Making the British Army Officer with Dr Kevin Linch

Dr Kevin Linch explored the personal and professional lives of British Army officers during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars in conversation at the National Army Museum in London.

The French Revolutionary Wars and the ensuing Napoleonic Wars are seminal periods in world history. The British Army played a significant role in both.

In conversation with National Army Museum historian Dr Matilda Greig, Dr Kevin Linch explored the personal and professional lives of the officers in the Army during these momentous conflicts.

The talk covered how their lives are being reconstructed using digital humanities techniques.

Drawing on the military records of 40,000 individuals, Matilda and Kevin discussed new insights into the experiences of the Army across the globe and the future uses of this database.

This is so interesting and different

Comment from an audience member

Ranging from the renowned Duke of Wellington to the most junior ensign, the discussion examined the broader context of the Army from 1790 to 1820.

It considered the range of experiences and influences on officers’ careers, including money, patronage, family and the opportunities that war presented.

Attendees at the talk appreciated hearing about a less well-known aspect of the history of the British Army.

Absolutely fascinating

Comment from an audience member

Viewed by people across the world as a live broadcast, you can now view the recording of the talk at the National Army Museum’s Crowdcast site.

This workshop was part of the AHRC-funded ‘Re-archiving the individual’ project

Image credit: ‘An officer of light dragoons taking leave of his wife, 1795 (c)’ by Henry Singleton. Learn more about the image on the National Army Museum website.