He was a great military historian, particularly strong on communicating the experiences of the ordinary British soldier through books like Redcoat, Sahib or Tommy. In 2004 he also recorded the experience of the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment of which he was Colonel in his book Dusty Warriors.
He was deeply involved in a number of causes around the preservation of military history and its importance to our national identity including being President of the Battlefields Trust, Patron of the Guild of Battlefield Guides and Chairman of Project Hougoumont.
He was also a peerless broadcaster, able to bring to life the battlefield or the soldier without simplifying the events he is talking about. I first discovered what a brilliant historian he was through his War Walks series, many years ago when he brought battlefields like the Somme to life, without fancy graphics and elaborate props (except for the occasional horse). More recently I attended the Hampshire Air, Land and Sea Awards where despite struggling with illness he turned up and charmed the room with his engagement and personality. He will be greatly missed.
A fuller appreciation of his life and work is to follow.
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