The Late Brigadier
Professor Richard Holmes CBE TD JP
Richard Holmes was educated at Cambridge, Northern Illinois and Reading Universities. He was a member of the Department of War Studies at RMA Sandhurst between 1969 and 1985, when he left to command 2nd Battalion The Wessex Regiment. While serving full-time he helped to set up the Higher Command and Staff Course at the Army Staff College, and retains responsibility for part of the operational military taught on the course.
In 1990 he became Director of Cranfield University's Security Studies Institute, and spends much of his time teaching post-graduate studies at the Royal Military College of Science at Shrivenham and lecturing at home and abroad. He was appointed Professor of Military and Security Studies at Cranfield University in 1995. In September 1999 Security Studies Institute launched a new MSc in Global Security, on which the MOD are sponsoring up to 12 places under its Defence Diplomacy Fellowship Scheme.
Professor Holmes has written over a dozen books on military topics. He is best known for Firing Line (US title Acts of War), a study of human behaviour in battle, and Soldiers, the book of the prize winning BBC TV series, which he wrote in association with John Keegan. In 1993 he rode on horseback from Mons to the River Marne, following the route of the British Expeditionary Force in 1914, and under the ensuing book, Riding the Retreat, was published in 1995. He is general editor of Oxford University Press's Companion to Military History. He has written and presented several television programmes, including two six-part BBC2 series, War Walks I and War Walks II, as well as a series on the Western Front which was televised in the summer of 1999. He wrote books to accompany each of these series of the same name. In November 2001 his book entitled, Redcoat, was published and tells of the British soldier in the age of the horse and musket. His latest BBC series (May-June 2002) tells of the life of the Duke of Wellington. He has also written the accompanying book.
Richard Holmes enlisted into the Territorial Army in 1964 and was commissioned two years later. He spent most of his TA career in 5 QUEENS, a NATO-roled infantry battalion, was promoted Colonel when he gave up full-time service in 1986, and in February 1994 became Brigadier TA at Headquarters Land Command. He was appointed OBE (Military) in 1986. Between November 1997 and November 2000 he was Director Reserve Forces and Cadets and Britain's senior serving reservist. He received the CBE in the 1998 New Year's Honours. In September 1999 he became Colonel of the Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment.