Professor Peter Doyle

Staff details

Professor Peter Doyle

Position

Lecturer in Military History

Department

History

Email

p.doyle (@gold.ac.uk)

Peter Doyle is a military historian with a special interest in the British experience of war

Peter Doyle specialises in the understanding of military terrain, with special reference to the two world wars. He has a special interest in the concept of trench warfare in the First World War, and in the lives of those soldiers who experienced the conflict first hand.

Peter is also an author who focusses on the British experience of war, and the material culture of war.

A member of the British Commission of Military History, and secretary of the Parliamentary All Party War Heritage Group, he is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He has twice been a visiting lecturer at the United States Military Academy, West Point.

Peter is active in the promotion of the wider understanding of the First World War

Academic qualifications

  • PhD (University of London) 1984
  • BSc (University of London) 1981
  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society 2021

Teaching and supervision

Module Convenor: Life in the Trenches: Perspectives on British Military History, 1914-18

Life in the Trenches: Perspectives on British Military History, 1914-18

Research interests

Peter Doyle specialises in the understanding of military terrain, with special reference to the two world wars. As well as an historian, he is an earth scientist with a special interest in the concept of trench warfare in the First World War, and in the lives of those soldiers who experienced the conflict first hand. He has written extensively on these topics, with a focus both on the nature of trench warfare, and on the ordinary soldiers who took part in it.

Peter is also an author who focusses on the British experience of war, and the material culture of war. In addition to his work on trench warfare, he has research interests that span life on the Home Front and the experience of prisoners of war during the Second World War, the Gallipoli Campaign of 1915, and the provision of 'Comforts to the troops' during the Great War. His more recent work has examined the specifics of the unique gift that was distributed to over 2.5 million soldiers and sailors at Christmas 1914.

Peter is active in the promotion of the wider understanding of the First World War. His book for young people, 'Percy, A Story of 1914' was shortlisted for a Society for Army Historical Research prize in 2019.

His research has been featured in numerous documentaries that have focussed on the First World War, Prisoners of War and PoW escapes in the Second World War, and a number of related topics.

Publications and research outputs

Book

Doyle, Peter. 2021. 'For Every Sailor Afloat, Every Soldier at the Front': Princess Mary’s Christmas Gift, 1914. London: Unicorn Press. ISBN 9781913491536

Book Section

Doyle, Peter. 2021. ‘Kitchener’s Mob’: Myth and Reality in Raising the New Army, 1914-15. In: Kevin Linch and Matthew Lord, eds. Redcoats to Tommies: The Experience of the British Soldier from the Eighteenth Century. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, pp. 58-81. ISBN 9781783276028

Article

Doyle, Peter. 2024. The Victorian Geological Illustrations of Crystal Palace Park, London: cycles of conservation and neglect, 1993–2023. Geology Today, 40(2), pp. 52-57. ISSN 0266-6979

Pringle, J.K.; Cassella, J.P; Wisniewski, K and Doyle, P.. 2024. Battle of the Somme: new research shows detonating a massive mine under German lines too early led to a British slaughter. The Conversation,

Wisniewski, K.D.; Doyle, P.; Hunter, R.J.S; Pringle, J.K.; Stimpson, I.G.; Wright, D.; Squires, K.; Sutherland, Z.; Cassella, J.P.; Graham, F.C. and Ottey, P.. 2024. A multidisciplinary scientific investigation of the 1916 Hawthorn Mine Crater, Beaumont Hamel, Somme, Northern France. Journal of Conflict Archaeology, ISSN 1574-0773

Professional projects

In 2018, Peter was part of an international team who organised and delivered a major crowd-funded and crowd-sourced archaeological excavation in Wijtschate, Belgium, examining a German trench fortification that has had major ramifications in the development of public archaeology.

As Secretary of the Parliamentary All Party War Heritage Group, Peter Doyle serves as the first point of contact for all matters relating the War Heritage, from the preservation of battlefield terrain, through to the support of the work of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) across the world

Media engagements

I am a regular contributor to TV documentaries relating to my work

Conferences and talks

Contributor to numerous conferences relating to terrain and military history

Articles related to Professor Peter Doyle