I graduated from Southampton Solent University where I studied Media with Cultural Studies. My dissertation focused on Beowulf and the oral storytelling tradition. After a long period working in film and television, I returned to academic life, where I undertook an MA in History at Teeside University, researching the 18-year-old men in the North Riding who appealed their conscription into the army during the First World War. I am currently at the University of Leeds completing my PhD, funded by the WB Crump Scholarship.
Since 2005, whilst still working in the media, I have produced a number of popular history podcasts, the main ones being the WW2 Podcast focusing on all aspects of the Second World War, and Oh! What a Lovely Podcast looking at where popular culture intersects with the First World War.
My current research explores all the men who appeared before the North Riding Military Appeal Tribunal 1916-18. These tribunals were set up to adjudicate on men who believed they had grounds to claim exemption from conscription under the 1916 Military Services Acts. It has been suggested that up to 29% of men attempted to appeal their call up to the army, of whom only around 2% were conscientious objectors. However, while men appealing on the grounds of conscience have dominated the historiography of the tribunals, comparatively little has been written about the other men in the system.
The aim of my PhD is to explore the themes of consent and dissent within the North Riding papers.