Milligan, Frank

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The papers, 1924-1968, provide details of the running of various educational institutions, and the subject of adult education, education for the unemployed, and community learning in general.

Administrative / Biographical History

Frank Sydney Milligan was born in 1894 and was educated at Liverpool University. At the outbreak of World War One, despite being a pacifist, Milligan enlisted as a private in the West Lancashire Field Ambulance Corp. He was at first a stretcher-bearer but later joined the ranks and while in the 7th King's Regiment (Liverpool), he was promoted to lieutenant. He received the Military Medal as a non-commissioned officer for immobilising an enemy machine gun and, as an officer, he received the Military Cross. Wounded and unfit for further service, Milligan resumed his education in the School of Social and Political Science at the University of Birmingham where he obtained a degree and later an MA with Honours (1921). While at Birmingham, Milligan was president of the Guild of Undergraduates and was involved in the setting up of the National Union of Students. Milligan stayed on in Birmingham as a tutor under the Birmingham University Joint Committee for Tutorial Classes (Birmingham University and the Worker's Education Association) before joining the Beechcroft Centre for the unemployed in Birkenhead in 1924 as Warden. In 1929, Milligan, along with many avant-garde thinkers of the time, visited Russia where he was able to investigate the advanced methods in worker's education there. Milligan's view of adult education was that much more could be achieved by removing the student from their home environment, away from the pressures of work, family and peer group. An opportunity arose for an experiment in residential worker's education in summer 1933 when Darnhall, a large house in Cheshire, was made available to the National Council of Social Service for three months. Milligan would be involved in various educational institutions for years to come. Frank Milligan's development of a residential centre for unemployed men was overtaken by events before it could leave an influential legacy. The outbreak of World War Two dispensed with unemployment overnight and not until the 1970s was Britain to suffer again. Alternative methods of assistance were in place by then including schemes such as the Youth Training Scheme and Government intervention in job creation.

Conditions Governing Access

Access to this collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the supervised environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Uncatalogued material may not be seen. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Other Finding Aids

Keith Austin The Papers of Frank S. Milligan (MS. 867) , University of London Library (1999) [Unpublished and available on request from the Archivist]

Archivist's Note

Separated Material

Birkenhead Public Library holds papers relating to Frank Milligan's period as Warden of the Beechcroft Settlement.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.