Before the Pacific War, provisions for the teaching of Japanese inBritain were extremely limited. The School of Oriental Studies at the University of London was the sole institution teaching Japanese. British research into the Japanese language began in the 1860s with the work of Sir Rutherford Alcock, the first British Minister to Japan, and was continued by Ernest Satow and William Aston. In 1873 Basil Hall Chamberlain went to Japan to teach English in the Japanese Navy Department. In December 1908 the Reay committee recommended the creation of a new college within the University of London but the First World War intervened and it was not until 1917, that the School of Oriental Studies opened its doors to its first students of Japanese. By the time war broke out in Europe the number of students studying Japanese had dwindled to only a few.