Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of Leeds
Website URL
First World War, history of masculinity, history of gender, social history of medicine, legacies of war, popular culture, British history
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Personal Info

About Me

My primary fields of interest is the history of gender, particularly masculine identity, and the medical history of war and conflict. My first book, on British soldiers’ masculine identity during the First World War, Men of War: Masculinity and the First World War in Britain, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2009. My second book, on the roles and identities of non-commissioned male medical service personnel in the British armed forces during the First World War, is under contract with Oxford University Press, due for publication in 2018. I have also published extensively on war disability and popular fiction. I am also particularly interested in the history of psychological disability, postwar civil reintegration and disability pensions, middlebrow, detective and adventure fiction and representations of the First World War in popular culture.

My current research, funded by a European Research Council Starting Grant, examines the gendering of formal and informal forms of medical and social care for disabled British ex-servicemen after the First World War. At the centre of the project is the development of a database of personal pension files relating to these ex-servicemen, archived by the National Archives, London in section PIN 26. Using quantitative analysis of these files alongside close textual readings of a sample of the material they contain, as well as material drawn from archives of hospitals, local governments and charitable institutions, the project explores the types of medical and social care provided by the State, charities and the family, and how these groups of care providers related to each other. In doing so, it investigates how medical and social care were shaped by gender in a key period of for British social and medical history. More information on this projec

I blog about my research at

Recent Publications

a) Books

An Equal Burden: The Men of the Royal Army Medical Corps in the First World War, Oxford University Press, under contract, 2018.

Men of War: Masculinity and the First World War in Britain, Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.

b) Edited collections

Legacies of the First World War, special issue of War and Society, co-editor with Alison Fell, Volume 34, Number 2, 2015.

Masculinity and the Other, co-editor with Heather Ellis, Cambridge Scholars Publishers, 2009.

British Popular Culture and the First World War, editor, Brill Academic Publishers, 2008.

c) Journal articles

‘Matthew’s Legs and Thomas’s Hand: Watching Downton Abbey as a First World War Historian’, Journal of British Cinema and Television, under review.

‘Medicos, Poultice Wallahs and Comrades in Service: Masculinity and military medicine in Britain during the First World War’, Critical Military Studies, under review.

‘Not Least in the Crusade: Medical Caregiving in First World War Britain’, Local History News 117, Autumn 2015.

‘Neutral caregivers or military support?: The Friends’ Ambulance Unit and the Problems of Voluntary Medical Aid in Wartime’, War and Society, Volume 34, Number 2, 2015, 105-120. PMCID: PMC4497454.

d) Book chapters

‘Wounded in a Mentionable Place: Ex-servicemen’s Organisations and the (In)visibility of the Disabled Ex-serviceman in Inter-war Britain’ in Ex-Servicemen/Ex-Servicewomen in Britain and Ireland after the First World War, ed. Oliver Wilkinson and David Swift, Manchester University Press, under review.

‘The Long Carry: Landscapes and the Shaping of British Medical Masculinities in the First World War’ in Landscapes of the Great War, ed. Martina Salvante, Selena Daly and Vanda Wilcox, Brill, in production, 2018.

‘”A Blind Man’s Home-Coming”: Masculinity, Disability and Male Care-giving in First World War Britain’ in in Phallacies: Historical Intersections of Disability and Masculinity, ed. Kathleen M. Brian and James W. Trent, Jr., Oxford University Press, 2017: 153-170.

‘Keeping the Home Fires Burning: Women’s Support for British Servicemen’ in Britain and the Widening War 1915-1916: From Gallipoli to the Somme, ed. Peter Liddle, Pen & Sword, 2016: 246-255.

‘The Not Dead: Disabled ex-servicemen in life and literature from the First World War to the present’ in Gender and Conflict, Then and Now: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, ed. Ana Carden-Coyne, Palgrave Macmillan, 2010: 98-109.

‘Shell shock as a self-inflicted wound’ in Neurology and Modernity, ed. Andrew Shail and Laura Salisbury, Palgrave Macmillan, 2010: 231-244.

Media Coverage
I have acted as historical consultant to a range of BBC programmes, including World War One at Home (BBC Radio Leeds, Sheffield and York), Home Front (BBC Radio 4) and Teenage Tommies (BBC 1) and have been interviewed by national media outlets, including
Country Focus
Great Britain
Expertise by Geography
United Kingdom
Expertise by Chronology
19th century, 20th century
Expertise by Topic
Family, Gender, Medicine, Military, Sexuality, Women