Sunday, May 1, 2011

Vale Professor Richard Holmes

I was very saddened to hear of the death of Professor Richard Holmes on 30 April at the far too young age of 65. In my view Professor Holmes was an exemplary military historian, able to give a good view of strategy and tactics without ever losing sight of the human experience of war. I had the great privilege of sharing a pint with him back in Oxford after a lecture in 2004, and I have met few men able to share their expertise with such humility and generosity. I remember him telling us about a trip he had just been on to Cassino, and he painted a vivid picture of clambering about the hills finding the tail fins of mortar bombs from 1944. I fear that my mate Giles and I were like 14 year old girls meeting Justin Bieber when we met him. Professor Holmes leaves an impressive body of work, and if you haven't read his 'Redcoat' on the British Army in the age of horse and musket, I can't recommend it enough.

This really is terribly sad news.


  1. Sad news indeed. I admired his work and approach to his subject. His TV appearances in 'War Walks' were especially good.

  2. Very sad indeed. The closest I've come to him is vicariously through my mother who met him at the last Adelaide Writers' festival. I have a personally signed copy of 'Tommy' to cherish now.

    On a lighter note, I've nominated you for the 'Stylish Blogger Award' thingy that's going around like a virus. If you want more details go to my latest posting

    Keep up the good work!