Annual Booklist 2018-2019 : Contributors
For this year's booklist, we've stuck with the successful approach of the last two years and asked our contributors - a mixture of soldiers, scholars, and members of the SAHR Council, to recommend their five favourite books on the British Army as well as to suggest an idea for a book that doesn't exist but deserves to be written.
John Hussey OBE FRHistS
John Hussey was born in 1933, and was awarded an OBE in 1971 for his services to British interests abroad. He is the author of 'Marlborough. Hero of Blenheim' and of a two-volume history of the Waterloo Campaign which won the 2017 SAHR Templer Medal.
Dr Clare Makepeace
Dr Clare Makepeace is an Hon. Research Fellow at Birkbeck, University of London, and author of Captives of War. British Prisoners of War in Europe in the Second World War (Cambridge University Press, 2017) – runner-up for the 2018 SAHR Templer Best First Book prize.
John Morewood read Modern History at Oxford University. He specialises in the period of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars in particular the British cavalry and the Royal Navy. He lectures widely, runs historical tours and is Secretary to the 600 strong Waterloo Association (http://www.waterlooassociation.org.uk/) dedicated to increasing knowledge of the period and helping preserve the Waterloo battlefield. He co-authored “HMS Vanguard at the Nile- the men, the ship, the battle” and wrote "Waterloo General, the Life, Letters and mysterious death of Sir William Ponsonby 1772-1815" which was nominated by Professor Andrew Roberts in The Evening Standard as one of his "Best Buys of 2016". He is currently studying for a PhD at the Institute of Historical Research
Col. Mike Snook MBE PhD
Colonel Mike Snook was commissioned into the Royal Regiment of Wales and over the ensuing 30 years served all round the world in command, operations and intelligence appointments. He spent two thirds of his career overseas and saw extensive active service in four campaigns. He is a graduate of Leicester University, Sandhurst and the Army Staff College. Twice honoured for operational distinction, he was awarded the MBE in 2000. He spent four years as a British military adviser in South Africa and latterly was the head of the UN’s J3 Operations staff in Khartoum. A recognised authority on the military history of the Victorian era, he is the author of How Can Man Die Better: the Secrets of Isandlwana Revealed, Like Wolves on the Fold: The Defence of Rorke’s Drift, Into the Jaws of Death: British Military Blunders 1879-1900 and Go Strong into the Desert: The Mahdist Uprising 1881-5.
Lt. Col. Geoffrey Vesey Holt MBE
Geoffrey was educated at the Lycée Français de Londres and is a graduate of Durham University with a BA (Hons) Upper 2:1 Class in Modern History. He was commissioned into the Royal Tank Regiment (RTR) in 1974. He served in 1 RTR during the Cold War in Germany as an armoured reconnaissance troop leader, Regimental Signals Officer and as an Armoured (Chieftain) Squadron Leader and Squadron Second in Command. He was also an instructor at the Royal Armoured Corps Signals School and a Mechanised Infantry Brigade Operations Officer. He is a graduate of the French Army Staff College. Since 1990 he has specialised in the Weapons Acquisition Stream and, not surprisingly, the acquisition of Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFVs). Somewhat to his surprise he has been part of three successful (albeit that one was only a successful if you were German or Dutch) major AFV programmes. The first was the Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank (MBT), the current in service MBT. He served during this programme as a Staff Officer Grade 2 (SO2) at the Armoured Trials and Development Unit where he took part in the Challenger 2 Trials and SO2 Challenger 2 at HQ Director Royal Armoured Corps. He was awarded the MBE for his effort in the later appointment. The second was the multi national Manager Multi Role Armoured Vehicle (MRAV) programme; he served as the UK trials and subsequently technical and trials manager. His last appointment was as SO1 Fighting System at the Defence Scientific and Technical Laboratories (dstl) where his major task was to support to the Future Rapid Effect System (FRES) programme. This convoluted programme eventually resulted in a development contract just after he retired in 2010. He currently working on the preparations for the RTR’s commemorations of the 100th anniversary of World War 1 (the first tanks were used in 1916 and first tank to tank action was in 1918); writing two volumes of the history of the Tank Corps covering 1918; running pro bono battlefield tours and giving lectures; improving his French and walking hills in the Sussex Weald and other places.
Christopher D. Palmer
The new Membership Secretary of SAHR, Chris Palmer graduated from Imperial College in 1970 with a degree in Oil Technology and worked solely in the international upstream oilfield services sector until retirement in 2016. The last ten years of his career were spent in developing fracking technology and procedures.
Dr David Morgan-Owen
Dr David Morgan-Owen is an historian and lecturer in Defence Studies at King’s College London, where he works at the Joint Services Command and Staff College. He is the author of The Fear of Invasion: Strategy, Politics, and British War Planning, 1880-1914 (Oxford University Press, 2017), which won the SAHR Templer Best First Book Prize in 2018.
Dr Arran Johnston
Arran Johnston is Director of the Scottish Battlefields Trust and author of, amongst other works, Blood Stain'd Fields: The Battles of East Lothian and On Gladsmuir Shall the Battle Be!: The Battle of Prestonpans 1745.
Dr Andrew Cormack FSA, FRHistS
Andrew Cormack has been the editor of the Society's Journal since July 2008. He has produced numerous articles, mainly for the Journal, and was the editor of The Journal of Corporal William Todd, 1745-1763 for the Army Records Society in 2001. His PhD on the fate of old or disabled soldiers appeared as 'These Meritorious Objects of the Royal Bounty' - The Chelsea Out-Pension in the early Eighteenth Century (published by the author) in 2017 and was the runner-up for that year’s Templer Medal.