Annual Booklist 2019-2020 : Contributors

In what is rapidly becoming a pre-Christmas tradition, we offer you our annual booklist. Once again, a selection of figures from the world of military history were asked to recommend their top five books on the British Army as well as to suggest an idea for a book that ought to be written but does not yet exist. We hope you find inspiration for your own reading, your Christmas gift buying, or your future research.

Ian F.W. Beckett

Professor Ian Beckett retired as Professor of Military History from the University of Kent in 2015. He has held chairs in both the UK and US including as the Major General Matthew C Horner Distinguished Professor of Military Theory at the US Marine Corps University, Quantico, Virginia. A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, he was Secretary of the Army Records Society from 1990 to 2000 and Chairman of its Council from 2001 to 2014. A Vice President of the Friends of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, he has been Secretary of the Buckinghamshire Military Museum Trust since its inception in 1985. He has been a member of the Society’s Templer Medal Sub-committee and is currently one of the judging panel for the New York Historical Society’s annual $50,000 Gilder Lehrman Military History Prize. His work has centred on British auxiliary forces, the First World War, and the late Victorian Army. His most recent publications are A British Profession of Arms: The Politics of Command in the Late Victorian Army (Oklahoma University Press, 2018), and Rorke’s Drift and Isandlwana (Oxford University Press, 2019).

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Prof. Douglas Delaney

Professor Douglas E. Delaney holds the Canada Research Chair (CRC) in War Studies at the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC). He is the author of The Soldiers’ General: Bert Hoffmeister at War (2005), which won the 2007 C.P. Stacey Prize for Canadian Military History, and Corps Commanders: Five British and Canadian Generals at War, 1939-1945 (2011). He is also co-editor Capturing Hill 70: Canada’s Forgotten Battle of the First World War (2016), Turning Point 1917: The British Empire at War (2017), and Military Education and the British Empire, 1815-1949 (2018) . His latest monograph Imperial Armies: Britain and the Land Forces of the Dominions and India, 1902-1945 (Oxford University Press, 2017), was Runner-up for the 2019 Templer Medal. Dr. Delaney is a retired lieutenant-colonel who served with the First and Third Battalions, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI), as well as the Canadian Airborne Regiment.

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Dr Aimee Fox

Dr Aimée Fox is an historian and lecturer in the Defence Studies Department at King’s College London. She is the author of Learning to Fight: Military Innovation and Change in the British Army 1914-1918 (Cambridge University Press, 2018), which won both the SAHR Templer Best First Book Prize and the British Army Military Book of the Year Prize in 2018.

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A.L. Mallinson

Brig. Allan Mallinson is a retired British Army officer and author of the acclaimed Matthew Hervey series of novels about a cavalry officer in the wars of the early 19th Century; the most recent instalment, The Passage to India, won the inaugural SAHR Prize for Military Fiction. He has also written several non-fiction books on the British Army and its campaigns, most recently Too Important for the Generals: Winning and Losing the First World War (2017).

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Prof. Helen Parr

Helen Parr is Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at Keele University, and author of Our Boys: A Story of a Paratrooper (Allen Lane, 2018) - a book about the Parachute Regiment and the experiences and aftermath of the 1982 Falklands War, and with a personal dimension. A long time in the making, but well-received!

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Mark Shearwood

Mark Shearwood is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Leeds on 'The Catholic Other in the Army of James II and William III, c 1685-1690', which has been supporetd by an SAHR University Research Grant. His first book, 'The Perfection of Militray Discipline: The Plug Bayonet and the English Army 1669-1705' is due to be published in February 2020.

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Robin N.W. Thomas

Dr Robin Thomas graduated with a PhD in archaeology from Southampton University in 1989. He worked initially in British Coal Corporation until privatisation and then developed an interest in maritime logistics, spending the rest of his career in the shipping industry. He has been a medal collector since his teenage years and has recently been elected President of the Orders & Medals Research Society (

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Vee Walker

Vee Walker has an MA in Modern Languages from Edinburgh and an M Sc Sc in Heritage Management from the Ironbridge Institute. She is a well-known museum and heritage consultant working in the UK and Europe and a member of the Museums Association. She has just written Find Aleckie, an interactive story set in the aftermath at the Battle of Culloden, for family visitors to the Battlefield (National Trust for Scotland). She is the author of The 1810 Cookbook (FTRR Press 2011) and Major Tom’s War (Kashi House 2018), which was awarded second place in the inaugural SAHR Prize for Military Fiction 2018/19.
Vee lives on the Black Isle, just north of Inverness, and describes herself as a storyteller first and an historian second.

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Andy Grainger

Andy Grainger took a degree in History at the University of Reading in 1975. He has spent most of his working life collecting Inheritance Tax though latterly assisting owners of historic houses and works of art to give public access to them. He now consults for a major auction house. He served in the Royal Artillery (TA) during the Cold War and joined the British Commission for Military History in 1994, serving on the committee as Editor of Mars & Clio from 2004 to 2011. Andy returned to the General Committee of the BCMH in February 2014 and was elected Secretary General in February 2015.

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