Frederick James Ney fonds [textual record, graphic material, sound recording]
Record Information – Brief1
Frederick James Ney fonds [textual record, graphic material, sound recording]
- Hierarchical level:
- R2072-0-2-E, MG30-D245
- Type of material:
- Textual material, Photographs, Sound recordings
- Found in:
- Archives / Collections and Fonds
- Item ID number:
- Context of this record:
Record Information – Details
- Fonds includes:
10 lower level description(s)View lower level description(s)
- Place of creation:
6.71 m of textual records.
525 photographs b&w and col.
1 audio cassette (1 h, 9 min).
- Language of material:
- Scope and content:
The fonds comprises textual records, photographs and sound recordings relating to the life, career and educational work of Major F. J. Ney. The textual records include personal and family material; programmes, correspondence, scrapbooks and other records of the National Council of Education, Overseas Education League and Commonwealth Youth Movement; correspondence and minutes of meetings relating to the evacuation of British school children to Canada in wartime; texts of speeches, itineraries of lecture tours, correspondence and scrapbooks pertaining to speaking tours and lectures; general subject files; and scrapbooks and newspaper clippings about Ney's personal and professional activities, general interests, and current events.
The photographs and sound recordings document Ney's personal life, work in the field of educational development, and leadership of the Commonwealth Youth Movement.
- Biography/Administrative history:
Ney, Frederick James, 1884-1973 : Frederick James Ney was born in Westfield, Sussex County, England, 19 September 1884, the son of Edward Frederick Ney and Susannah Maria Vicenta Barra. He was educated at Rye Grammar School and became Headmaster of English College, Nicosia, Cyprus and St. Mary's High School, Cairo, Egypt. He emigrated to Canada in 1909 to become Headmaster of Russell High School in Manitoba. His energy and enthusiasm attracted the notice of the provincial government and he became Chief Secretary of Manitoba's Department of Education in 1910. In that year, Ney organized the first exchange of teachers between Manitoba and Great Britain, describing this successful tour in his book "Britishers in Britain" (London: Times Book Club, 1911). He organized a more extensive program in 1912 taking a large group of teachers to the Holy Land and the Mediterranean region. These tours and exchanges blossomed into the "Hands Across the Seas" movement which later became organized more formally as the Overseas Education League. Further exchanges of teachers followed with New Zealand in 1913 and Britain in 1914 but Ney's enlistment in the British Army in the First World War interrupted this work. He suffered serious injuries during combat in France that affected his health for the rest of his life, causing periodic physical collapse. Promoted to Major in 1918, Ney was mentioned in dispatches three times, and awarded the Military Cross, Belgian Croix de guerre, and French Croix de guerre. At the armistice, the Army posted him to the Imperial War Graves Commission. He returned to Canada, however, in 1920 to resume work with the Manitoba Department of Education and become Vice-President of the Overseas Education League. In that year, he also became Executive Secretary of the National Council of Education which had been founded in 1919 to improve moral and civic education in Canada and to foster cooperation between the provinces. Under his guidance, the National Council eclipsed the Canadian Education Association in the 1920s as the leading national educational organization, hosting regular meetings of provincial Ministers and Deputy Ministers of Education and conferences on issues like education and leisure. During the 1920s and 1930s it sponsored the National Lectureship Scheme which brought distinguished speakers to Canada from Britain and other parts of the Empire including Winston Churchill, L. S. Amery, Field Marshal Allenby, H. A. L. Fisher, and Lord and Lady Baden Powell, among others. The Council also worked to improve the quality of text books, furthered the development of adult education and promoted the tours and exchanges of teachers and students organized by the Overseas Education League. The two organizations cooperated closely under Ney's leadership, sharing offices in Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg, and London, and had a joint secretary in France. By the end of the 1930s, over 10,000 teachers and students had participated in tours and exchanges under the auspices of the Overseas Education League. The influence of the National Council of Education, however, waned in the 1930s as the provincial governments became suspicious of increased federal involvement in education and proposals for a Dominion Bureau of Education. In addition, Ney's increasingly imperialist and religious agenda diverged from the view of mainstream Canada, alienating supporters of the National Council and encouraging the revival of the Canadian Education Association and the creation of the Canadian Association for Adult Education in 1935. Funding dried up in the economic reality of the Depression making Ney increasingly dependent upon the financial support of James A. Richardson and a few other key supporters. After the Second World War, Ney tried to revive the National Council and when that failed, arrange a merger in 1947 with the Canadian Education Association. The latter organization "expressed appreciation for Major Ney's earlier work in promoting teacher exchange and Empire unity, but said they did not see how it would be possible for the CEA to be affiliated in some way with the Council". Without financial or political support, the National Council of Education was defunct for all intents and purposes, a victim of too close an identification with Ney's interests. The Overseas Education League, however, continued its work of organizing teacher and student exchanges until the 1960s. In the environment of the 1930s, Ney gradually had turned his efforts from education to the spiritual and moral development of youth in the face of the growing threats he perceived in communism and fascism. This change of focus resulted in the creation of the Empire Youth Movement as a counterweight to fascist and communist youth movements. The movement received a powerful boost from his involvement in the organization in 1937 of the Empire Youth Rally at the Albert Hall and Youth Sunday services at Westminster Abbey in conjunction with the coronation of King George VI. Leading figures in British society like Lord Bessborough and Lord Elton lent their names to Ney's projects, the most ambitious of which was the construction of Youth City. Youth City was to be a complex for the accommodation of empire youth visiting London and a focus for Empire Youth Movement activities, but its construction fell victim to the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939. Wartime patriotic fervour, however, leant increased significance to the celebration of Youth Sunday services in the Commonwealth, which continued officially until 1964. With the outbreak of war, Ney participated in the evacuation of 600 school-age children from Britain to Canada. Through the war, the British Ministry of Information engaged Ney to travel throughout England, Wales, Africa, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand on a series of speaking tours to shore up popular support for Britain at home and abroad. After the war, Ney devoted most of his energy to the Empire Youth Movement. It became the Commonwealth Youth Movement at the time of the coronation in 1953 as Ney bowed reluctantly (and somewhat belatedly) to the changing political terminology. In spite of his increasingly anachronistic view of the imperial relationship, Ney continued to have success raising funds from the Royal Commonwealth Society, Rhodes Trust, Massey Foundation, and other supporters. The centrepiece of the Commonwealth Youth Movement was its annual summer "quest" which took youth aged 16 to 20, specially chosen for their academic ability and leadership qualities to different parts of the world. Youth from all Commonwealth countries were eligible and it frequently included representatives from the United Kingdom, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Africa and Canada. Destinations included Britain, Canada, Europe, Virginia, Gibraltar and Malta. Each quest consisted of a tour, a youth conference, and a memorial vigil. Ney organized and led the quests each year until 1969 when failing health (he was aged 84) forced him to delegate the responsibility to John N. Franklin. The last quest took place in 1970 and with the death of Ney in 1973 in Nanaimo, and the declining relevance of the British connection, the Commonwealth Youth Movement ceased to exist. In 1923, Ney had married Mary Helen Aikins, the daughter of Sir James Aikins, Lieutenant-Governor of Manitoba from 1916 to 1926. The couple had one son, Michael F. A. J. Ney, who was killed in Kenya in 1954. F. J. Ney received the Gold Medal of the City of Paris in 1923, an honorary doctorate from the University of St. Andrew's in 1936, and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1968 "for his contribution in the field of education and teacher exchanges with the Commonwealth and France, and as founder of the Commonwealth Youth Movement". He died in March 1973. Sources: Frederick James Ney fonds; "Canadian Who's Who, 1937-1938"; James Sturgis and Margaret Bird, "Canada's Imperial Past: The Life of F. J. Ney" (Edinburgh 2000); and Freeman Stewart, "Interprovincial Co-operation in Education" (Toronto 1957).
- Finding aid:
Textual records (Electronic) The finding aid is a file list of the textual records. MSS1227 (90: Open)
http://data2.archives.ca/pdf/pdf001/p000000187.pdfSound recordings (Electronic) See MISACS for item level descriptions. (Restrictions not set)
- Additional information:
- Custodial history:
The initial donation was transferred to the National Archives of Canada by Professor David N. Dilks of the University of Leeds, England in 1978 and by Mr. Michael Hellyer of London, England in 1979. The initial acquisition likely represents documents generated, used and retained by Major F. J. Ney in his London offices. The publications, photographs and sound recording received with the initial acquisition were transferred to the appropriate media divisions. The textual records were processed in 1980 and comprise volumes 1 to 18.
At the time of this transfer a second body of records (the Canadian component) was in the possession of Ney's nephew, William Ney of Nanaimo, British Columbia. These papers and photographs were rescued from destruction in an old house by another nephew, Hugh Ney, and Professor James Sturgis of Birkbeck College, University of London, England, in the early 1990s. Sturgis and Margaret Bird were permitted to use the documents during the course of researching their biography of F. J. Ney. At their urging, Hugh Ney deposited the material with the Nanaimo Community Archives in two accessions, one in 1995 and the other in 1998. The Nanaimo Community Archives transferred the records to the National Archives of Canada in September 1998 to reunite the fonds. Sturgis and Bird, however, kept two boxes of records for use in the final preparation of their biography. After the publication of "Canada's Imperial Past: The Life of F. J. Ney" in 2000, they returned these records to Hugh Ney who donated them to the Library and Archives of Canada in 2003.
A fire in the joint office of the National Council of Education and the Overseas Education League in Winnipeg ca. 1954 destroyed many records relating to their activities for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, and also may have destroyed some of Ney's personal papers.
- Arrangement note:
The 53 photographs acquired in 1998 have been left in the files of textual records to best preserve their original context. Below the fonds level, these photographs are described in the same series with their associated textual records. The remaining photographs are described in a separate photographs series.
The records donated to the Archives in 2003 were used by James Sturgis and Margaret Bird in the writing of their biography of F. J. Ney. As a result, the arrangement of volumes 34 to 40 reflects, to some degree, their handling of these documents. In addition, some of their research notes and letters are found in the files among Ney's original documents.
- Related material:
- Researchers should also consult the Frederick James Ney collection, MG30 D263, which comprises copies of records held in Great Britain relating to Ney.
- Subject heading:
- Educators - Canada, [1920-1961] King's Silver Anniversary Gift, [1921-1961]
- Empire Youth Movement - Minutes, [1930-1961] Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, [1921-1961]
- Empire Youth Movement - Records and correspondence, [1930-1961] Canada House, [1921-1961]
- National Council of Education - Records and correspondence, [1920-1952] Sokol Festival Tours, 193-
- National Council of Education - Reports, [1920-1952] Oberammergau Tour, 1934
- National Council of Education - Minutes, [1920-1952] Coronation Tour, 1953
- Lectures and lecturing - Canada, [1920-1952] Commonwealth Youth Movement, [1930-1961]
- Canada - Description and travel - Tours, [1930-1960] Empire Youth Rallys, [1930-1961]
- Lecturers - Africa, [1930-1960] Empire Youth Sunday, [1930-1961]
- Lecturers - Australia, [1930-1960] Order of Chivalry, [1930-1961]
- Lecturers - New Zealand, [1930-1960] King George's Jubillee Trust, [1930-1952]
- Lectures and lecturing - England, [1930-1960] Ministry of Information, [1930-1960]
- World War II - Evacuation of civilians
- Children - Immigration, 1939-1944
- Frederick James Ney - Correspondence, [1921-1961]
- World War II - Children
- Governors general Canada
- Former archival reference no.:
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Sound recordings: Reproduction and use in any form requires the written permission of the copyright holders. There are no donor restrictions on reproduction.
Textual Records: The recipient of copies is responsible for determining if the material is protected by copyright and whether its use constitutes an infringement of the Canadian Copyright Act. The Library and Archives of Canada provides copies only for purposes of research and private study.
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