Professor Richard Holmes Passes


History Buzz

…Richard was a pioneer of a type of television history that explored the experiences of the common soldier; what he really felt at Naseby, the Somme, at El Alamein or at Basra. His books – Firing Line, Redcoat, Sahib, Tommy, Dusty Warriors – are full of this. On television he was able to combine genuine scholarship with a genius for storytelling and an ability to communicate complex events in a supremely accessible way. He understood the military mind but was no apologist for generals or senior commanders. He understood weapons and how they worked or failed to work and what this meant to your average squaddie at the critical moment of combat. The several series of War Walks that he went on to make for the BBC capture this ability magnificently. He could draw out the significance of the tiniest detail, a slight advantage in terrain, the supremacy of one weapon over another, of literally how ‘the want of a nail’ could cost you the battle. And everything he said was delivered in his enthusiastic, passionate, unique style. He will be sadly missed and, as one of the great communicators, his death is a great loss to television….READ MORE


TV war historian Professor Richard Holmes dies

Source: Guardian UK, 5-1-11

Richard Holmes presented BBC documentaries and wrote more than 20 books on warfare

Professor Richard Holmes dies
Professor Richard Holmes made BBC documentaries about Duke of Wellington, Winston Churchill and Oliver Cromwell. Photograph: Fiona Hanson/PA

Friends and colleagues have paid tribute to war historian Professor Richard Holmes, who has died aged 65 after a battle with cancer. Holmes, known for his television documentaries on warfare, was described as an irreplaceable historian who had a magical way with words.

He died in hospital in the early hours of Saturday.

Major General Sir Evelyn Webb-Carter, chief executive of soldiers’ charity ABF, said: “I’m absolutely mortified by his early death. He was a most wonderful historian with an incredible recall.

“He also had a most engaging wit and humour and the way in which he conveyed the historical message was sublime. One has lost an entire library with his death.

“He was a wonderful man, a good family man. Above all he was a great raconteur, wonderful to be with, entertaining. He was an enchanting man to know.”…READ MORE

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