About Paul Reed

Paul Reed in Italy 2012

Born in the 1960s, Paul Reed is a leading military historian specialising in the First and Second World Wars. He is the author of seven books, including the best-selling Walking The Somme (Pen & Sword 1997),  Great War Lives (Pen & Sword 2010) and Walking D-Day (Pen & Sword 2012). Paul also works as an Historical Consultant and Contributor for Television; most recently he was consultant on Michael Palin’s Last Day of WW1, series consultant for BBC1’s My Family At War and historical consultant for BBC2’s Dan Snow’s Little Ships and BBC1’s Dig1940. In 2011 he worked on Dig WW2 with Dan Snow and in 2012 was consultant for War Hero In My Family and is currently work on a new Channel 5 series about WW1 battlefield archaeology in Flanders.

Paul Reed can be contacted on: ww1research@hotmail.com

My principal websites are:



  1. Hi Paul

    Only just found your blog. Bit slow on the uptake. Will be keeping an eye on this. How are plans for the WW2 Society going?


  2. Sadly the WW2 Society is going no-where. People have offered help, but all have let me down one way or another. So for now it just remains an idea, although we are operating a ‘virtual’ version of it over at WW2 Talk.


    • Dear Paul, until finding this web link I knew nothing about your efforts to create a living history of WW2, I congratulate you on your effort, but as recounted by J.B. Priestley, the British people were never as good before as they were during WW2 and certainly haven’t been since, and that is even more so today as veterans of WW2 decease in number until the last Harry Patch of WW2 leaves the inevitable void of living memory.
      The reason for contacting you, I have a WW1 US commemorative plaque that I can find out nothing about. I’ve written to the US archive in Washington DC, but the person who read the accompanying letter asking its origins, obviously didn’t understand the question. I obviously can’t attach a file to this email, so could you email me your email address so I can email a copy of the plaque.

  3. Hi Paul

    This is a dissapointment, as I think, as I am sure you do, that this is something that is needed. I am sure in time it will emerge.


  4. Hi Paul,

    Just want to share a documentary we released this week – Afghanistan in the UK on VBS.TV. We release a new part each day this week, today is part 4.

    Watch Afghanistan in the UK – part 4 of 5: http://www.vbs.tv/en-gb/watch/rule-britannia/afghanistan-in-the-uk-part-4-of-5


  5. Hey Paul. Really interesting blog you got here.
    It would have been interesting though, if a person like yourself could take your time to read about my WW2 Theme photo session in Europe. I’m Norwegian, and my English isn’t perfect, but I’m sure its possible to understand. I would be curious what you think about it 🙂


    Joar Larsson Bo, Noway.

  6. Paul,

    I am a French Indochina War reenactor [ http://www.legionetrangere.us ] and British WWII reenactor living in Texas. Looking for any information on the Rifle Brigade (1st Bn) that served with 7th Armoured, specifically uniformity, etc. Were hoping to honor 7 ARM DIV by establishing a group here in the U.S. devoted exclusively to the unit’s service in NA-Sicily-Italy and NWE.

    Any help would be grateful.


  7. Hi Mick – what period of the war are you looking at? I’d recommend you join our WW2 forum at http://www.ww2talk.com/

  8. […] About Paul Reed […]

  9. Delighted that I stumbled across this while on Twitter looking at #sattc! Will definitely follow

  10. Thanks Alison – welcome to the Blog and Twitter feed lots of exciting projects coming up in 2011.

    • My father was a Spitfire pilot (Squadron Leader, 155 Sqn, Burma). In the summer of 2008, a year before he died, I recorded all his war stories about his time in the RAF (1938-1946). I have not transcribed the video recordings yet, and wanted to ask your views about whether to put them online, or send all the records to IWM for researchers to study in the future. I also have all his log books, as well as quite a few photos.
      We had a magnificent Spitfire flyby after his funeral – please let me know if you would like the YouTube link.

      • Hi Alison.

        Any possibilities of getting a copy of your fathers logbooks? I research Spitfire pilots.


  11. Thanks for that.

    How about doing both? Not everyone has access to the IWM’s archives and the web makes this sort of material available to all. Places the videos on YouTube and placing them in a blog like this would make a good site and a worthy memorial to your father.

  12. Hiya Paul, I have just received an email with information about your dig ww2 project, specifically regarding the spitfire and pilot who landed in the Donegal bog in 1941. I live in Newbridge Co Kildare the town where the inmates of the prison camp came to socialise. My dad joined the RAF during the war and was stationed in India. I have a letter to him from my mother referencing a dance the Germans attended in the town. One of the German prisoners married a local woman and came back to live here after the war. Their children still live locally. The reason for this note is to ask whether you would let me know when you are filming on the Curragh. I edit a local newsletter and I know people would be interested in this story? I can also show you my dads helmet and log books from the period if you were interested.

  13. A ver good blog to everybody that study the Great War. Great!

  14. Hi Paul did you serve in 3rd Bn Royal green Jackets, 70/80s????

    • No mate, I didn’t. Fine regiment of course.

  15. […] promised: a quick post for Paul Reed, Peter Doyle and Jonathan Ball. Untranslated. If anyone needs any help, let me know, Sadly I do not […]

  16. Hello, Paul. My blog started as a tribue to my father as he served with the 11th A/B Division in the Pacific. Now, it includes quite a bit of that war and is still growing. Would appreciate any comments you could add or corrections. I know I will be back here to visit your site.

  17. Hello Paul,

    Very nice website. I wonder if you do any tours around Holland?
    whether you do or don’t i would like to invite you to come and see the Dutch resistance museum in Amsterdam. It’s a brilliant war time museum, which mainly focusses on daily life during the occupation in Holland, explains how the resistance came into existence, how they dealt with sabotage, helping people going into hiding. And elaborates on all things WWII in Holland.

    I would be delighted to show you around, as i work there as a volunteer.

  18. hello paul im so looking forward to walking the somme in august in 2014, it was realy important for me to be there with it been 100years since the great war started , but to be there means a lot too me , the battlfeild guides are fantastic and realy make the tours so special ,

    • Thanks Peter – those comments much appreciated.

  19. Hello Paul.
    Have just read your blog about visiting Maginot Forts and was wondering out of the ones you list would you pick if you only had the one day to visit one of those forts?
    We are going on a big old trip at the end of April and without going into where else we are going we only have the chance to visit one fort, on Sunday 27th April.. Originally i was going to pick Hackenberg/ Veckring but as ive read your blog then i can see the attraction of the other places.

    Thanks in anticipation,Chris Mallinson

    • I would recommend Villy la Ferte and nearby Le Fermont. Both will give you a real feel of the Maginot and Villy was actually under combat, unlike most.

      • Many thanks for that Paul. Your Walking the Somme second edition will be getting a good outing this year when we have 2 days on the Somme, cheers agaain.

  20. […] us wonder if there were any other such collections hidden away. We approached a British historian, Paul Reed, to do some sleuthing for us but he had no luck. Eventually though, he came back with a name of an […]

  21. Paul, I noticed from one WWI book that you were credited for providing a battalion photo of the 2nd Royal Fusiliers, which was taken on 31/7/14. In the battalion 1918 War Diaries there is mention of a group photo taken in Flanders. Would you by any chance have a copy? My grandfather would be in the photo.

    • Which book was this in?

  22. It was quite a while ago, but I’ll endeavour to find the title. The 2nd Battallion (City of London) Regiment battalion photo I mentioned was taken in Noordpeene in July 1918. Would you by any chance have a copy of it in your collection?

  23. Hi Paul

    Recently I had installed a memorial to the Essex at Beaumont-Hamel, dedicated on May 24. I thought you should know as you’re interested in the Somme and if you require any more info, please contact info@tedbailey.co.uk and I’ll be pleased to supply pics etc

    Best Wishes

    Ted bailey

  24. My grandfather was Hugh Norman Coventry. He was killed in France in 1916, several months before my father was born. He was the brother of Sydney and Gordon Coventry, who played football for Collingwood. We know little about him unfortunately. He received a commendation for his duties as a stretcher bearer. Today, watching the Collingwood vs Essendon football game, I wondered if his name was on the trophy. I have been told he was also a talented footballer.

  25. Hi Paul Reed my Granddad was a German solider in Norway stationed at the Heavy Water plant I’ve been told by my mother. I was given my Granddads old World War 2 photos which I went through and found German General’s and Japanese General’s having meetings together and one was in a radio control room all genuine pictures. Can you help me please if you can. I tired so many places for any information regarding Secrete meetings between Germans and Japanese I can send or emails the pic thank you kind regards Michael

  26. Hello Mr Paul Reed.
    My name is Juan Orozco, since I was a child I read about the second World War, and I was always interested in the battle of Monte Cassino.
    In the next month of April I will have the chance to visit montecassino battlefield.
    I read on your site that you could get aerial photos of Montecassino,and I would like to know where I can get them.

    Best regards
    PS: sorry for my bad english

  27. Good Afternoon Paul.
    I am Sergeant Major Garry Worrall of 51 Infantry Brigade (SCOTLAND). I am on the search for information regarding the Trenches, during World War One, and how they improved during the war. This information is required as we hope to build a trench for each of the years of the War and would like to show how they changed and why.
    Could you point me to the right place to enable me to source this information?
    Your help in this matter would be greatly appreciated.



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