The Society for Army Historical Research Essay Prize Competition Rules

Krieghoff Officer's Room (detail)

'Officer's Room in Montreal' (detail) by Cornelius Krieghoff, 1846 (Royal Ontario Museum)


Submitted essays must be about the History of the British Army or of the Land Forces of the Empire or Commonwealth. For the purposes of this competition, this subject area includes any aspect of the Army and its activities, including reserve or auxiliary units, (Militia, Yeomanry, Fencibles, Volunteers or Home Guard) or the land forces of the Crown, or the offices and institutions which supported them. Candidates may also deal with the same material in respect of the armies of the countries of the British Empire/Commonwealth including forces maintained by non-Crown bodies within the Empire, such as the Honourable East India Company, or forces allied to and forming an integral part of the land forces operating on behalf of the Crown (North American indigenous peoples, for example).

Length and Content

The target length of the essay shall be about 3000 words. Essays that are shorter than 2500 words and longer than 3500 words will not be considered. A Bibliography (the provision of which is mandatory) and references should not be included in the word count, nor should text associated with features such as maps, diagrams, and tables. All content contributes toward the overall evaluation of the essay.


Each entrant is required to submit his/her respective Essay electronically by email to Dr. Ilya Berkovich at by the deadline of 15 February to be considered for the previous year’s Competition. The essay must be in Microsoft Word or PDF format. Essays will not be accepted unless they contain, on the first page, a completed form entry form - downloadable here. Enquiries prior to submission, for example but not exclusively, for clarification of these rules, should be directed to Mr Phil McCarty at

Document Formatting

The essay should follow the following stipulations:

  1. Pages should be numbered.
  2. The name of the author must be included at the header or footer on each page.
  3. The essay must include a bibliography at the end of the essay, as well as the final word count.
  4. Line spacing should be 1.5 lines or double spacing


All work submitted for this competition is expected to be the result of the entrant’s own research and thought, expressed in his/her own words. In passing off someone else’s work as their own, this cheating amounts to the theft of another’s ideas or efforts. An essay that is suspected of being plagiarised will not be considered for this competition. The burden of proof shall merely be that the Sub-Committee believes it more likely than not that plagiarism has occurred. The Society has an active programme for detecting the occurrence of plagiarism.


When your essay uses the sources and material that you consulted during your research, this must be acknowledged by a reference. If your essay contains any phrase which is reproduced verbatim from any of the sources you consulted, this usage must likewise be acknowledged and be identified as a quotation with speech marks.

The purpose of references is to enable the entrant author to acknowledge the original source material used in his/her essay. References should also allow the readers to consult this original source material. Referencing is best done by footnotes at the bottom of each page. The entrant must also provide a bibliography in addition to references; this should be located at the end of the essay.

When citing a book, use the following style: Author’s First name/ initials, Author Surname, Title (Place of Publication, Publisher, Year of Publication), page being cited.

    A.N. Nother, Very Dreary Anecdotes About Tanks (London, Bilge University Press, 2005), p. 5.
    A.N. Nother, Very Dreary Anecdotes About Tanks (London, Bilge University Press, 2005), pp. 5–17.
    If you are citing a large number of pages which have passing value to the point you raise, use pp.5–64, passim.

After first use, you may opt for a shorter reference:
    Nother, Dreary, p. 47

To cite an article, use the following style: Author’s First name/ initials, Author Surname, “Article Title”, Journal Title, Volume, Issue Number, (Date of the Issue), article pages, pages being cited:
J.S. Bloggs, “Interesting War Stories”, Journal of Military History, Vol.46, No.4, (Summer: 2004), pp.234–254, p.248.


In compiling your list the same format is to be used as in a full ‘first’ referencing footnote.

To cite an internet source, give the full address and the date in which the page was last accessed by the author.

To cite an oral source, such as an interview, cite the interviewer, the interviewee, the location and the date, as in:

Author’s interview with Major JJ Jones RLC, Ulan Bator, 05 May 2005.