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Members' research

We invite members of the society to discuss their research or to announce their latest publication through a short blog post.

Thomas SchmutzWestern Diplomacy in the Middle East

Thomas Schmutz studied History, Political Science and German Literature at the University of Zurich and Paris Diderot 7. He is a PhD candidate at the Center for the History of Violence in Newcastle, Australia, and at the University of Zurich. He is interested in transnational, diplomatic and military history, genocide studies and discourses on otherness. His doctoral thesis concentrates on...

Michael Robinson"Nobody’s Children": Shell-Shock and Rehabilitation in Ireland, 1918-1938

Shell-shock remains a culturally and historically resonant metaphor of the Great War. This resonance has been undoubtedly influenced by the highly publicised writings of servicemen such as Robert Graves and Siegfried Sassoon. This understanding was enforced by Pat Barker’s critically and commercially successful Regeneration trilogy. It was, however, only in 2002, with Peter Leese’s Shell Shock: Traumatic Neurosis and the...

Paul HuddieThe Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Airmen’s Families Association and the First World War

The Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Airmen’s Families Association (SSAFA) is the United Kingdom’s oldest national military charity; today it has 100 branches and supports 50,000 cases per annum. However, in 1914 it had 1,100 branches and by the end of that year it supported over 1,000,000 cases, at a cost of £1,000,000. SSAFA was the organisation (along with the...

Linda RiddellShetland and the Great War

My research has focussed on the Great War in the Shetland Isles. I completed my PhD in 2012 with a thesis titled ‘Shetland and the Great War’ and my book of the same title (ISBN 978-1-90476-95-9) was published last year.

I had two key themes. One was how the effects of the war were determined by the islands’ geographical...

Jenny MacleodGallipoli

January 2016 marks the centenary of the final withdrawal from Gallipoli. For 11 months combined forces from the British and French empires had been attempting to force their way through the Dardanelles straits and to knock the Ottoman Empire out of the war. My new book combines a survey of this great multi-national effort with the first transnational study of...

Roslyn PikeThe Mobile Warfare of the Sinai and Palestine Campaign

The focus of my research is on the mobile warfare of the Sinai and Palestine campaign. This wide-ranging study covers the fighting, the transport and supply problems, the extensive lines of communication, the conditions, and includes personal experiences of some of those who served in the Egyptian Expeditionary Force. Between 2010 and the end of 2013 a detailed description of...

Alex Dowdall‘Under Fire: Civilians at the Western Front, 1914-1918’

The Western Front during the First World War is one of the most recognisable spaces in European history. Traditionally, it has been examined from the perspective of the military – be they generals, or ordinary soldiers enduring horrific conditions in the trenches.

My PhD thesis, funded by the Irish Research Council and recently completed at Trinity College Dublin, seeks to...

Cédric CotterHumanitarian Action and Neutrality in Switzerland during the First World War

I have been working since 2012 on a PhD project focusing on the relationship between neutrality and humanitarian action in Switzerland during the Great War. My problematic is built around the questioning of two identity and mythical elements of Switzerland: Were the charitable actions initiated by Switzerland disinterested? How was neutrality experienced by the Swiss population? These questions guided me...

Paul CornishFirst World War Galleries Project

Since 2010 I have been working as Senior Curator on the team creating new First World War Galleries for Imperial War Museum London. They will open to the public as part of a transformed museum in July 2014. Covering over 1000 square metres, the galleries are sufficiently large to accommodate artillery pieces and even a tank and an aircraft alongside...

Chris KempshallUnwilling allies?: Tommy-Poilu relations on the Western Front 1914-1918

My research focuses predominantly on the interactions and relations between allied soldiers of different nationalities. My recently completed PhD thesis focused on the relations between British and French soldiers on the Western Front. Whilst previous studies have touched on the relations between common soldiers, this has often been within specific case studies. I drew particularly on the contemporary diaries, letters...

Erika KuhlmanThe lives of German ex-soldiers in the United States after World War I

I am interpreting the lives of German ex-soldiers who migrated to the United States after the First World War. While nation-states are usually considered to have been the final arbiters of a just conclusion to the World War, migrating combatants’ lived experience reveals a different quest for individual justice, one that allows historians to render more completely the history and...

Ron DinsdaleWorld War One Casualties

The project goal is to tabulate military and civilian casualties by date and nation from July 1914 to the end of conflict between all belligerents.
As the world focuses on the Centennial, we have a unique opportunity to gather in one repository as much statistical information as possible on casualties of all nations, building a record day by day and...

Mahon MurphyGerman prisoners of war and civilian internees from the German colonies in captivity in the British Empire, 1914-1920

My study relates to prisoners of war and civilian internees taken from the German colonies by the British Empire during the First World War. Recent studies on prisoners of war and civilian internees in Europe during the First World War have focused on violence, mismanagement of camps and the use of forced labour. With regard to the European theatre of...

Catriona PennellThe First World War in the Classroom: Teaching and the Construction of Cultural Memory

I am a social and cultural historian of the First World War with a particular interest in the experience of the conflict amongst non-elites in Britain and Ireland. For the past three years, at the University of Exeter, my research has fed into my third year undergraduate module ‘The First World War: Interrogating the Myths’. Taking some of the most...

Peter HowsonChaplaincy in the British Army: Records and representation

After a career of 25 years as a chaplain in the British army I started to research into the history of chaplaincy during World War One. This lead to the publication, in 2013, of Muddling Through: The Organisation of British Army Chaplaincy in World War One. A problem with researching British army chaplaincy is that no War Office records appear...

Andrekos VarnavaCyprus and Armenia in the Great War: imperialism, decolonisation, genocide, humanitarianism

Dr Andrekos Varnava is Senior Lecturer in Imperial and Military History at Flinders University, Australia. His research and publications centre on:
1) British imperialism, colonialism and decolonisation in Cyprus;
2) the history and politics of Cyprus, specifically minorities of Cyprus and the Cyprus ‘problem’;
3)British and French imperial and military policies in the eastern Mediterranean during and immediately after...


Thomas FaithBehind the Gas Mask: The U.S. Army Chemical Warfare Service 1917-1929

I am currently researching the history of the U.S. Army Chemical Warfare Service (CWS) during the Great War and the 1920s for a book manuscript. When the United States formally entered the war in 1917, its Army was woefully under-prepared for gas warfare. Mere months before the declaration of war a group of civilian chemists, researchers at...

María Inés TatoArgentine society and First World War: nationalism, associationism, civic mobilizations and intellectual debates

The general aim of this project is the analysis of the ideological and political impact of the First World War on Argentine society, from the perspective of social history, political history and cultural history. During wartime there existed a close interrelation between democratization of politics and the expansion of nationalism in Argentina, expressed in an intense associationism, a massive social...

Andrew J. HuebnerLove and Death in the Great War

My name is Andrew Huebner, and I’m an associate professor of history at the University of Alabama. My current book project, Love and Death in the Great War, surveys the stories of three American doughboys and their families in the context of the broader national impulse to sell, justify, and understand the First World War in personal terms.

“Crusades are...

James E. ConnollyThe occupation of Northern France in the First World War

My research focuses on the occupation of northern France in the First World War. In particular, I concentrate on the French department of the Nord – two-thirds of which were occupied from 1914-1918 – and the way in which its inhabitants responded to the occupation. I examine French behaviours, from forms of resistance to what I term ‘mauvaise...

Pierre PurseigleRebuilding European lives, 1914-1939: The reconstitution of urban communities in inter-war Europe

This project will investigate the reconstitution of urban communities in Europe in the aftermath of the First World War. It will thus produce an urban history of the transition from war to peace. Based on a longitudinal study of communities affected by military operations on the battlefields of France and Belgium, it will reveal some of the critical implications of...