Hi! I’m a Historian, researcher and writer from Portsmouth, England, and I specialise in Military, Maritime, Naval, Local and Family History. My first book, ‘Portsmouth’s World War Two Heroes’, was published in February 2012.
I studied History at the University of Portsmouth between 2002 and 2005. I’ve always been enthusiastic about reading and writing about the past. I believe that when we forget about the past, we’re not arming ourselves properly for the future. I also believe that far too often History is made far too boring, and about mindless lists of names and dates. History isn’t just about facts, but about how and where you find them, and what you learn from them. If we know where we’ve come from, then we know much more about where we are and where we’re going. And its not just about Lord and Lady so-and-so, or General Sir this-and-that, but the ordinary people on the ground and at the coalface.
I started this blog at my brothers suggestion almost three years ago, mainly for something to do and somewhere to record my writing. In that time it has snowballed out of all recognition, never could I have imagined that so many people would want to read what I have to say! I hope Daly History shows that you can take history – traditionally a conservative subject – to new audiences and new media.
I’m now heavily involved in researching Portsmouth during the First World War, in particular looking at the almost 6,000 men and women who were killed. Other areas that I’ve researched in particular include the battle of Arnhem, nautical instruments in the 19th century, Airborne Forces, the British Army since 1945, Portsmouths 19th Century maritime society, the career of Lieutenant-General Sir Frederick Browning, the sinking of SS Laconia, Great War Australian soldiers buried in Portsmouth and my own family history. I have also spent much time researching in archives, such as the National Archives at Kew, the British Library, and local Records Offices. I also have a lot of experience of researching using online sources.
I have appeared as a studio guest and newspaper reviewer on the Sasha Twining show on BBC Radio Solent, and have also been featured in the Portsmouth News. I write articles for History magazines, such as Britain at War Magazine, and I give regular lectures to Local History groups. I have also been a guest blogger for Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. I’m more than happy to help out with your family history, or any other random history based queries that I might be able to help with. Or if you have any ideas for articles or talks, or things I could research, I would be more than happy to hear!
Between 1998 and 2004 I was a member of Portsmouth City Youth Council, and from 2001 until 2004 I was elected as Leader three years running. I have also served on the steering group of Portsmouth’s Cultural and Youth Strategies, and as a committee member of Portsmouth Museum and Records Society.
In my spare time when I’m not working I play guitar, go camping, walking, fishing and reading. I enjoy travelling and visiting interesting places, be it museums, battlefields, or just interesting places at home or abroad.
I’ll be using this blog to talk about what I’m up to, what I’m researching, what I’m reading, things I see and places I go, and occasionally sounding off about what I see in the news.