It has been almost a month since my last Blog, and what a month it has been! On a personal level, I have packed-off my youngest Step-daughter to university, moved my eldest Step-daughter back in (enjoying almost a week of unalloyed childless bliss!), and learned to bake without causing a conflagration in the kitchen. On a professional level, I was recently selected as the Army Visiting Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in Whitehall from September 2018. This is both a new and exciting direction for me, and an immense honour; as General Kiszely pointed out last night at RMAS, I will be the first Other Rank to ever fill this post. The pressure is on!
Following the return from the Summer break, we had the third of the talks in the War Talks at the PCL Series, given by Professor Gary Sheffield of the University of Wolverhampton. Gary spoke on ‘The Duke of Wellington and the Tradition of British Generalship’; his talk was incredibly well received, and it was an honour to have him Talk at Prince Consort’s Library as part of the Series. We were fortunate to have Lt General Bashall in the audience; speaking afterwards he gave his wholehearted support to the Series. We also received great support from our friends at CHACR and CAL for which we are very grateful. Unfortunately, I had to postpone the talk by Drs Stuart Mitchell and James Kitchen on Tuesday 26 September ’17 due to unforeseen circumstances, but I’m looking forward to seeing them deliver the postponed Talk at the end of the Season in December ’17. The next Talk is on Tuesday 3 October when Dr Dan Todman will talk about the strategic shock suffered by the Western Allies as a result of Hitler’s V Weapon Offensive in the Summer of 1944, closely followed by Dr Jill Hazelton’s talk on the future direction of Counter-insurgency policy post-Afghanistan. Both these talks promise to resonate with the problems facing militaries today and will be thought-provoking and entertaining.
As I have said before, I am also working on the 2018 Programme for the Talk Series; thus far I have been fortunate to secure Professor Lloyd Clark of the Centre for Army Leadership in April 2018 and Dr Michelle Jones of Anglia Ruskin University’s Veteran and Military Families Institute. Lloyd will be speaking about the development of the leadership styles of three great leaders of the Second World War, Montgomery, Patton, and Rommel. Michelle will be speaking on the subject of military interaction with children in war zones; this work is fascinating and I think will become of vital interest to the British Army going forward given the likelihood of war amongst the children in the Third World. I am hoping to announce three of four more speakers in the next month taking us up to July ’18.