Keele Professor awarded prestigious military history book prize

Professor Helen Parr has been awarded the 2018 Templer Medal by the Society for Army Historical Research (SAHR) for her book Our Boys: The Story of a Paratrooper - and is also the first ever woman to do so.

The medal is awarded by SAHR to the author of the book published during that year that has made the most significant contribution to the history of the British Army, and was presented to Helen by Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent.

Helen’s book is about the experiences of paratroopers in the Falklands war, and the aftermath of the conflict. The book is the story of one particular soldier, her uncle, Dave Parr, who was killed during the conflict; but it is also a history of the Parachute Regiment, the 1970s society from which paratroopers were drawn, the human experiences of the Falklands war and the aftermath and lasting impacts of the conflict.

Since its launch, ‘Our Boys’ has received much acclaim, and Helen has spoken about her book on BBC Radio 4, Radio 5 and at the Hay Winter Literary Festival. The book has also been reviewed in The Times, The Sunday Times, The Evening Standard, the Spectator and Financial Times, as well as being ‘Book of the Day’ in the Guardian, and the Times Higher Education’s (THE) ‘Book of the Week’.

Helen said: “I'm honoured to be awarded this prize, it's such wonderful recognition for the book. The Society has been running the book prize since 1981, and I'm also really delighted to be the first woman to win it. It was a good year for women writing on military subjects, as Dr Aimée Fox from King’s College London also won the Society's First Book Prize.”