School of History


profile image for Professor Mark Connelly

Professor Mark Connelly

Professor of Modern British Military History

History (Rutherford N4.W6)

Mark Connelly is a historian who specialises in modern British military history. Mark is on research leave in the Spring term of the 2013/14 academic year.

Professor Connelly was drawn into his History anorak lifestyle when, as a small boy, he became fascinated by ladybird history books. For him, the subject of History was all about castles, knights, Airfix kits (constructed with incredibly little skill and amazing amounts of glue) and Action Man Scorpion tanks.

This obsession has been taken into aduthood and he now combines his interest in films, television and visual images with his interest in military history, this is reflected in many of his publications. Not content with keeping his interests to himself he now shares his passion for history with others, most notably his students and his family. As a result, he claims that his wife is now adept at spotting a Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone or a war memorial in a misty churchyard from quite some distance away.

So, if you are interested in why the British army decided to adopt Lewis guns in the Great War, want to interpret trench maps and the crazy names individual trenches were given and/or want to have a good snivel at Celia Johnson's magnificent performance in the 1945 British film classic, Brief Encounter, then opt to study one (or more!) of his modules in the School of History at the University of Kent.

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Chapters in Books

  • ‘“A Poignant Search for National Identity”: Peter Weir’s Gallipoli’ in Mark Glancy, Sue Harper, James Chapman (ed), The New Film History (Palgrave, 2007)
  • ‘Trafalgar: Back on the map of British popular culture? Assessing the 2005 bicentenary’, in Holger Hoock (ed), History, Commemoration, and National Preoccupation ( Oxford, 2007)
  • ‘Raking through the Ashes of the Strategic Air Campaign: BBC TV’s Bomber Harris (1989)’ in Mike Paris (ed), Repicturing the Second World War (Palgrave, 2007)
  • ‘”We can take it! Grosbritannien und die Erinnerung an die Heimatfront im Zweiten Weltkrieg’ in Stefan Martens and Jorge Echternkamp (eds), Der Zweite Weltkrieg in Europa: Erfahrung und Erinnerung (Ferdinand Schoningh Paderborn Verlacht, 2007)
  • (with Stefan Goebel) ’Zwischen Erinnerungspolitik und Erinnerungskonsum. Der Luftkrieg in Grosbritannien’ in Jörg Arnold, Dietmar Süs and Malte Thiesen (eds), Luftkrieg: Erineerungen in Deutschland und Europa (Wallstein, 2009)
  • British reactions to the strategic air campaign, 1939-1945’ in Igor Primoratz (ed), Terror from the Skies: exploring the aerial bombing campaigns of the Second World War (Berghahn, 2010)
  • 'Commemorating Trafalgar: reactions to the 2005 bicentennial events' in Holger Hoock (ed), History, Commemoration and National Preoccupation: Trafalgar 1805- 2005, OUP/British Academy, 2006.
  • 'The memory of the British home front in the Second World War' in Stefan Martens and Jorge Echternkamp (eds), Experience and Memory: the Second World War in Europe, IHAP, 2006.
  • 'British reactions to the strategic air campaign, 1939-1945' in Igor Primoratz (ed), Terror from the Skies: exploring the aerial bombing campaigns of the Second World War, Berghahn, 2006.
  • '"A Poignant Search for National Identity": Peter Weir's Gallipoli' in Mark Glancy, Sue Harper, James Chapman (ed), The New Film History, Palgrave, 2006.
  • 'Raking through the Ashes of the Strategic Air Campaign: BBC TV's Bomber Harris (1989)' in Mike Paris (ed), War, Memory and Visual Culture, Palgrave, 2006.
  • Entries in N. Cull and D. Welch (eds) Propaganda and Mass Persuasion. A Historical Encyclopaedia from 1500 to the Present (ABC-Clio, launched at the IAMHIST International Conference, Leicester, July 2003)
  • 'Britain and the memory of the Great War', pp 193-212, Kulturwissenschafliches Institut, Essen, Jahrbuch 2002/3 (Kulturwissenschafliches, Essen, 2003) (invited submission).
  • Military History entries in J. Ramsden (ed) Oxford Companion to Twentieth Century British Politics, OUP, 2002.


  • ‘Shop till you drop: Christmas and Consumerism’, BBC History Magazine, Vol. 9, No. 12, December 2008, pp. 31-35
  • ‘Ypres: Holy Ground of British arms. The Ypres League and the commemoration of the Ypres salient, 1918-1940’, War in History, Vol. 16, No. 1, January 2009 pp. 51-76
  • ‘Ghosts of Christmas Past’, BBC Knowledge Magazine (BBC America), November-December 2009, pp. 36-43
  • ‘Season of Goodwill’, BBC Who Do You Think You Are Magazine, December 2009, pp. 68-73
  • (with Peter Donaldson) ‘Anglo-Boer war memorials (1899-1902) in Britain: a case study of London and Kent’, War and Society, Vol. 29, No. 1,  May 2010, pp. 20-46
  • (with David Willcox) 'Are you tough enough? The image of British Special Forces in British popular culture, 1939-2003', Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol. 25 No. 1, March 2005, pp 1-25
  • 'The British Campaign in Aden, 1914-1918' (opens as pdf), University of Birmingham, Centre of First World Studies, Journal of First World War Studies, Vol. 1, No. 3, 2005.
  • (with Walter Miller)‚'British Courts Martial in North Africa, 1940-43', Twentieth Century British History Vol. 15 No. 3 2004 pp 217-242
  • (with Walter Miller), 'The BEF and the Issue of Surrender on the Western Front in 1940', War in History Vol. 11 No. 4 2004 pp 424-441
  • 'Never Such Innocence Again: Grosbritannien und das Jahr 1914', Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte (German Bundestag journal), B29-30, 2004, pp 13-20
  • 'The image of RAF Bomber Command in British popular culture, 1945-2000', Humanities Sozial und Kulturgeschichte Institut, Humboldt University, Berlin, online journal, April 2004, and published in Historisches Literatur, Rezensionszeitschrift von H-Soz-u-Kult, Band 2, 2004, Heft 2, April-Juni (Veroffentlichungen von Clio-online, Nr. 1)
  • 'The image of the Battleship in British popular culture, 1920-1960', International Journal of Naval History, August/December 2004, No 2/3.
  • 'The British People, the Press, and the Strategic Air Campaign against Germany', Contemporary British History Vol. 16 No. 2 2002 pp 39-58
    Also translated into German as 'Die britische Offentlichkeit, die Presse und der Luftkrieg gegen Deutschland, 1939-1945' pp 72-94 in Lothar Kettenacher (ed), Ein Volk von Opfern? Die neue Debatte um den Bombenkrieg 1940-45, Rowohlt, Berlin, 2003.
  • 'The Great War, Part 13: The Devil is Coming', Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television Vol. 22 No. 1 2002 pp 21-28
  • 'The Longest Days. A Personal View of the Television Coverage of the Fiftieth Anniversary of D-Day', Contemporary Record, Vol. 8, No. 3, Winter 1994.


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  • Contributor to the National Gallery podcast, regarding shop window designs at Christmas.
  • Elected member of Queen's Own Buffs Regimental Association, due to research and publications on the Buffs. Conducted guided tours on the regimental associations last ever trip to the battlefields as well as now having the right to parade with London Buffs Church Parade at Tower of London!
  • Consultant to Geffrye Museum in preparation for 2012 Cultural Olympiade. He is also providing a seminar for staff on "Christmas in the 19th century" as part of the preparations for the museum's Christmas celebrations.
  • Contributor to a BBC Radio 4 round table discussion the Blitz (September 2010)
  • Contributor to a BBC Radio 2 series on Vera Lynn (in May 2010)
  • Contributor to BBC One's "The One Show" in December 2007 about history of Christmas
  • A regular contributor to the National Army Museum's lunchtime lecture series (having presented anually for the past eight years).
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Professor Connelly is on study leave throughout the 2014/15 academic year

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School of History, Rutherford College, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NX

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Last Updated: 03/09/2014