Welcome to the British Modern Military History Society

Welcome to the British Modern Military History Society.  Formed in early 2019, we organise monthly talks for anyone interested in military history over the last 200 years from Nelson’s times to the present day.   

We organise top quality talks given by writers, academics, former military personnel, and experts in their field with  a wide variety of topics – hopefully an interesting cocktail to encourage you to join us.  Based in Woodcote Village Hall RG8 0QY (near Wallingford) in South Oxfordshire, we can accommodate up to 100 people at each talk in pleasant surroundings, offering a warm and welcoming evening out.    

We have a full schedule of monthly talks scheduled throughout 2020 and most of 2021 on El Alamein, the Cold War, the Falklands, the Spanish Civil War and the Battle of the Atlantic and much more – something to appeal to everyone, we hope.  Check out the full programme and talk details on the website or our Facebook pages. 

The BMMHS meetings previously planned for April, May, June and July 2020 are all CANCELLED due to COVID-19

Operation Bookworm

Thank you for your contributions to Operation Bookworm so far....Please keep them coming !

From all over the world, we have had some remarkable stories of great bravery and valour, while others have told how it was as civilians enduring hardships and fear we cannot imagine.   A mixture of incredible stories of survival, and some of being witness to hugely significant historical events.   Alongside these are tales of ordinary people ‘doing their bit’, some with great humour, others with great fortitude and some with great sadness, and often a mixture of all these.

If you have a family story to tell, do get in touch… we would love to hear from you. info@bmmhs.org

Please send your articles in to us – The Closing Date is 30th June 2020

Supporting Operation Bookworm

Jim Wright DFC
Wing Commander (Ret) Jim Wright DFC, former navigator with Bomber Command Pathfinder Force & veteran of 44 wartime missions.
Dair Farrar-Hockley
Major-General Dair Farrar-Hockley MC

“Helping us all through the Great Isolation”

‘What a marvellous time — during the privations of ‘lockdown’ — to ask us to turn out our family archives and contribute to the BMMHS’s first publication. And no better charity than Blind Veterans UK to receive any profit from this great initiative. It will be a pleasure to contribute.’ – Major-General Dair Farrar-Hockley MC.

What is Operation Bookworm?

With time on the hands of many of us during the wretched COVID19 pandemic, this is the ideal chance to put together a bit about a family members experiences  – military or civilian – in the military conflicts of the last 200 years.

We are looking to produce a book with profits to the Blind Veterans UK charity comprising a bit of your own family history – it could be your own experiences, your Father or Mother’s, your sons, your grandads, an aunt or uncle.

Almost everyone has someone in the family with a tale to tell, and when you start asking or researching you will be surprised what you find out. From my family, we have an uncle who landed on Gold beach on D+1, a great uncle who served in the Royal Artillery in WW1 and is buried in Flanders, two aunts who were evacuees, and another uncle who landed at Gallipoli in 1915. Somewhere in your bookshelf, in a drawer or your loft you may well have the military records and papers and other memorabilia that would make an interesting story. We only want a short article – from a couple of paragraphs to 3 pages ideally with some photos/documents – certainly not War and Peace or a lengthy, detailed history of a military career. Don’t worry about spelling,  grammar etc – we can amend documents – but ultimately they will be your words. Of course, you may have something written or even published already, so send it across.

For all articles we would like your permission to publish then in all or part on our website, on Facebook and ultimately in a book. If you would like to contribute, drop us a line at info@bmmhs.org  and we can discuss your ideas. Get researching and start writing – good luck, and of course stay safe and well.

Please send your articles in to us – The Closing Date is 30th June 2020

The BMMHS Team

What you are saying about Operation Bookworm


BMMHS Meetings - Update

While we are waiting for clearer guidance on when, if and in what format our talks can resume, we believe that the very earliest will be this autumn, but it may be not into next year.  It is also likely we shall have to have restricted numbers of attendees so that social distancing rules can be adequately enforced.  So the message is ‘watch this space’.

BMMHS Zoom Talks

In June, we ran a Pilot BMMHS Zoom talk to assess the demand for virtual BMMHS Talks. We shall look to roll out a programme of BMMHS Zoom Talks in the near future.

Operation Bookworm Update

Operation Bookworm Weekly Update More stories are still coming in every day. Over the past few days these include an SOE poem, a series of Home front articles including, children’s gas masks, WVS salvage, butterfly bombs, Operation Garlic and the last year of the occupation in The Netherlands. From all...

Operation Bookworm logo

Bookworm Closing Date 30th June

Operation Bookworm We have been compiling a book in aid of the charity Blind Veterans UK  (formerly St Dunstans) and requesting people to submit articles about their own or their families’ memories of wartime or conflict, either serving in the military or as a civilian.    We have had a tremendous response with contributions...

Sadly These Talks Cancelled - COVID-19

Hopefully NORMAL SERVICE will resume Wednesday 9th September 2020

Taranto - The Sinking of the Italian Fleet

Paul Beaver

Assumes the current COVID-19 restrictions will no longer apply by then.

Ticket Pricing, Reservations and Venue Directions

Entry cost is just £8, payable (cash only) on the door.  This includes your entry ticket to the talk, a Q & A, refreshments (beer, wine, soft drinks) and light snacks (sandwiches etc.).  At each talk, we also make a contribution to a military related charity of our speaker’s choice. We also hold a raffle at each talk.

Doors open at 7:00pm and talks are scheduled to start at 7:30 pm. Entrance to the main hall is via the main entrance on the Reading Road in Woodcote.

Car parking is available on site, but can get quite busy. Disabled parking and access to the hall is available. 

As many of our talks do ‘sell out’ in advance, we recommend you reserve your places well in advance to avoid disappointment by contacting us on info@bmmhs.org   We will then confirm your reservation back to you if seats are available.

If you have any other questions,  please contact us on info@bmmhs.org 

We look forward to welcoming you to our meeting.

P-38 Lightning crews of the 55th Fighter Group are briefed at Nuthampstead air base. 12th November 1943.  © IWM FRE 161
Click on the photo above for further details on Ticket pricing, Reservations and Venue Directions

What you are saying about

BMMHS Meetings 2021 Include

Nicci Pugh - White Ship Red Crosses

White Ship - Red Crosses

13th January 2021



10th February 2021

The Women who flew for Hitler



10th March 2021

Our Last Talk and New Articles

March Talk

Sir John Slessor - An unsung Cold War Strategist and his role as the architect of British Airborne Nuclear Deterrence.​

Sir John Slessor

Speaker: Bill Pyke

New Article

Tuck's Luck

An article by Steve Richards

Stanford Tuck
A photograph, much used in wartime propaganda, of a Spitfire formation led by Tuck in the nearest machine. This "copybook" formation continues with Brian Kingcombe, George Proudman, Gordon Olive, Nicky Nicholas and Sergeant McPherson (Photo: Charles E. Brown)


The Letcombe Lion

An article by Trevor Hancock

The Atlantic Attempt 1930
Click on image above for the article

Click to see full BMMHS event listing pages.

Contact us at info@bmmhs.org

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Images © IWM & NAM