Christopher Phillips

Leeds Trinity University
I am a Lecturer in the History Department at Leeds Trinity University, with a research specialism in the railway industry in Britain, 1870-1970. My doctoral research focused upon the influence of civilian business methods in the management of the British Expeditionary Force’s logistics network on the Western Front, and has been shortlisted for the Coleman Prize in 2016. I have published material from my thesis in a range of academic and public-facing media, including 'War & Society', the 'British Journal for Military History', and 'The Historian'. I also worked as an academic consultant for the BBC2 series 'Railways of the Great War', which first aired in August 2014 as part of the corporations' commemorations of the Centenary of the outbreak of the war.

The ‘technology of power’: Record keeping and British labour, 1917-18

From debates over the extent to which the tank or the aeroplane contributed to the Allied victory, to the introduction of chemical warfare and the prominence of high-explosive artillery shells, the role of technology in the conduct of the First … Continue reading

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Putting the ‘citizens’ back into the ‘citizen army’

Now that the dust appears to have settled, I’d like to revisit Michael Gove and his comments regarding the First World War made at the start of the year. But rather than get into the ins and outs and rights … Continue reading

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A railwayman goes to war: Francis Dent and the challenge of total war

Francis Henry Dent was born at Holyhead on New Year’s Eve 1866, where his father, Admiral Charles Bayley Calmady Dent, was employed as the Marine Superintendent of the London & North-Western Railway. At the age of seventeen the young Francis … Continue reading

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The ‘other’ citizen soldiers: recruiting technical experts on the Western Front

The term ‘citizen soldier’ evokes a particularly powerful image in Britain. The poignant histories of the ‘Pals’ Battalions’, raised utilizing the attraction of geographical and occupational connections, have contributed greatly to the lasting public impression of the conflict. Names such … Continue reading

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The Language of Business: Understanding the British ‘war machine’

In 1917, the American journalist Isaac Frederick Marcosson visited the General Headquarters [GHQ] of the British Expeditionary Force [BEF] at Montreuil-sur-Mer following a tour of the Western Front. He recorded his experiences of this visit for Everybody’s Magazine and in … Continue reading

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