2015 is the hundredth anniversary of one of the most important, yet little remembered, years in the history of Britain and her armed forces. Often overshadowed by the rush to war in 1914 and the momentous offensive on the Somme in 1916, the battles that the British Expeditionary Force fought on the Western Front in 1915 (as well as the tragic Gallipoli campaign in the Mediterranean), were a key stage in the development of modern warfare.
In France and Belgium, the British fought in a variety of offensive and defensive actions throughout the year, most notably at Neuve Chapelle (10-12 March), Aubers Ridge (9 May), Second Ypres (22 April – 25 May), Festubert (15-27 May) and Loos (25 September – 13 October). Of these, the battle of Loos was the biggest. When it was fought it was the largest land battle in British military history, witnessing…
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Dr Nick Lloyd
Dr Nick Lloyd is Senior Lecturer in the Defence Studies Department and specialises in British military and imperial history in the era of the Great War. He joined King’s College London in 2006 and was initially based at the RAF College in Cranwell, Lincolnshire, before moving to the Joint Services Command and Staff College in 2007. He had taught previously in the Department of Modern History, University of Birmingham, where he was the founding editor of the Journal of the Centre for First World War Studies. In 2007 he was appointed Councillor of the Army Records Society.
Dr Lloyd’s PhD research (subsequently published as Loos 1915) focused on the Battle of Loos and the development of the British Army on the Western Front. He examined the state of the British Expeditionary Force in 1915 and looked at the way in which operations were planned and directed by British High Command. After finishing this project, he spent five years researching British imperial history and has recently completed his second book, The Amritsar Massacre: The Untold Story of One Fateful Day. In this new account he challenges much of the conventional historical wisdom on this infamous event and argues that the British response to disorder in India in 1919 was far more responsible and restrained than has previously been assumed. He has maintained an active interest in British imperial history and in 2008 was awarded a research grant by the British Academy to research the life of Sir Evan Meredith Jenkins, the last British Governor of the Punjab.
Dr Lloyd is currently writing a major new history of the end of the First World War entitled Hundred Days: The End of the Great War, to be published by Viking (Penguin) in 2014.This book aims to present a fresh understanding of the final four months of combat on the Western Front, looking at how operations were conducted and what it meant to the men who were tasked with carrying it out on the ground.