Participant Info

First Name
Dr Sarah-Louise
Last Name
University of Oxford, Faculty of History
Website URL
Women's Military History, Women in the Second World War, Naval History, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, RAF History, British Intelligence, Intelligence History, Special Operations Executive, SOE, Women's Auxiliary Air Force, WAAF, Women's Royal Naval Service, WRNS, Auxiliary Territorial Service, ATS, Air Transport Auxiliary, ATA, Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service, WAVES, History of Codebreaking, Radar, Chain Home, Ground Controlled Interception, Pacific History, Pacific War, Battle of Britain, Battle of the Atlantic, Dowding System, America in the Second World War, Britain in the Second World War, Photographic Intelligence, Dambusters, Bomber Command, Fighter Command, Enigma, Ultra, Bletchley Park, Government Code and Cypher School, GCHQ, Thousand Bomber Raids, Emotional Response to Warfare, Propaganda, Secrecy, Espionage, Naval War, Naval Communications, OP-20-G, Submarine Warfare WWII, British Pacific Fleet, Second World War in Hawaii, Fourteenth Naval District, Pearl Harbor, Admiral Chester Nimitz, Joe Rochefort, Agnes Driscoll, Genevieve Grotjan, Joan Clarke, Mavis Batey, Cryptanalysis, Cryptography, Codebreaking, Midway, Coral Sea, Ultra, Enigma, Japanese Codes, Purple, JN-25
Additional Contact Information
Literary Representation: Thomas Cull, Cull & Co. Ltd.

Personal Info

About Me

Sarah is currently a visiting scholar at the Faculty of History, University of Oxford.

Sarah is experienced in historical research, teaching, public speaking, lecturing and media work. She has worked in historical education, museums and as a script-writer, fact checker, presenter and historical expert in public events, radio and television, for organisations such as the BBC, Channel Four, ITV, Sky History and the Imperial War Museum, London. She has appeared on BBC One’s Who Do You Think You Are, explaining to actor Ralf Little what his grandfather’s service in the Royal Navy in the Pacific theatre during WWII would have entailed. She also appeared on Channel 4’s My Grandparents’ War, as a historical expert explaining to actress Keira Knightley what her grandmother did during WWII in Scotland.

Most recently, Sarah appeared alongside Professor Alice Roberts as a historical consultant in a brand new documentary (details to be released in 2023). She firmly and passionately believes in access to historical education for all, and values opportunities to bring history to everyone through media work.

Sarah gained her PhD in History in May 2022, at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London. She also holds a BA (first class) and an MPhil in History. For the latter, she wrote her thesis on the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force and their work in British Air Intelligence in the Second World War, and carried out extensive research on military intelligence behind major RAF operations during this period, including the Battle of Britain, the Dambusters Raid, the Thousand Bomber Raids and the discovery of the V Weapons. She is very interested in recovering the history of women in intelligence work, an element that is often missing from existing research on the intelligence world. Sarah’s doctoral research considered the Women’s Royal Naval Service and its’ American equivalent, the WAVES, aiming to identify and evaluate the work carried out by the women in these services in the field of Naval Intelligence from 1939-1945.

From September 2019 to January 2022 Sarah served as the leader of WIWIP (Women in War and International Politics), a department-led initiative that seeks to give greater visibility to the achievements of women in the fields of War Studies, International Politics, Security and Defence, and works closely with the department’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee in this capacity.

Sarah speaks and consults on a wide range of historical topics, including:

  • The First World War
  • The Second World War
  • Intelligence, Espionage and Deception
  • Women in War and Military Services
  • The Royal Navy in WWII
  • The Royal Air Force in WWII
  • The Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS)
  • The Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF)
  • The Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS)
  • The Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service (WAVES)
  • Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASPs)
  • Women’s Army Corps (WAAC/WAC)
  • Women in Intelligence
  • The Battle of Britain
  • The Dambusters
  • RAF Fighter Command
  • RAF Bomber Command
  • The Battle of the Coral Sea
  • The Battle of Midway
  • The War in the Pacific
  • British Intelligence

You can listen to Sarah speaking about the WAAF in WWII at the link below:

In the following podcast, Sarah interviews journalist and author Lucy Fisher, and discusses the topic of women and war:

Recent Publications


  • The Women Behind the Few: Women in WWII British Air Intelligence – Due for release 9 March 2023 with Biteback Publishing(now available for pre-order):

  • Women in Allied Naval Intelligence in the Second World War: A Close Secret (PhD thesis), Under contract with Bloomsbury Academic, due for release in 2024
  • Hawaii’s Wartime Women – Under contract with Pegasus Books, due for release in 2025

Academic Articles and Research Notes

  • The Women Who Watched the Waves: The Women’s Air Raid Defense Organisation in World War II Hawaii (British Journal of Military History)

Commissioned Book Reviews

  • Lewis F. McIntyre’s Take Charge and Move Out: The Founding Fathers of TACAMO, commissioned by the Journal of Military History
  • Peter Harmsen’s War in the Far East: Japan Runs Wild, 1942-1943, commissioned by War in History Journal
  • Stuart Heaver’s The Coal Black Sea: Winston Churchill and the Worst Naval Catastrophe of the First World War, commissioned by Aspects of History magazine
Media Coverage
BBC's 'Who Do You Think You Are', Channel Four's 'My Grandparents' War', multiple Sky History documentaries, script-writer for documentaries
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
Australia, Atlantic, British Isles, East Asia, England, Japan, New Zealand, North America, Pacific, Southeast Asia, United Kingdom, United States
Expertise by Chronology
20th century
Expertise by Topic
Gender, Higher Ed, Libraries & Archives, Local & Regional, Military, Public History, Women, World War II