Meeting: Amateur Soldiering Tradition in Britain & the Empire 1899-1945

Speaker: Professor Gary Sheffield

Wednesday 8th April 2020; 7:30 pm

Woodcote Village Hall, Reading Road, Woodcote, RG8 0QY

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The British Modern Military History Society will this month be hosting a presentation given by the emminent historian and author Professor Gary Sheffield on:- 

Amateur Soldiering Tradition in Britain & the Empire 1899-1945

EMPIRE FORCES IN GREAT BRITAIN 1939-1945 (H 1821) Troops and nursing sisters of the 2nd Australian Imperial Force line the rails of a troopship as it docks at Gourock on the Clyde, 19 June 1940. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source:
The Entire British Empire is With Us – Fighters from Great Britain and British Colonies] (Art.IWM PST 16037) photographs of British Empire and Commonwealth soldiers including, in the centre, a British so... Copyright: © IWM. Original Source:
DOMINION AND EMPIRE FORCES IN THE UNITED KINGDOM, 1939-45 (H 2045) King George VI inspecting men of the Australian Imperial Force at Salisbury, 4 July 1940. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source:
THE COLONIAL REGIMENTS IN THE BRITISH ARMY DURING THE FIRST WORLD WAR Acting Governor The Hon. E. B. Jarvis CMG presenting medals for the Great War to one of the soldiers of 4th Battalion, King's African Rifles at Bombo, Uganda. Bombo was the Depot of 4th KAR. © IWM © The rightsholder (Q 67815)
WEST AFRICAN TROOPS IN INDIA DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR (IND 2864) Indian soldiers mingle with troops of the 81st West African Division after the latter had arrived in India for jungle training. The first African colonial troops to fight outside Africa, the 81st Division went on to Burma in December 1943. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source:

Event Details and Entry Cost​

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   We will then confirm your reservation back to you if seats are available.

If you have any other questions,  please contact us on 

We look forward to welcoming you to our meeting.

Meeting Venue: Woodcote Village Hall​

Woodcote Village Hall
Woodcote Village Hall, Reading Road, Woodcote, Oxon. RG8 0QY
Woodcote Village Hall

If you are unable to attend this meeting but would be interested in attending any of our future presentations or joining any organised trips please contact us on so we can keep you updated.

Our Allies the Colonies - Royal West African Frontier Force (Art.IWM PST 15417) Copyright: © IWM. Original Source:
DOMINION AND EMPIRE FORCES IN THE UNITED KINGDOM 1939-45 (H 948) Gunners of the 1st Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, with a 2-pdr anti-tank gun in a sandbagged position, Aldershot, December 1939. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source:

Biographical notes – Professor Gary Sheffield

Gary Sheffield is an internationally-recognised expert on the First World War, especially the role of the British army. His research interests are, broadly, Britain in the age of total war, 1914 to 1945, and military history, especially land warfare, since Napoleon.
Sir Max Hastings has described Gary as “one of the Britain’s foremost historians of the First World War – insightful, original, and superbly informed”.
Professor Gary Sheffield MA, PhD, FRHistS, FRSA, is co-director of the First World War Research Group. He was educated at the University of Leeds (BA, MA) and King’s College London.
He started his academic career in the Department of War Studies, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, before moving to King’s College London’s Defence Studies Department, based at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, Shrivenham, where he was Land Warfare Historian on the Higher Command and Staff Course, the UK’s senior operational course for senior officers.
Awarded a Personal Chair by KCL in 2005, he took up the newly-created Chair of War Studies at the University of Birmingham in 2006 before moving to the University of Wolverhampton in September 2013.
Gary Sheffield
Gary Sheffield
BMMHS Book Review
In Haig's Shadow released 1st October 2019

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