University Research Grants (URGs)

Gentleman volunteer or NCO of the 10th Foot

Gentleman volunteer or NCO of the 10th Foot with his commission, c.1810 (ASK Brown Collection)

The Society for Army Historical Research provides grants to encourage and support research undertaken by those studying at University. Each year the grants consist of one up to £1000, and two of up to £500. Applications are welcomed world-wide from any student who is currently studying at a University or similar institution. Grants are made for research that relates to the British Army or of the Land Forces of the British Empire and the Commonwealth. For details go to URG Rules and Guidance (approved 2016 for all subsequent competitions).

As an exception in 2019 the Society was able to award two grants in the Major category of £1,000 each.

Recent awards have been to :

Major Grant

2020 : Samuel Dodson has been awarded a full grant of £1,000 to further his PhD studies into the performance of the British Army in Germany during the Seven Years War. Co-operation with allies and the maintenance of those alliances will be examined as well as the logistical, technical and political challenges of operating in Germany.

2020 : Joshua Bilton has been awarded a half grant of £500 to continue and advance his studies into the private papers of British Conscripts during the First World War. His research aims to explain and define the military identities of these "pressed" soldiers in distinction to volunteers and Regulars.

2019 : Glenn Price of Keele University for his PhD research into Logistics and Supply during the Civil Wars in Great Britain and Ireland, 1638 - 1653. The topic dovetails the new military history of how war was waged from an administrative and financial viewpoint, with the old military history, which essentially described what could be done in the field if all of the 'background support' necessary for a campaign was in place and working effectively. The study will inter-weave operations, economic development stimulated by military requirements and societal reaction to the demands of the competing armies, which were made up largely of their own fellow citizens.

2019 : Jordan Beavis of the University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia is undertaking a PhD that examines the relationships during the inter-war period of the Australian Army with its counterparts in the United Kingdom, the Dominions and the Empire. It will examine the official links, as well as the informal channels of communication and the personal relationships between those involved with a view to establishing whether the passage of military information ensured that the disparate forces of the Commonwealth could effectively operate together when required.

2018 : Josh Bilton of King's College London was awarded a grant to fund a trip to the Brotherton Library, Leeds, to examine the private papers of First World War British conscripts. His research aimed to understand the construction of military identities among these servicemen.

2018 : William Fletcher of King's College London was awarded a grant for research into the papers of Sir George Murray, Wellington’s Quartermaster General, held at the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh. This research formed a major part of William's PhD project into the role of the Quartermaster General's Department from 1799 to 1814.

2016 : Dave Brown of Cranfield University whose PhD is entitled Archaeology of a Day: Re-evaluating the role of Tanks at the Battle of Bullecourt 11th April 1917. His research looked at the role, employment and performance of the tanks during that battle.

Minor Grant

2021 : Jake Gasson, currently at Pembroke College, Oxford, has been awarded a Minor Grant to assist with research connected to his D Phil studies into morale in the British Salonika Force, 1915-1918. In a theatre that was significantly less active than the Western Front, the stresses of service revolved around the climate, disease, the primitive/unsophisticated nature of the country and boredom. In such circumstances the maintenance of morale was both extremely important and difficult to achieve. His research will examine these factors and how they were successfully overcome.

2020 : Mike Barnes studying for his MA at the University of Gloucestershire has received a grant to make a study of papers in the Hampshire County Archives relating to the management of the county's Militia during the pre-Civil War period of the reign of Charles I. In particular the aim is to identify the extent of defaulting on the citizens' obligations to provide men, money, arms, armour or other equipment, whether this was linked specifically to the wars against Spain (1625), France (1627) and Scotland (1639-40) and why these failures of provision happened.

2019 : Mark Shearwood Studying for his PhD at Leeds University, has been awarded a grant to assist in researching the fate of Roman Catholic soldiers who had been recruited into the Army by King James II and specifically what happened to them after the Glorious Revolution. The research will focus on loyalty and identity in relation to both the State and the monarch and will explore hitherto untapped records in the Royal Archives and the archives of the Palace of Westminster.

2017 : Holly Winter of the University of Warwick. The grant was awarded to support a trip to The Cambridge South Asian Archive for doctoral research which will investigate the masculine identities of British men who served in the armies in India between 1799 and 1900.

2017 : Matthew Kovac of the University of Oxford. The grant was awarded to fund visits to University College Dublin Archives and the Irish Military Archives, for research examining the Irish Republican Army recruitment of First World War veterans during the Irish War of Independence of 1919-1921.

2017 : Ryan Crimmins of the University of Oxford. The grant was awarded to support visits to the Thirty Years War Museum in Wittstock, the Bavarian Army Museum in Ingolstadt and the Saxon Sate Archive and Museum in Dresden, in order to gather research on the material culture of religion amongst British troops in the armies of the Thirty Years' War.

2016 : Klara Aizupitis of the University of the Western Cape, researching popular representations of the Zulu and Boer War battlefields in South Africa.

2016 : Mike Hally of Edinburgh University, studying the creation and development of the ex-services organizations in the UK 1914-21 that evolved out of such groups as The Comrades of the Great War, The National Union of Ex-Servicemen and The Officers' Association. All of these societies eventually contributed to the formation of The Royal British Legion.

Grant Applications are welcome at all times.