Website Contributors

Neil Bertram

Neil BertramNeil Bertram is currently studying for a BA (Hons) at the University of Portsmouth. Through the University he has been accepted as a volunteer research assistant in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard on a new project centred around one historic building, Boathouse 4. His work background is publishing, book design and editing. Primary historical interests revolve around family and social history. This interest led him to co-authoring his first book UK Timeline for Family Historians. He has been contributing editor on two further books: A Short History of Great Dalby, Leicestershire and A Timeline of Art History. See Neil’s posts on this website.

Richard Blakemore


Richard is an Associate Research Fellow on the project ‘Sailing into Modernity: Comparative Perspectives on the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century European Economic Transition’, based at the University of Exeter. Before joining the project in 2012, he completed a PhD thesis at the University of Cambridge, studying London seafarers during the British civil wars of the 1640s. His current work examines the social, legal, and economic status of English seafarers from the late sixteenth to the early eighteenth centuries, reflecting his broader research interests in early modern European and global history. More details can be found at his page and his wordpress blog. See Richard’s posts on this website. Follow Richard @historywomble

John Bolt

John Bolt recently submitted his PhD at the University of Portsmouth. His research focus is on the social history of the Royal Marines, principally in the nineteenth century, and aims to demonstrate how the organizational culture of the Royal Marine Corps and its unique military identity developed in the Royal Dockyard cities of Chatham, Portsmouth, and Plymouth. Now a resident of Portsmouth, John is originally a native of the United States from the Greater Boston area. Since moving to Portsmouth, John has volunteered as an archivist with the Royal Marines Museum in Portsmouth, and has also worked as a project manager on the exhibition, “36 Hours: Jutland 1916, The Battle That Won the War”, at the National Museum of the Royal Navy. John also assists with the MA Naval History at the University of Portsmouth. John earned his BA History from the Virginia Military Institute, and his MA History (Merit) from the University of Portsmouth. Prior to undertaking further studies in history, John has most recently served as a United States Marine Corps Officer, having served as an infantry officer, intelligence officer, and as a military advisor. John’s research interests include the examination of the evolution of military cultures, the historical treatment of military veterans, and civil-military relations in urban port town communities. Follow John @JD_Bolt and at See John’s posts on this website

Tomas Buitendijk

Tomas Buitendijk is a Ph.D. research student at Dublin City University’s School of English. He works under the supervision of Dr. Michael Hinds. In his research, Tomas performs a critical reading of marine fiction in the twenty-first century. Seminal aspects of his research are to describe and problematize the practice of writing the sea and life at sea; to question the constructs of space and place in marine environments; and to indicate the value of marine fiction to contemporary society. He has previously attended University College Utrecht (BA hons. in Literature and Philosophy) and Trinity College Dublin (M.Phil. in Comparative Literature, with dist.). He has published in The Shandean.

Lorna M. Campbell

lornaAlong with her research colleague Heather Noel-Smith, Lorna is currently undertaking an independent naval history research project on the 1797 crew of HMS Indefatigable, which will be published by Boydell and Brewer in 2015. Lorna has an academic background in Archaeology and currently works as the Assistant Director of the Centre for Educational Technology, Interoperability and Standards (Cetis). She blogs regularly on a wide range of topics relating to open education, technology and history Born and brought up in the Outer Hebrides, Lorna has lived in Glasgow for many years. See Lorna’s posts on this website. Follow Lorna @LornaMCampbell

Jim Clipson

Jim Clipson is a retired RN Oceanographer with an MSc from the US Navy in Oceanography. Jim has an Ed D from the University of Bristol and is studying the MA in Naval History for pure enjoyment. He is the History Bursar for HMS Warrior 1860 and is planning in his Dissertation to study how the existence of the Warrior affected both the Union and Confederate navies in the US Civil War. He is a volunteer in the historic Dockyard working on M33, the survivor of the Dardanelles Campaign in 1915. Apart from the Great War and the US Civil War he is particularly interested in the Protectorate Navy. His contact is: See Jim’s posts on this website.

Scott Daly

Scott Daly is an MRes student at the University of Portsmouth. His research focuses on Royal Navy personnel between 1750 – 1820, with particular emphasis on the social and cultural history of warrant officers. His work is informed by the various ways in which these individuals navigated the maritime world, both in Britain and the colonial sphere. Following the completion of his MRes, Scott will go on to develop this research into further PhD study. See Scott’s posts on this website.

Julie Gilbert

Julie j_gilbertGilbert is a PhD student in History at University of Portsmouth studying aspects of England’s regional cultures with regards to the New Poor Law. Her interests are broad, but generally focus on social history and the treatment of the lower classes. Julie is also extremely interested in the history of the Monarchies of Great Britain and France. Julie has an MA in Ancient and Classic History, a BS in English Literature, and a CPhT. She has previously taught pharmacy classes in the USA, and hopes to become a professor in the states upon completion of her doctorate. See Julie’s posts on the website. Follow Julie @julesmarie93

Paul Huddie

p_huddiePaul Huddie read history at University College Dublin and Queen’s University Belfast between 2005 and 2013. He was the recipient of a four-year research studentship 2009-13 and successfully defended his doctoral dissertation in 2014. He is a committee member of the Irish Association for Professional Historians and the Women’s History Association of Ireland. His research principally focusses on British and Irish societies’ relationships with war and the military, principally in the areas of recruitment, memorialisation and military charities. His first monograph The Crimean War and Irish Society features as part of Liverpool University Press’s Reappraisals in Irish History series. See Paul’s posts on this website. Follow Paul @PaulHuddie 

Carolyn T Hughes

Carolyn HughesCarolyn Hughes is a novelist and her work has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Los Angeles Times Book Review, The Washington Post, The South China Morning Post and The Village Voice. She has an MA in English from St. Louis University and is currently getting an MA in the History of War Culture and Society at the University of Portsmouth. See Carolyn’s posts on this website. Follow Carolyn @Hughesnews333

Dave Kneale

Dave is a press photographer, journalist and powerboat instructor based in the Isle of Man. He’s a postgraduate student in naval history at the University of Portsmouth and maintains a keen interest in many aspects of maritime history. Find him on twitter @mrdavekneale, where he promises to tweet more frequently, and he really means it this time. See Dave’s posts on this website.


Nathan Kwan

Nathan Kwan is currently a third year PhD student in a joint programme between the University of Hong Kong and King’s College London. His current research focuses Sino-British interactions in suppressing piracy in China in the nineteenth century. He is particularly interested in the nexus of cooperation between colonial and naval officials in Hong Kong and Qing officials in Kowloon and Canton and its implications for both sides’ understanding and negotiation of international law and maritime sovereignty on the China coast. Prior to starting his PhD, Nathan obtained his A.M. from the Regional Studies – East Asia Programme at Harvard University in 2015. His master’s thesis investigated cooperation between British and Chinese officials in dealing with criminals in Hong Kong. Nathan received his B.A. in Asian Studies and B.S. in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin in 2013. See Nathan’s posts on this website.

Gillian Mawson

gill_mawsonGillian Mawson, a postgraduate of the University of Manchester, is a freelance historian with a strong interest in oral history. Her current focus is on interviewing Second World War evacuees and she runs a community group to empower evacuees living in northern England to share their memories with each other and with the public. She has worked with the BBC on Second World War documentaries and work with museums and schools to develop educational materials, including documentary films. Her first book Guernsey Evacuees: The Forgotten Evacuees of the Second World War (History Press, 2012) describes the evacuation of 17,000 civilians from Guernsey to England prior to the German occupation of the Channel Islands. Her latest book, Britain’s Wartime Evacuees (Frontline Books, November 2016) is a result of interviews with 500 evacuees from the UK mainland, Gibraltar and the Channel Islands. See Gillian’s posts on this website. Follow Gillian @Guernseyevacuee

Louise Moon

Dr Louise Moon undertook her thesis research with the Port Towns project on Victorian naval sailortowns and sailors in the port of Portsmouth exploring their social and cultural lives and experiences ashore. Louise previously worked for the project as a Research Assistant and as Activity Director for HMS Warrior 1860 overseeing and directing the Ship’s learning, collections, visitor services and interpretation. See Louise’s posts on this website. Follow Louise @drloumoon

Elizabeth Libero

Elizabeth C. Libero is a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Portsmouth. Her research examines the Royal Navy’s activities in the South Atlantic during the first decade of the nineteenth century. She is especially interested in ways that processes of knowledge production shaped imperial activities. Prior to this, Elizabeth completed a BA at Smith College, an MA in Social Studies Education at Columbia University, and an MA in Eighteenth-Century Worlds at the University of Liverpool, earning a distinction for her dissertation ‘Writing Naval Identity: The memoirs of Samuel Walters, Lieutenant, R.N.’ See Elizabeth’s posts on this website.

Guy Little

Guy is a part-time postgraduate student at Portsmouth, studying for a MA in Naval History. He has had an international career in aerospace engineering and teaching, but has always had an enduring interest in all things nautical. Currently, Guy is working as an English and maths educational consultant, within the construction industry. He has a particular passion for the Royal Navy under sail. See Guy’s posts on this website.

Ryan Mewett

Ryan Mewett is an MA student in Naval History at the University of Portsmouth and an active duty submarine officer in the United States Navy. His opinions and assertions are offered in a private capacity and should not be construed as official or reflecting the views of the United States Navy or any U.S. government entity. See Ryan’s posts on the website. Follow Ryan @REMewett

Laika Nevalainen

L NevalainenLaika Nevalainen is a PhD researcher at the Department of History at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. Her PhD research examines the homes and everyday lives of Finnish bachelors at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century. A part of this research explores the life of Finnish sailors both on board ships as well as ashore in sailor’s homes, and attention is paid especially to the sailors’ relationship with home as well as the links between masculinity, sailor identity and the defining of sailor profession as a bachelor profession. See Laika’s posts on this website. Follow Laika @PursuitofHome

Matthew Neufeld

Matthew Neufeld Matthew Neufeld is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. His current research project concerns the transformation of naval healthcare in England and its imperium, 1650-1750. Matthew is especially interested in the ways the Royal Navy’s changing approach to healthcare affected the social and economic life of coastal communities. See Matthew’s posts on this website


Onyeka is a British writer, law lecturer and historian whose works documents the lives of Black Britons and explore issues of cultural identity. His most recent research explores the African presence in the Tudor period and his recent publication is, Blackamoores Africans in Tudor England: Their Presence, Status and Origins. See Onyeka’s posts on this website

Eilís Phillips

Eilís PhillipsEilís Phillips is a Doctoral Candidate and her research focuses on British nineteenth-century folklore, in particular examining the ways in which industrial sites that disturb rural environments such as mines, railways and shipping routes were portrayed as monstrous in the writing of the period. Her main areas of interest include all aspects of the monstrous and the magical during the 1800s, with specific focus on non-anthropocentric and human/environmental hybrid monster narratives, exploring these evolving narratives within the context of socio-cultural upheaval during the Industrial Revolution. Prior to undertaking undergraduate study at the University, Eilís worked as a professional musician and journalist. Follow Eilís @EilisPhillips See Eilís’ posts on this website

Matthew Pryce

Matthew Pryce is a postgraduate student at the University of Portsmouth, pursuing a Master of Arts in Naval History. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Mount Royal University, Canada. His research interests are varied but include military law and the administrative history of the Royal Navy, 1680-1720. See Matthew’s posts on this website. Follow Matthew @Matt_Pryce1739


Michael Reeve

Michael ReeveA Hullensian by birth, raised in close proximity to King George Dock, Michael gained a BA in English and History in 2014 from Leeds Beckett University and an MA in Social and Cultural History in 2015 from the University of Leeds. He is a doctoral candidate in History, based at the Maritime Historical Studies Centre, University of Hull, with secondary supervision from the School of Cultural Studies at Leeds Beckett. Michael’s project is funded by the AHRC Heritage Consortium and focuses on maritime place identity in the North East coast region of England during the First World War. He is also Campaigns Coordinator for the Hull branch of the Civic Voice war memorials.  See Michael’s posts on this website. Follow Michael @mjohnreeve

Chris Spackman


Dr Chris Spackman successfully researched his PhD under the Port Towns and Urban Cultures Project preview. His thesis examined the relationship between the Boys’ Brigade and urban cultures in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Britain. Through a case study approach of the port-side locations of London, Bristol, and Glasgow his thesis assessed both regional and national variances in the application of the object of the organisation. In particular, Chris’ research afforded special attention to the leisure pursuits undertaken by the movement. Through his case study approach Chris’ thesis offered a challenge to the historiographical consensus that purports that camping, rather than the regular weekly sessions, was the greatest attraction available to members of youth movements.

Recently he delivered a paper at the Annual Social History Conference titled “‘We Have an Anchor That Keeps the Soul’: The Summer Camps of the Boys’ Brigade in Port Towns, 1886-1933”. Follow Chris @ChrisSpackman See Chris’ posts on this website.

 Simon Smith

simon_smithDr Simon Smith has recently been awarded his doctorate, working under the Port Towns and Urban Cultures project. His PhD research considered the experience of sailors in the Royal Navy during the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Looking beyond the technological changes, Simon focused on the image of sailors and the presentation of the Royal Navy: no longer was the British sailor a ‘bawdy drunkard’ but a hero of the Empire policing the oceans and enforcing Pax Britannia. With a key focus on the growth of pageantry and the positioning of the navy in British imperial culture, this fits in a neat juxtaposition with the growing trend of port-towns research. His research aims to provide socio-cultural investigation of sailors and their relationship with the navy and imperialism. Follow Simon @SMGSmith See Simon’s posts on this website.

Michael Stevens

Michael StevensMichael J. Stevens is a Lecturer in History at the University of Otago in southern New Zealand. His specialty areas include Maori and maritime history and these have been brought together in a three-year study of the port town of Bluff, from which he hails. This builds on his doctoral dissertation that focused on the seasonal harvesting of juvenile sooty shearwaters by southern Maori families, including his own, from islands south of Bluff.  See Michael’s posts on this website

Daniel Swan

daniel_swanDaniel Swan’s research considers wartime citizenship, gender roles, young women’s identities, and the interactions between public and private memories of war within women’s reconstructions of their lives during the Second World War in Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight through oral testimony. Space and place is an integral part of his work; assessing the areas where women lived, worked, socialized, and the relationships between people within these spaces. Daniel is a research assistant for a national project examining the commemoration of the First World War during the centenary. As part of this he is interviewing visitors to 36 Hours: Jutland 1916, The Battle That Won the War, a centenary exhibition about the Battle of Jutland at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, and will be transcribing the interviews. His research interests include gender, cultural and oral history. Follow Daniel @danielswan38 See Daniel’s posts on this website

Charlotte Ward

Currently living in Hertfordshire, though originally from Essex, I have had a passion for naval history since winning a competition to spend the day on HMS Illustrious during the Trafalgar 200 celebrations. My interest in this subject led me to write my undergraduate dissertation on the Naval Mutinies of 1797. I am currently studying for an MA in Naval History at the University of Portsmouth and have a keen interest in the eighteenth century, particularly crime and punishment, surgery and medicine and ballads and caricatures. I currently work at the Museum of London/Museum of London Docklands. See Charlotte’s posts on this website.

Ross Wilson

Dr Ross Wilson is Director of Liberal Arts at the University of Nottingham. He researches the history and memory of the First World War in Britain and the United States. He also has wider research interests in the fields of memory studies, museums, heritage studies and media representation. He is an editor on the volumes, Representing Enslavement and Abolition in Museums (2011) and Gender and Heritage (2018). He is the author of the following books on the First World War, Landscapes of the Western Front (2012), Cultural Heritage of the Great War in Britain (2013) and New York in the First World War: Shaping an American City (2014). He has also written, The Language of the Past (2016) and Natural History: Heritage, Place and Politics (2017). See Ross’s posts on this website. Follow Ross on Twitter @R_J_Wilson

Ian Yeates

Ian Yeates is studying part-time at the University of Portsmouth (UK) on their MA Naval History distance learning course. He lives in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, where he works for SaskPower as Director, Supply Development Carbon Capture. Ian served in the Royal Canadian Navy between 1979 and 1996. He is passionate about history and holds an honours degree in History from the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario, Canada (1979), as well as an MBA from Queen’s University (1993), also in Kingston. See Ian’s posts on this website.