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Bidwell, (Reginald George) Shelford (1913–1996), army officer and military historian, was born on 12 August 1913 at Brooklyn, Sydenham Avenue, Beckenham, Kent, the son of an Indian army officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Reginald Frank Bidwell (1868–1936), and his wife, Mabel Alice Graves, née Petley (1878–1948)...

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Blair, Claude (1922–2010), museum curator and scholar of arms and armour, was born on 30 November 1922 at Westonby, Edge Lane, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, the only child of William Henry Murray Blair (1875–1945), cotton-goods salesman, and his wife, Lilian, née Wearing (1891–1983). At the time of his birth his parents lived at ...

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Cannon, Richard (1779–1865), civil servant and military historian, was educated at Christ's Hospital, London. On 1 January 1802 he was appointed to a clerkship at the Horse Guards, one of fifteen clerks administering the adjutant-general's department. In 1805 he was made principal clerk of the adjutant-general's office, which appointment he held for nearly fifty years. Reputedly, ...

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Chesney, Charles Cornwallis (1826–1876), army officer and military historian, was a nephew of General Francis Rawdon Chesney, in whose house he was born, and to whom he owed his first advance in life. He was the son of another Charles Cornwallis Chesney (1791–1830)...

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Chichester, Henry Manners (1832–1894), army officer and military historian, born in London, was son of a barrister of Lincoln's Inn. He entered the army in 1853 and became lieutenant in the 85th regiment (the Shropshire light infantry). For ten years he served abroad with the regiment, chiefly at ...

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Drinkwater, John [later John Drinkwater Bethune] (1762–1844), army officer and military historian, was born at Latchford, near Warrington, on 9 June 1762, the eldest son of John Drinkwater, a medical practitioner at Salford (then a suburb of Manchester) and formerly a ...

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Cyril Falls

revised by H. C. G. Matthew

Edmonds, Sir James Edward (1861–1956), military historian, was born in Baker Street, London, on 25 December 1861, the son of James Edmonds, master jeweller, and his wife, Frances Amelia Bowler. He went as a day boy to King's College School, London, then still in the east wing of ...

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Falls, Cyril Bentham (1888–1971), military historian and journalist, was born in Dublin on 2 March 1888, the elder son in the family of three children of Sir Charles Fausset Falls (1860–1936), who represented Fermanagh and Tyrone at Westminster from 1924 to 1929, and his wife, ...

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Sir John William Fortescue (1859–1933) by William Strang, 1909 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Fortescue, Sir John William (1859–1933), military historian, was born on 28 December 1859 in Madeira, the fifth son (and ninth of thirteen children) of Hugh Fortescue, third Earl Fortescue (1818–1905), and his wife, Georgiana Augusta Charlotte Caroline (1826–1866), eldest daughter of Colonel George Lionel Dawson-Damer...

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John Gurwood (1790–1845) by William Salter, 1834–40 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Gurwood, John (1790–1845), army officer and editor of Wellington's dispatches, was the second son of one Gurwood; his widowed mother married H. Okey. He started work in an office, but after an unrequited love affair entered the army as ensign in the 52nd light infantry...

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Hart, Sir Basil Henry Liddell (1895–1970), military thinker and historian, was born on 31 October 1895 at 4 rue Rosquépine, near the place St Augustin, in Paris (8th arrondissement). He was the younger son of Revd Henry Bramley Hart (1860–1937), the Wesleyan Methodist minister in ...

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Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart (1895–1970) by Howard Coster, 1939 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Holmes, (Edward) Richard (1946–2011), military historian and army reserve officer, was born on 29 March 1946 at The Hollies, Little Hardwick Road, Aldridge, Staffordshire, the only child of Edward William Holmes, manager of an engineering works, and his wife, Helen, née Jacques. His father bequeathed him a love of books and antiques (especially antique weapons), and of the countryside, and from his mother, descended from Huguenots, he derived his love of ...

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Jackson, Sir William Godfrey Fothergill [Bill] (1917–1999), army officer and military historian, was born on 28 August 1917 at Blackpool, the only son and elder of the two children of Colonel Albert Jackson (1887–1956), an officer in the Royal Army Medical Corps, and his wife, ...

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E. J. Rapson

revised by Roger T. Stearn

Kaye, Sir John William (1814–1876), military historian, born in London, and baptized on 30 June 1814, was the second son of Charles Kaye of Acton, Middlesex, sometime solicitor to the Bank of England, and his wife, Eliza, daughter of Hugh Atkins. He was educated at ...

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Keegan, Sir John Desmond Patrick (1934–2012), military historian and journalist, was born on 15 May 1934 at 18a Cedars Road, Clapham, London, the eldest child of Francis Joseph Keegan (1898–1974) and his wife, Eileen Mary, née Bridgman (1911–2002). At the time of his birth registration his parents lived at ...

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Sir John Desmond Patrick Keegan (1934–2012) by unknown photographer, 2008 Rex Features

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Lewin, (George) Ronald (1914–1984), military historian and biographer, was born in Halifax, Yorkshire, on 11 October 1914, the eldest of four sons (there were no daughters) of Frank Lewin, patent agent, and his wife, Elizabeth, née Wingfield. He was educated at Heath grammar school...