The Society for Army Historical Research is a learned society, founded in 1921 to foster "interest in the history and traditions of British and Commonwealth armies, and to encourage research in these fields."[1] It is one of the oldest societies of its kind. Past members include notable British Field Marshals Wavell, Auchinleck and Templer. The current president is Lieutenant-General Sir Edward Smyth-Osbourne and Major-General Ashley Truluck is chairman of its council. The patron of the society is Field Marshal HRH the Duke of Kent.

The society's interests embrace both army and regimental history, military antiquities and pictures, uniforms, badges and medals, arms and equipment and the history of land warfare in general. The study of campaigns, commanders and the political aspects of war are covered from the sixteenth century to the recent past.

From 2022, the society has conferred a small number of Fellowships, allowing the holder the use of the postnominals FSAHR.

Journal

The society's main activity is the publication of the peer-reviewed quarterly Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research reflecting its members' interests. Issues of the Journal contain a mixture of articles, which are peer-reviewed, communications, which typically deal with more specialised subjects and are not subject to peer-review, and book reviews. Listings are also included of recent academic work in the field of military history, and of new archival resources of relevance to the topic. Each issue typically contains at least one colour plate, as well as other illustrations. Not all articles are dryly academic; there are often interesting or amusing anecdotal forays into historical nooks, or revealing examinations of unjustly forgotten soldiers. In addition, over the years, the society has produced a number of special issues: topics for special issues include monographs on dress distinctions and bibliographical or regimental research aids, previously-unpublished soldiers' letters or diaries, and anthologies of material dealing with specific topics - most recently the Peninsular War and the Battle of Waterloo, and the Great War.[2]

Templer Medal

Since 1982, the society has awarded the Templer Medal to the author of the most impressive or significant book relating to the British, Commonwealth or Dominion armies published in the preceding year. This prize was founded to commemorate the life and achievements of Field Marshal Sir Gerald Templer, best known for his defeat of the guerrilla rebels in Malaya between 1952 and 1954. He was president of the society from 1965 to 1979. The prize is awarded at the society annual general meeting in the year following the year of publication. The Templer Medal has been awarded for the following books:

Beginning with the 2014 prize, an award has also made for the best first book submitted in each year's competition. From the 2023 award, this has been branded as the Chapple Prize in honour of past-President Field Marshal Sir John Chapple. For this prize, edited volumes and co-authored books and monographs are discounted by the judges, who will consider only sole authored and substantial works. This prize has been awarded as follows:

Other activities

The society also awards research grants to graduate students and maintains essay prizes for sixth-form pupils, undergraduates, and junior Army officers. Other activities include the organisation of lectures, discussion events, and tours.

Past presidents

Footnotes

  1. ^ Minutes of the meeting leading to establishment of the Society published in: Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research, 1.1 (Sept. 1921), pp. 3–5.
  2. ^ For instance: John Marshall Deane, A Journal of Marlborough's campaigns during the War of the Spanish Succession, 1704–1711 / edited and introduced by David G. Chandler, SAHR Special Publication 12, (London, 1984) and The Victorians at War: New Perspectives, edited by Ian F.W. Beckett, SAHR Special Publication 16, (London, 2007). The special publications also include a full index to the journal from its foundation up to 2006.

References