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Academic awarded prestigious military medal by the British Army

Dr Spencer Jones receiving a military award

A University of Wolverhampton academic has been awarded a prestigious military medal by the British Army. 

Dr Spencer Jones, Senior Lecturer in Armed Forces and War Studies in the University’s School of Social Science and Humanities, is an award-winning historian and author. 

The British Army has awarded him the Alfred Burne Memorial Medal in recognition of his work in promoting and preserving military history and using it to educate the current generation of soldiers. 

Alfred Burne was a soldier and military historian who introduced the concept of Inherent Military Probability (IMP) to the study of military history. 

The award was presented to Dr Jones at an awards dinner held at Larkhill Garrison in Wiltshire recently. 

Dr Jones said: “I am honoured and privileged to have been awarded this prestigious medal by the British Army. 

“I have worked as the Official Historian of the Royal Artillery for the past decade. This has been a wonderful experience and has given me the chance to work alongside serving soldiers from around the world and enhance their understanding of the past. My work for the Royal Artillery includes lectures, study days, battlefield tours, articles and online presentations. 

“Working with the Royal Artillery has also greatly enhanced my own research. I have been able to carry out detailed work in the Royal Artillery archives, which contains records that stretch back to the founding of the unit in 1716. I have been able to use this knowledge to inform my teaching at the University, particularly my BA War Studies undergraduate modules on the First World War, and in the Master’s course in History (First World War).” 

Brigadier Cresswell's said: “Dr Spencer Jones was invited to become the first official historian to the Royal Artillery in October 2013 and in 2023 we marked his tenth anniversary in this role as one of the most respected academics in war studies and an acknowledged leader in the history of the First World War. 

"For a decade of outstanding academic service to the history, heritage and most importantly, the education of the Royal Artillery, Dr Jones is most strongly recommended for regimental recognition.” 

Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Carter, Regimental Secretary, said: “Over the last decade, Dr Jones has delivered an extraordinary contribution to the critical interpretation of the history of the Britain’s Royal Artillery and of Firepower more generally. This has enhanced the operational effectiveness of our Gunners and taken their understanding to a different level.  The Alfred Burne Medal, named after a celebrated Royal Artillery historian, is awarded infrequently and this marks the significant role that Dr Jones has made as the Official Historian to the Royal Regiment.” 

Dr Jones serves as the Regimental Historian for the Royal Regiment of Artillery. His key works include From Boer War to World War: Tactical Reform of the British Army 1902-1914 and Stemming the Tide: Officers and Leadership in the British Expeditionary Force 1914, which was runner-up for the Templer Medal in 2014.  

He has published several critically acclaimed books on the British Army in the First World War including Courage without Glory: The British Army on the Western Front 1915 and At All Costs: The British Army on the Western Front 1916. His most recent volume is The Darkest Year: The British Army on the Western Front 1917.  

He is the co-host of the popular First World War podcast Not So Quiet on the Western Front and has appeared on a number of television programmes including The One Show, Who Do You Think You Are and The Quizeum as well as the major Channel 4 documentary Britain's Forgotten Army and the Yesterday series The Great War in Numbers.  

For more information about studying at the University of Wolverhampton and for courses available in the School of Social Science and Humanities check out the website. 


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