building became for a time Nottingham's main public library and is now part of Nottingham Trent University.