About & Contact

My writing here is primarily about people—the commemoration of their lives and actions—and particularly, in this centenary period, those who served during the First World War. I also write about those recognised for gallantry, both military and civilian, and I will dabble occasionally in social & family history and in writing & publishing. For my published books see here.

My primary online project is a study of the lives and military service of the 365 men buried in the United States who are commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. You can read the essays on the Sacrifice website.

A more comprehensive piece on my current projects may be found via the link on the menu above. If anyone has any information that they believe should be included in any of these projects, I’d be very pleased for you to get in touch. There is a contact form at the bottom of this page.

Facebook PagesYou might like to follow my Facebook pages:

Blacker’s Boys & The First World War

For Exemplary Bravery, The Queen’s Gallantry Medal

Sacrifice – WW1 Commonwealth War Graves Commission burials in the United States

You can also find me on Google+ and on Goodreads.

If you would like help with looking into your relative’s First World War service or into any awards earned by a member of your family, I’d be pleased to help. See my research page.

I was born in Northern Ireland. For generations the two branches of my family, from Mallusk in County Antrim and Lurgan in County Armagh, worked in the linen mills. My father played for a popular showband and also worked in the textile business in Lurgan. That work later took him and his young family to Scotland and, the highlight of my childhood, Malta. After being commissioned into the British Army in August 1982, I spent 27 years serving all over the world. Of that, just short of eleven years was spent on operations in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Sierra Leone and Iraq. I was awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal in 1989 and the MBE in 1997. I retired in 2009. For many years I have been a student of military history, in particular that of the First and Second World Wars, largely inspired by the service of my paternal great-grandfather, Sergeant William Neill DCM.

Sergeant William Neill DCM

Sergeant William Neill DCM

Please use this form to contact me

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