Announcement: SAHR-NAM Alliance

Monday 14th December 2020

An Alliance Between the National Army Museum and the Society for Army Historical Research

The Chair of the Society for Army Historical Research (SAHR) and the Director of the National Army Museum (NAM) are pleased to announce that we have jointly signed an agreement between our respective organisations: an ‘Alliance’.

The goals of the National Army Museum and the Society for Army Historical Research are mutually supportive. The National Army Museum’s Royal Charter tasks the Museum with collecting, researching, collating and publishing information relating to the history and traditions of the British Army. The Society for Army Historical Research is a learned society, founded in 1921 to foster interest in the history and traditions of British and Commonwealth armies, to encourage research in these fields and to provide a vehicle through which it may be published. In the light of such closely related objectives, the Directors and Councils have agreed to create a mutually-supporting 'Alliance’.

It is intended that this agreement will see the beginning of a developing co-operation between SAHR and NAM to the benefit of the study of the history of the British Army and the Land Forces of the Crown from across the world.

The Journal is the original and principal output of SAHR. It will remain under the control of the Society. In the spirit of the alliance, SAHR will be pleased to publicise the co-operation between the two organisations and to incorporate the NAM logo when appropriate. In future, announcements of NAM or NAM Development Trust news will appear in the Journal. From 2021 onwards, the Journal will publish annually a joint announcement of the prize winners in the Templer Medal book competition.

Both organisations have a deep institutional attachment to the memory of Field Marshal Sir Gerald Templer. In his later life, Templer's main passion was establishing the National Army Museum, which has named its library, archive and reading room as 'The Templer Study Centre' in his honour. In the early 1980s, SAHR instituted the Templer Medal Book Competition to commemorate his life and achievements, and to mark his Presidency of SAHR between 1965 and 1979.

The annual Templer Medal for the best book in any given year on a subject within the ambit of the Society is the other of the two flagship outputs. The medal is accompanied by a monetary prize. For some years another prize has been awarded to the author whose very first book is about the land forces of the Crown and is deemed to be of exceptional value in its contribution to the history of the Army. It has been agreed that SAHR will retain control of the title to the Templer Medal and the organisation of the competition. It will be responsible for appointing the sub-committee that constitutes the judging panel. NAM shall be invited to propose one candidate for the judging panel in due course.

NAM, supported by its Development Trust, has very generously offered to henceforth match the sum of the prizes (Templer and the First Book) provided by SAHR, doubling their cash value. Looking forward, it is anticipated that NAM will become the home of the annual SAHR Templer lecture and/or reception. However, in order to mark anniversaries, to create interesting variety and to reduce London-centricity, SAHR may vary the location. As a rule of thumb, it would be reasonable to assume that NAM will host roughly half of the Templer events.

Both organisations are committed to encouraging and supporting research into the history of the British and Commonwealth armies and will provide research grants. In addition to its own grant and fellowship programme, NAM has generously offered £1,000 per annum to SAHR for grant purposes.

SAHR policy is governed by an elected Council. Members of Council are responsible individually for activities of the Society. Power to co-opt additional members is available. SAHR will consider co-opting anyone nominated by Director of NAM to assist with any joint planning of events or to further co-operation between the two organisations. SAHR has accepted the kind invitation to provide a member of the NAM Research and Collection Advisory Panel (RCAP).

It is our hope that this initiative will create a gravitational ‘pull’, which will attract other like-minded organisations of a similar quality to aid the advancement of the history of the British Army.

Ewan B Carmichael CBE Justin Maciejewski DSO MBE

Chair SAHR Director NAM

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