Helen Parr joined Keele in 2004. She previously taught in the International History Department at LSE. She studied History at Clare College, Cambridge, and Contemporary British History at Queen Mary College, University of London.
Her research interests are in the field of contemporary British political and social history. She has worked on Britain’s relations with the EC/EU, the Labour Party and European integration, Britain’s Cold War and nuclear weapons policies and British-French relations.
Her most recent work was a social and cultural history of the Parachute Regiment and the 1982 Falklands War, Our Boys: The Story of a Paratrooper (Allen Lane, 2018).  Our Boys won the Templer Medal Book Prize, the Duke of Wellington Medal for Military History, the Longman-History Today Book Prize and was Longlisted for the Orwell Prize for Political Writing.
It was Book of the Day in the Guardian, the Evening Standard and the Spectator, one of the Guardian’s Ten Biggest Reads of the Autumn in 2018, and a Spectator Book of the Year in 2019.
Read Ian Jack’s review in the Guardian
Listen to Helen on Radio 4’s Start the Week 
Listen to Helen’s interview with Susan Cahill on Newstalk’s Talking Books
Visit the webpage dedicated to the book Our Boys

Research and scholarship

I am currently writing a social and cultural history of a military and political subject – the Parachute Regiment and the 1982 Falklands war.

This has involved me in a lot of archival work, and also many interviews with former paratroopers at all ranks of the Regiment, with other soldiers who fought in the Falklands, and with family members of soldiers who were killed. All this has opened my eyes to histories that are often left out of more official accounts. I’m interested in who the men were who fought in the Falklands, in what the war was like, and in the aftermath and legacies of the conflict, for the soldiers, their families, and for Britain.

I received a Small Grant from the British Academy which helped me to conduct much of the research. I’ve presented my work to a variety of audiences, including at the Joint Command and Staff College in Shrivenham, veterans’ organisations and to an audience including the Argentine ambassador to the UK.



  • The Changing World: A  History of International Relations since 1945 (first year module)
  • The Falklands War and 1980s Britain and/or Britain in the Cold War (third year modules)
  • War, Memory and Popular Culture (MA module)
  • European Integration (MA module)
  • Perspectives in Politics and International Relations (MA module)


PhD Supervision

I’m currently supervising 5 students and am happy to hear from anyone interested in:

Twentieth century British political history (particularly post-1945)

Cold War

Britain’s international history, particularly relations with Europe

War and society

War, commemoration, memory and gender

Please see my research and scholarship tab for more details about my area of expertise.

Further information is available about studying in SPIRE, including funding available for pursuing a doctoral research degree.

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