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  • Writer's pictureAsh Percival-Borley

The Soldier-Historian: History from a Different Perspective

Welcome to the first blog post of The Soldier-Historian! The aim of this blog is to share my passion for history and to tell the equally captivating stories that hide within its study. I want to incite discussion, create interest and even facilitate those truly unique moments that will force you to utter ‘wow’ under your breath.

I have, since a very little girl, been interested in history. I was shaped by my parent’s fascination with history. My Mum loved reading about the lives of the Tudors and the doomed fate of the Romanovs. While my Dad introduced me to Bernard Cornwell's 'Sharpe',the Napoleonic wars and the many operations and battles that comprised the World Wars of the twentieth century. As with most historians, I love a poignant historical date and a jaw dropping battle, but since pursuing post graduate study in history I have become enthralled by ordinary people doing rather extraordinary things.

Active agents of military history and history in general are not just great statesmen or military leaders. I want to highlight the less well known, but equally captivating marginalised characters in war. Such as the woman who smuggled 2500 children out of a Warsaw ghetto during the Second World War, the British-Indian woman who was a British secret agent, of whom the Gestapo branded as ‘most dangerous’. And the female aristocrat who became known as Queen of the Desert and worked for British intelligence in Arabia during First World War. I want to tell their stories, why they inspire me and why they should also inspire you.

So why am I fascinated by these stories? I have served for 12 years in the British Army, I am a female soldier and I have experienced warfare and served on humanitarian operations. I wanted to analyse and understand my experiences, I want to understand the great and complex war phenomenon and a woman’s place within it. Historically this has been problematic and a very much neglected narrative – but that is a discussion for another blog post! I believe my military experience coupled with my passion and drive to study and promote history enables me to have a different and new perspective on some well-mined topics and discover unknown narratives.

I hope this blog will inspire other historians to ask new questions or re-examine previous topics, I hope it creates discussions and informs debate and I hope, at the very least, you dear reader learn something new whenever you visit. Happy reading!

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