Photographs of University Life taken by Capt. Herbert Mather Spoor R.A.M.C., M.C.

Scope and Content

The collection is composed of copies of photographs taken by Herbert Mather Spoor. Titles of photographs, as noted by Capt. H. M. Spoor R.A.M.C., M.C., under each photograph in the original family album, are as follows (numbering is that given by Special Collections, Edinburgh University Library):

  • 1. Fire at Pathology
  • 2. Botany 1904
  • 3. Histology
  • 4. Histology
  • 5. [H. M. Spoor] April 1905
  • 6. M.A. students [3 female graduates]
  • 7. Edinburgh University Cycling Club, July 1904
  • 8. Edinburgh University Cycling Club, July 1904
  • 9. Edinburgh University Cycling Club, July 1904
  • 10. H.Co. (Varsity) 9th V.B.., Royal Scots
  • 11. Sir Charles Eliot and Sir A. Conan Doyle
  • 12. Graduation Day
  • 13. Cycling Club at Ormiston
  • 14. Cycling Club at the Union
  • 15. Opening of the Season 1905. 'Varsity start their innings
  • 16. Budding surgeons
  • 17. [H. M. Spoor] June 1905
  • 18. The Captain
  • 19. Starting [E.U. Cycling Club]
  • 20. Sweet girl graduates
  • 21. Pharmaceutical botanists
  • 22. Dr. R.J.A. Berry and Dr. H.J. Norman
  • 23. Dr. G.A. Gibson, Dr. A.D. Waller, Sir F. Younghusband, Prof. Lodge

Administrative / Biographical History

Herbert Mather Spoor, a Yorkshireman, but latterly from Rochester, in Kent, was a Captain with the 77th Brigade, Royal Garrison Artillery (a heavy artillery group). He attended Edinburgh University in the 1900s as a medical student and is believed to have been the founder of the University Cycling Club. While at the University he took a number of photographs showing life on campus, including some of members of the E.U. Cycling Club when they were out-and-about around the city.

Spoor was awarded the degrees of M.B., Ch.B.Ed. from Edinburgh University in 1908 and became registered as a doctor on 18 December 1908. He practiced in Stoke, Rochester, at the practice of Trubridge, Coombe and Spoor. He was Superintendent at the local Hoo St. Werburgh Isolation Hospital. He was also a member of the British Medical Association and wrote for the Lancet in 1909.

In 1918 Capt. Herbert Mather Spoor R.A.M.C. was posthumously awarded the Military Cross for 'conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty'. He was killed at the age of 45 on 13 December 1917, and is buried at Ypres Reservoir Cemetery, in Ieper (Ypres), Belgium.

Access Information

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Acquisition Information

Permission for Special Colelctions, Edinburgh University Library, to make copies of photographs contained in family album was given by Michael Spoor, Rayleigh, Essex, in October 2008. Accession no: E2008.48.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using information supplied by the Spoor family, and: (1) The Medical Directory 1913. p.987. London: J. and A. Churchill.

Other Finding Aids

No additional aids for this collection.

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Graeme D. Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections.