Established at Jordanhill College in 1931, the SSPE was the only training centre for male teachers of PE in Scotland. Mr Ireland was a particularly diligent student who took copious lecture notes, carefully copied them out in blue ink, illustrated them with hand-drawn diagrams and stick figures, and filed them away in neat black ring binders.
Many of the notes reflect the strong medical emphasis of British physical education courses, which grew out of an official drive to improve the health of the nation. Although this had been prompted by the poor physical condition of volunteers for the Boer War at the start of the century, it persisted until the 1950s.
Also included in the Ireland papers are 96 black-and-white snapshots of him and his classmates from the period 1942-45, freezing in their shorts or performing gymnastics, dance routines and pranks.
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