The blogs contributors are:

Ross Mahoney

Ross is a PhD candidate at the Centre for War Studies at the University of Birmingham. He is currently writing a thesis provisional entitled ‘The Forgotten Career of Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory, 1892-1939: Leadership Development, Succession Planning and Promotion in the Royal Air Force’. His supervisors are Air Commodore (ret’d) Dr Peter Gray and Professor Gary Sheffield. His research interests are British Military History of the 19th and 20th Centuries, Air Power History, Theory and Doctrine, Leadership and Command, and Organisational Culture. He is a recipient of the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Aerospace Speakers Travel Grant. In 2011, he was a West Point Fellow in Military History at the United States Military Academy.

Dr Victoria Henshaw

Victoria recently completed her PhD at the University of Birmingham entitled ‘Scotland and the British Army c.1700-1750’. This incorporated both a study of the British army as an institution in the first half-century of its official existence, and a study of the Scottish soldiers of the British army; their recruitment, training, duties and billeting. Nationalism, loyalty and identity were also key themes of the thesis, as a context of the recent Union of 1707 and the many Jacobite rebellions caused change and tension that had unique effects on the Scottish soldiers of the British army.

Stuart Mitchell

Stuart is in his final year of a PhD at the University of Birmingham, where he is currently researching the learning process of the British Army at the divisional level between 1916-1918. His thesis aims to explore the underpinnings of the ‘learning process’ and uses an inter-disciplinary approach to explain how and why development occurred. He completed his BA in Journalism and Contemporary History at Queen Mary, University of London, before going on to gain an MA in the History of Warfare at King’s College, London.

Dr Michael LoCicero

Michael is researching a hitherto forgotten military operation that took place near Passchendaele following the official closure of the Third Ypres campaign. He has done a great deal of preliminary research, some of it grant-funded, at a wide variety of libraries and archival repositories in the United States, United Kingdom and Belgium. Visits to the battlefield site in West Flanders have also provided him with valuable insight into this opaque episode of the Great War. He graduated from Kutztown University with a BS in Library Science. Subsequent employment at Arcadia University provided him with the opportunity to earn a Master of Arts in the Humanities during 2003- 2006.

Michael is an avid collector of First World War books and manuscripts – a complete set of original official histories (Military Operations) is one of his most cherished possessions!

Andrew Limm

Andrew is reading for a PhD at the University of Birmingham where he is focusing on the experience of the British army in the Low Countries in 1793-1814 under the supervison of Dr Michael Snape. Andrew is particularly interested in amphibious operations and is keen to analyse the importance of the Low Countries in shaping British strategy. Andrew completed his bachelor degree in War Studies at Birmingham in the summer of 2010.

Andrew Duncan

Andrew is a PhD student at the University of Birmingham, researching the education of British army officers 1900-1914, and the influence this had on the conduct of operations in the first year of the war. He is working under the supervision of Professor Gary Sheffield. Andrew read Modern History at undergraduate and Master’s level at the University of St Andrews, focusing increasingly on military history as his studies went on. He concluded his time there by writing an MLitt dissertation on the development of the British Army’s medical services between the Crimea and the First World War.

Aimee Fox-Godden

Aimee is an AHRC funded PhD candidate at the University of Birmingham. Her thesis examines instances of formal and informal inter-theatre knowledge transfer in the British Army, 1914-1918. She is working under the supervision of Professor Gary Sheffield and Dr Jonathan Boff. She has an MA in British First World War Studies from the University of Birmingham where she completed research entitled, ‘Military Administration and the Role of Brigade Staff Officers, 1916-1918′. Prior to this, she completed a BA (Hons) in English and History also at the University of Birmingham. In addition, she has been the Haig Scholar for the Douglas Haig Fellowship, a Summer Vacation Scholarship student at the Australian War Memorial and HM The Queen Mother Great War Scholarship student at the Royal British Legion and Historial de la Grande Guerre.

Daniel Pilfold

James Pugh

John Alexander

John is a part-time PhD at the University of Birmingham under Peter Gray’s supervision. He has an MSt (Cantab) in International Relations, an MBA (Open), and a BA (Hons) in Geography from Newcastle Upon Tyne, and is reading for an MA (Open) in History. He is a Group Captain in the RAF and currently leads the joint concepts team at the MOD’s Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre. He has served with the RAF Regiment world-wide and commanded 37 Squadron RAF Regiment; with the USAF and Sultan of Oman’s Air Force; in various staff appointments in the UK and on operations; and in air power appointments including the Joint Air Power Competence Centre.

John’s research interests include air power in counter-insurgency and interwar British strategy. His PhD will research Britain’s use of air power in Iraq, 1918-1959, examining the use air control as a substitute for ground forces; its impact on Iraqi state development, British public opinion and the RAF’s independence; and the RAF’s presence after Iraqi independence in 1932. For his MSt he researched the Arab Revolt in Palestine, 1936-39, contending the RAF rapidly implemented a sophisticated concept for air-land integration that enabled on call close air support to play a critical role in the suppression of the revolt. His MA dissertation he argued the RAF continuously developed air defence in the interwar period and did not neglect it in favour of strategic bombing.

Matthew Powell

Matthew currently holds an MA in Intelligence and Security Studies and a BA (Hons) in Contemporary Military and International History from the University of Salford, and is due to begin his PhD at the University of Birmingham in October, 2010 where he will be examining the development of the RAF’s Army Co-Operation Command during the Second World War. His research interests include the development of tactical air power doctrine, Army Co-operation Command, the First World War, particularly its origins and the actions of the Western Front and the European and African theatres of the Second World War.

Simon Justice

After training as an accountant, Simon invested twenty-five years in high-tech sales and marketing. He lives with his wife near Oxford and they have one daughter. His association with the University of Birmingham’s Centre for War Studies began in 2007, when he commenced an MA programme in British First World War Studies, from which he graduated in 2009. His final dissertation was titled ‘Means to an End: The Experience of 1918 and its influence on the British Fourth Army’s Performance on the Selle’.

Thomas Withington

Linda Parker

Linda has been a History teacher for 20 years but has recently changed course. Her interest in the First and Second World Wars began in her youth but has been encouraged by years of holidaying with her husband at various European battlefields. She has been researching the history of Anglican chaplains in the Great War for several years and has a book The Whole Armour of God, examining their role, being published in February 2009 (Helion & Co.). She is now starting a PhD under the supervision of Dr Michael Snape. Her thesis will examine the impact of Anglican chaplains returning from the Great War on the life of the Church of England in the interwar era.

James Benn


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