Our Committee

Professor William Philpott

I joined the department of War Studies in September 2001 as a lecturer in military history, becoming Professor of the History of Warfare in 2011. I was previously a member of the Department in 1991–2, when I was a research fellow working for a collaborative research project investigating British civil–military relations, 'Government and the Armed forces in Britain, 1856-1990'. Before returning to the department I held teaching appointments in European and international history at the University of North London, Bradford University, and London Guildhall University. I have been Secretary General of the British Commission for Military History, 2009–14 and served on the Council of the Army Records Society from 1998–2009, holding the office of Honorary Secretary, 2000–2005. I was a member and chair of the University of London’s Military Education Committee, 2006–12. I was a councilor of the National Army Museum from 2011–2017 and remain a co-opted member of its Collections Committee and Research and Collections Advisory Panel

Andrew Grainger

Andy GraingerAndy Grainger took a degree in History at the University of Reading in 1975. He has spent most of his working life collecting Inheritance Tax though latterly assisting owners of historic houses and works of art to give public access to them. He now consults for a major auction house. He served in the Royal Artillery (TA) during the Cold War and joined the BCMH in 1994, serving on the committee as Editor of Mars & Clio from 2004 to 2011. Andy returned to the General Committee of the BCMH in February 2014 and was elected Secretary General in February 2015.


Ian Brewer

Ian graduated in history at Leeds University in 1975 following which he joined the (then) Inland Revenue. In 1996 he entered private practice specialising in the valuation of intellectual property.  He has an interest in a wide range of military history but particularly the American Civil War following a presentation to him at school of the biography of Stonewall Jackson by G F R Henderson. He joined the BCMH Committee as Treasurer in 2017 and combines it with a keen interest in dining, fine wines and rugby.


Mrs Mary Brewer
Membership Secretary

Mary took a BA in History at Leeds and joined the Committee in 2018 as Membership Secretary having previously assisted Dan Whittingham in that role since 2017. She is also Treasurer and Membership Secretary of the Friends of the Lines of Torres Vedras (FLTV).


Dr Daniel Whittingham
International Secretary

Dan WhittinghamDr Daniel Whittingham is Lecturer in the History of Warfare at the Department of History, University of Birmingham.  He holds a BA in History from the University of Oxford, and an MA in the History of Warfare from the Department of War Studies at King's College London.  He completed his PhD at the Department of War Studies, King's College London, in April 2013.  He joined the BCMH in 2010 and represented the BCMH at the PhD workshop at the ICMH Congress in Amsterdam that year.  His PhD, a study of the military thought and professional career of Charles E. Callwell, was published as Charles E. Callwell and the British Way in Warfare (CUP, 2020).


Dr Tim Gale
Assistant Secretary General

Tim GaleDr Tim Gale was awarded his PhD by the Department of War Studies, King’s College London for his work on French tank development and operations in the First World War. He has contributed chapters on this subject in several academic books, as well as other work on the French Army during the Great War. Tim has made a special study of the career of the controversial French First World War General, Charles Mangin. His first book, The French Army’s Tank Force and the Development of Armoured Warfare in the Great War was published in 2013 by Ashgate Publishing.


Sarah Ashbridge
Public Engagement & Media

I am a fourth year PhD student, funded by the AHRC Heritage Consortium. My PhD thesis is entitled 'Military Identitification: Identity Discs and the Administration of Death 1907-21'. I am based in the Department of History at the University of Huddersfield, and co-supervised in the School of Archaeological and Forensic Sciences at the University of Bradford.

My thesis investigates the international development of identity discs, tags and plates during the 19th Century; the impact of the 1906 Geneva Convention on military systems for identification of the dead and wounded; British, French & German identity discs used during the First World War; British military burial traditions; Fabian Ware and the administration of fallen soldiers; and the archaeological recovery and identification of fallen soldiers today.

I am an officer on the General Committee for the British Commission for Military History, and the co-ordinator of the Modern Conflict Research Symposium series (www.modernconflictresearch.wordpress.com). I am a deployable team member for Kenyon International Emergency services, and a volunteer archaeologist with Operation Nightingale and Breaking Ground Heritage.

To read about German identification tags, please see my article 'Erkennungsmarke' in issue 2 of the Iron Cross Magazine (available to buy on their website).

My article 'Military Identification: Identity Discs and the Identification of British War Dead, 1914-18' was published in the British Journal for Military History in March 2020.

Phoebe Style

Phoebe Style joined the BCMH Committee in 2020.

She is currently studying for a Masters in History at the University of Southampton, doing one module on cyberterrorism and security, and another on rape as a weapon of war in Yugoslavia / gendered media coverage of the conflict. She is planning to do her dissertation on war correspondents across a selection of modern conflicts. More broadly, her historical interests centre around the social repercussions of war, including the implications of conflict on gender identity, masculinity, and female sexuality. One of the aspects of history she enjoys is analysing patterns in media coverage, and particularly how this changes in times of conflict.

Phoebe is keen to get involved with the social media relations of the commission and interested in devising an effective strategy to boost online engagement via sites like Twitter and Facebook, as this is crucial to attracting new members.



Dr Marco Wyss

Dr Wyss joined the BCMH Committee in 2020.

Marco will be known to a number of members for his work with the ICMH where he is the Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of the Bibliographic Committee

Marco Wyss (FRHistS, FHEA) is the Director of the Centre for War and Diplomacy and Reader in International History and Security at Lancaster University, a Research Fellow at the University of the Free State, and an Associate Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies. Previously, he was a Senior Lecturer in Politics and Contemporary History at the University of Chichester, and a Senior Researcher at the Center for Security Studies, ETH Zurich. He gained his PhD from the Universities of Nottingham and Neuchâtel, and currently works on Britain’s and France’s postcolonial security roles in West Africa. He is the President of the Bibliographical Committee of the International Commission of Military History, the editor of the International Journal of Military History and Historiography, and co-editor of Brill’s ‘New Perspectives on the Cold War’ book series. He is, among other works, the author of Un Suisse au service de la SS (Alphil-Presses universitaires suisses, 2010), Arms Transfers, Neutrality and Britain’s Role in the Cold War (Brill, 2013), and co-editor of Peacekeeping in Africa (Routledge, 2014), Neutrality and Neutralism in the Global Cold War (Routledge, 2016), The Handbook of European Defence Policies and Armed Forces (Oxford University Press, 2018), and Europe and China in the Cold War (Brill, 2018).


Zack White
Post Grad rep

Zack White joined the BCMH Committee in 2018 and  is one our the Committtee's links with the Post Graduate community.

Doctoral researcher, and holder of the Archival scholarship, at the University of Southampton, specialising in crime and punishment in the British Army during the Napoleonic Wars.

I have devoted my academic career to studying the social impact of the Napoleonic era, with a particular focus on Britain during the period. My work has included examining the relationship between British soldiers and their commander the Duke of Wellington during the Peninsular War (1808-1814), and exploring the role and impact of caricatures and newspapers on the British public’s engagement with the same conflict.

In 2018 I was very fortunate to be awarded an archival scholarship by the University of Southampton, and began research for my PhD. My project, entitled ‘Plunder, Provost and Punishment: Discipline under Wellington’s Command, 1808-1818’, investigates crime and punishment in the British Army during that period, uncovering evidence of a ‘live and let live’ attitude amongst many officers towards disciplining their men, and questioning why some crimes, such as sexual misconduct do not appear in army trial records.

Prior to taking up my scholarship, I was a secondary school history teacher, and I remain passionate about making the past accessible and engaging for the public. I am very luck to maintain strong links with my former teaching colleagues, and run a history lecture series aimed at A-level students and members of the public at a school in Bournemouth.

I am also Editor-in-Chief of the Nineteenth-Century interdisciplinary research journal Romance, Revolution & Reform, the creator on the online hub TheNapoleonicWars.net, and the British Commission for Military History’s ‘Post-Graduate Liaison and Social Media Officer’.



Dr John Spencer

John Spencer is Editor of Mars & Clio.

John spent his whole career as a journalist, including 15 years as group managing editor of the Press Association, the national news agency for Britain and Ireland. He holds a BA in Politics and History from the University of Lancaster, an MA in Great War Studies from the University of Birmingham and in 2017 received his PhD from the University of Wolverhampton. His doctoral research into the career of FM Sir Henry Wilson, under the supervision of Professor Gary Sheffield, has been expanded and is due for publication in June. Wilson’s War considers Wilson’s contribution to British policy-making during the Great War and is published by Helion.

John is an independent historian and writer with particular interest in the higher direction of the First World War and its aftermath. As well as the BCMH, he is a member of the Society for Military History and edits the Douglas Haig Fellowship’s annual journal Records.