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Dr. Francis William Schofield

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Dr. Francis William Schofield

Dr. Francis William Schofield has the honour of being the only non-Korean to be buried in the National Cemetery. He was given this honour due to his support of the Samil Independence Movement in 1919. On March 1, 1919, 33 people signed a Declaration of Independence, written during the Japanese occupation of Korea. Schofield was a teacher at Seoul National University and often encouraged his students to support the Samil Movement. Many of his students remember learning about the principles and right to self-determination and constitutional democracy rather than Biology classes. For his vocal support of the Samil, Schofield is considered by many Koreans to be the "34th man"and he was given the nickname "Tiger grandfather" as a symbol of respect.

Schofield was born in England, but moved to Canada in 1905. He finished his secondary education in Toronto and then enrolled in the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) at the University of Toronto in 1907. He graduated at the top of his class in 1910, with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science.

Dr. Francis William Schofield

He began to teach at OVC despite the fact that he was diagnosed with poliomyelitis, which paralyzed his legs and, to a certain extent, his arms. After teaching for several years and receiving his Ph.D in 1911, Schofield was inspired to go to Korea. He arrived in 1916 and began teaching at Seoul University.

When Schofield arrived, he was overwhelmed by the oppressive rule of the Japanese. He was shocked by the Japanese attempts to eradicate the Korean culture and replace it with the Japanese. Schofield became an ardent supporter of the Samil Independence Movement and many times he could be seen riding his bicycle to solicit support for the movement in small towns and villages around Seoul. In the spring of 1919, however, Schofield's open denunciation of the Japanese regime led to him being imprisoned for a year and deported back to Canada.

Schofield returned to OVC and became the Director of Veterinary Hygiene and Research in 1921. Here, Schofield was responsible for discovering and isolating the causes of numerous diseases that had plagued livestock for decades. His discoveries changed feeding practices worldwide and won him several international recognition and rewards. Upon his retirement in 1955, Schofield returned to Korea and began teaching at Severance Medical College. He passed on his vast knowledge to his Korean students and continued to support the underprivileged with the establishment of an orphanage for orphans of the Korean War. He died on April 12, 1970 and his ashes were interred at the Seoul National Cemetery, the resting place of Korea's heroes and martyrs and a privilege rarely accorded to non-Koreans.