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Prof Richard Holmes

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  • Prof Richard Holmes
    Prof Richard Holmes, acclaimed military historian, dies

    Professor Richard Holmes CBE served in the Territorial Army for 36 years

    The acclaimed military historian, Professor Richard Holmes CBE, has died at the age of 65.
    Known for sharing his knowledge of warfare on BBC documentaries, he also taught at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and Cranfield University.
    His specialities included England's conflicts with France in the Middle Ages and World War II. He also wrote numerous books.
    His focus was the ordinary soldier, whom he wanted to "put centre stage".
    Prof Holmes was educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, as well as Northern Illinois University and the University of Reading.
    He served in the Territorial Army in which he commanded the 2nd Battalion the Wessex Regiment and eventually rose to the rank of brigadier.
    He became the first reservist to hold the position of director of Reserve Forces and Cadets.
    After a spell of teaching at Sandhurst, he joined Cranfield University as a teacher in 1986 where he worked until 2009.
    He was patron of the Guild of Battlefield Guides.
    Its founder Major Graeme Cooper praised his unique style: "It was this in-depth, quiet and very, very accurate and acute assessment of what he was saying."
    "The words were magical at times, and it brought to the listener a new angle on on how to approach that period of history," Maj Cooper added.
    Prof Holmes was also a keen supporter of the Army Benevolent Fund, and was the president of the British Commission for Military History and the Battlefields Trust; and vice president of the UK National Defence Association. In 1998 he was made a CBE.
    But he was probably best known for his television work, which included television documentaries on the Duke of Wellington, Sir Winston Churchill and Oliver Cromwell whom he championed in the BBC's Great Britons programme in 2002.

    A great speaker

    R I P

  • #2
    Read a few of his books. A great story teller.

    To close with and kill the enemy in all weather conditions, night and day and over any terrain


    • #3
      RIP Sir


      • #4
        Again,i had the privelage of reading some of his works.
        "Let us be clear about three facts. First, all battles and all wars are won in the end by the infantryman. Secondly, the infantryman always bears the brunt. His casualties are heavier, he suffers greater extremes of discomfort and fatigue than the other arms. Thirdly, the art of the infantryman is less stereotyped and far harder to acquire in modern war than that of any other arm." ------- Field Marshall Wavell, April 1945.


        • #5
          Rest in Peace


          • #6

            I thought that this looked very like him on HMS Triumph returning to Devonport from the Med. Would he have been doing a book on the RN-if it is him.



            • #7
              Very sad to hear of this. Rest in Peace.
              "Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here...this is the War Room!"


              • #8
                Very sad, RIP.
                Im Ron Burgendy??


                • #9
                  excellent writer his book "tommy" about ww1 is a must read for anyone with an interest in the subject. read a good few of his books ,
                  RIP .
                  "take a look to the sky right before you die, its the last time you will"


                  • #10
                    Rest in peace.


                    • #11
                      RIP.Great writer and a fine presenter,too.


                      • #12

                        The senior serving Territorial, I believe (and started as a Private). He will be missed.
                        'He died who loved to live,' they'll say,
                        'Unselfishly so we might have today!'
                        Like hell! He fought because he had to fight;
                        He died that's all. It was his unlucky night.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Flamingo View Post

                          The senior serving Territorial, I believe (and started as a Private). He will be missed.

                          Flamingo- you are probably right but I wonder whether the Duke of Westminster would also figure. In any event I have a great deal of admiration for both.

                          Duke of Westminster and the Army
                          The Duke of Westminster joined the Territorial Army in 1970 as a trooper. After long service and becoming an officer, including commanding 'C' squadron (The Cheshire Yeomanry) and his regiment, The Queen's Own Yeomanry, The Duke of Westminster became Honorary Colonel-in-Chief of several regiments, including The Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry, 7th Regt. Army Air Corps, and the Canadian Royal Westminster Regiment and Colonel Commandant Yeomanry, Royal Armoured Corps.

                          In 2004 he was appointed to the new post of Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Reserves and Cadets) with promotion to the rank of Major General. The Duke of Westminster was the first reservist holding such rank since the 1930s. In 2007, he was succeeded in this post by Maj Gen Simon Lalor.

                          Duke of Westminster Honorary military appointments:
                          Colonel-in-Chief The Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry Colonel-in-Chief 7th Regt
                          Army Air Corps Colonel-in-Chief

                          Canadian Royal Westminster Regiment Colonel

                          Commandant Yeomanry, Royal Armoured Corps.
                          Last edited by timhorgan; 2 May 2011, 08:37.


                          • #14
                            I believe at the time of his appointment Brigadier Holmes was senior reservist. I'm happy to be corrected!
                            'He died who loved to live,' they'll say,
                            'Unselfishly so we might have today!'
                            Like hell! He fought because he had to fight;
                            He died that's all. It was his unlucky night.


                            • #15
                              I just seen it in the news yesterday. Very sad, Rest in Peace.

                              I read a few of his books (Wellington the Iron Duke & the Napoleonic Wars experience) and watched his shows on the history channel and battlefield walking tours. Always very interesting.