SAHR Centenary

Peace Celebrations, Indian Troops Marching Down Whitehall

'Peace Celebrations, Indian Troops Marching Down Whitehall' by Dora Meeson, 1919 (National Army Museum)

Wednesday 21st - Thursday 22nd April 2021

Update: Council is still debating the form that the 2021 Annual General Meeting will take. It is being delayed until June in the hope that it might be held with members able to attend. If that is still impossible then an electronic form of meeting will take place. Papers will be placed on the website with links sent to all members. Printed copies will be available to those who request them.

As the planned Centenary conference cannot be held in person due to the coronavirus pandemic, the SAHR is organising a series of virtual lectures and panels instead.

These Wednesday evening sessions will consist of a keynote lecture by a leading historian, followed by a panel of research papers discussing aspects of a common theme, and ending with a Q&A session. They will be held on 21 April, 28 April, 5 May, 12 May, 19 May and 26 May.

Rev Dr Peter Howson
Honorary Secretary
5 February 2020.


This year sees the Society reach its 100th year, which we hope to mark with a two-day conference. The celebrations are scheduled for 21st and 22nd April 2021 in London.

The Society recognizes that adjustments to Centenary plans (outlined below) may well be required in the light of prevailing COVID19 guidance. However, we remain committed to marking our centenary in a way that allows the greatest number of our members to enjoy aspects of the celebrations in a safe manner. Consequently, we aim to record and distribute the Centenary lectures via the Internet over the remainder of the centenary year. For those who are able to attend in person, we will work with our hosting venues to meet the necessary public health standards.

Day 1 will take place at the Royal Thames Yacht Club in Knightsbridge commencing with the AGM at 10.30 (Registration from 10.00) and followed by five lectures to take us up to 1800 hours. We will then walk a few hundred yards along Piccadilly to the Cavalry and Guards Club for a celebratory dinner.

The theme of the conference will, in general terms, be how the telling of the story of the British Army has changed in the last hundred years. This will be demonstrated through the variety of the subjects of the talks rather than through any chronological account of changes in historical methodology.

Speakers on Day 1 will be:
Dr Yolande Hodson on 'From the Board of Ordnance to the Quarter Master General’s Department: an introduction to the development of British military mapping 1683-1815'.
Dr Juliette Pattinson on ‘Feeling peeved and a little guilty’: attitudes towards army service among reserved occupation workers during the Second World War.
Dr Gavin Rand will speak on his research into the operations of British and Imperial military forces in India/South-East Asia.
Professor Richard Grayson on 'Belfast and Dublin and the First World War'
Sir Hew Strachan on 'From William Napier to Michael Howard: the contribution of Britain to military history'.

The Society will offer drinks to members attending the dinner, but a charge will be levied for the dinner itself. Dress code - jacket and tie and equivalent for ladies.

Day 2 will be held at the National Army Museum in Chelsea from 10.30 hours (Registration from 10.00). In order to encourage contributions from active researchers, the day will mostly be occupied by a series of conference panels of brief 20-minute papers covering a wide range of topics.

The response to the call for papers has been extremely positive, with submissions from current and former soldiers, a range of scholars from undergraduates to professors, and military history enthusiasts of all ages including many from overseas. Topics proposed range from Tudor times to the present day, from great generals to the ordinary man and woman in uniform, and from bombs and bullets to social and cultural history.

Making a selection from so many excellent proposals will be a challenging task, but we hope that when the final choice is announced in the Winter Newsletter there will be something to suit all interests.

The afternoon's proceedings will be brought to a close by Professor Ian Beckett reflecting on developments over the last century in "Articles of War": British Army Historiography since 1921.

After a short break, during which we hope to be joined by our Patron, HRH the Duke of Kent, the day will conclude with the Templer Medal Book Prize Awards and Reception.

We very much hope that members will wish to attend to enjoy the proceedings and to celebrate 100 years of serving scholars, enthusiasts and soldiers.