Search our site
Search our site

Professor Keith Grieves

Professor of history and education, Kingston University.

Professor  Keith  Grieves Areas of expertise

Find out more about Professor Keith Grieves


Professor Keith Grieves is a cultural historian of British Society in the era of the two world wars. He has a research interest in the impact of the First World War on rural communities, expecially in south east England. His early publications focused on the British Government's conduct of the war effort and the nature of civil-military relations. In recent years he has extensively researched community histories in Surrey and Sussex, particularly local war memorial discussions post 1918.

He is currently extending this interest to include open spaces which commemorated the fallen of the Great War and issues of woodland preservation and access during the inter-war years. In addition he is undertaking a study of the small scattered settlements in the Surrey greens and hills, to assess the persistence of manual life in the modern era.

Prof Grieves has worked on collaborative projects with the Imperial War Museum, International Society for First World War Studies, Sussex Record Society, German Historical Institute Washington, Menzies Centre at King's College London, the National Memorial Arboretum and Surrey Local History Council. He regularly gives papers at international conferences and to local historical societies on his specialist areas of interest.  



Year gained Subject
1984 PhD, University of Manchester.
1979 BEd, West Sussex Institute of Higher Education.

Career Highlights

Year Position held
2009 - Professor of History and Education, Kingston University.
1990 - 2009 Lecturer/ senior lecturer/Reader in History and History Education, School of Education, Kingston University.
1984 - 1989 History teacher.




The politics of manpower, 1914-1918 (Manchester University Press, 1988).

Sir Eric Geddes: business and government in war and peace (Manchester University Press, 1989).

Sussex in the First World War (Sussex Record Society, Lewes, 2004) [introduction, commentaries and notes].


 The Liverpool Dock Battalion: Military intervention in the Mersey Docks, 1915-1918' Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, Vol. 131, 1982.


Military Tribunal Papers: The case of Leek Local Tribunal in the First World War. Archives Vol. 16, 1983

Total War?: The Quest for a British Manpower Policy, 1917-1918. Journal of Strategic Studies Vol. 9, 1986

Improvising the British war effort: Eric Geddes and Lloyd George, 1915-1918, War and Society (Australia) Vol. 7, No. 2, September 1989, reprinted in M.Neiburg (ed.).

The International Library of Essays in Military History (Ashgate Publishing, 2005).

Mobilising manpower: The Audenshaw Tribunal in the First World War. Manchester Region History Review Vol. 3, No. 2, Winter 1989.

Britain at War, 1914-1918: Update. The Historian No. 27, Summer 1990.

Businessmen in Wartime Government: Lloyd George's 'Man for the job' approach 1915-1918 in J. Loades (ed.) The Life and Times of David Lloyd George (Headstart History, 1991)

Making sense of the Great War: regimental histories 1918-1923. Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research Vol. LXIX, No. 277, Spring 1991.

Early historical responses to the Great War: the writings of Fortescue, Conan Doyle and Buchan in B. Bond (ed.) British military historians and the First World War (Oxford U.P., 1991).

 Sir Eric Geddes, Lloyd George and the transport problem, 1918-1921. Journal of Transport History Vol. 13, 1992.

Lowther's Lambs': Rural paternalism and voluntary recruitment in the First World War. Rural History Vol. 4, 1993.

The intersection of politics and business: a biographical exploration of the 'Eric Geddes' type, 1915-1937. History Teaching Review Year Book (Scotland) Vol. 7, 1993.

Nelson's History of the War: John Buchan as a military historian, 1914-1922. Journal of Contemporary History Vol. 28, 1993.

A History of the Great War: the re-emergence of Buchan's grand narrative on the Great War in 1921-1922. The John Buchan Journal No. 13,  Winter 1993-1994.

C. E. Montague, Manchester and the remembrance of war, 1918-1925' Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester Vol. 77, No. 2, 1995.

The Organization of British Manpower in the First World War and the Question of Total War in P. Volobuev, Y. Koudrina et al. World War I and the twentieth century. Acts of the International Conference of Historians (Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 1995).

War Correspondents and Conducting Officers on the Western Front from 1915 in H. Cecil and P. Liddle (eds.) Facing Armageddon. The First World War Experienced  (Leo Cooper, 1996, reprinted 2003).

Neville Lytton, the Balcombe frescoes and the experience of war, 1908-1923', Sussex Archaeological Collections Vol. 134, 1996.

C. E. Montague and the making of Disenchantment, 1914-1922' War in History Vol. 4, 1997.

The 'Recruiting Margin' in Britain: Debates on Manpower during the Third Battle of Ypres' in P. Liddle (ed.) Passchendaele in Perspective. The Third Battle of Ypres  (Leo Cooper, 1997).

David Lloyd George' in R. Eccleshall and G. Walker (eds.) Biographical Dictionary of British Prime Ministers (Routledge, 1998).

Commemorating the fallen: war memorial debates in four Sussex villages after the armistice' The Poppy and the Owl No. 24, November 1998.

The transportation mission to GHQ, 1916' in B. Bond (ed.) 'Look to your front': studies in the First World War (Spellmount, Staplehurst, 1999).

Haig and the Government, 1916-18' in B. Bond and N. Cave (eds.) Haig. A reappraisal 70 years on (Leo Cooper, 1999, reprinted 2009).

Common meeting places and the brightening of rural life: Local debates on village halls in Sussex after the First World War' Rural History Vol.10, 1999.

Sussex in the First World War' in K. Leslie and B. Short (eds.) An Historical Atlas of Sussex (Phillimore, Chichester, 1999).

Investigating war memorial committees; demobilised soldiers, the bereaved and expressions of local pride in Sussex villages, 1918-21' The Local Historian Vol.30 No.1, 2000.

Lloyd George and the management of the British war economy' in R. Chickering and S. Forster (eds.) Great war, Total war: Combat and mobilisation on the Western Front 1914-1918 (German Historical Institute, Washington/Cambridge University Press, New York, 2000).

Commemorating the fallen: the Lord Lieutenant's soldier sons in the First World War and the making of the memorial chapel at St. Barnabas Church, Ranmore' Surrey History 2000.

One entry in C. Messinger (ed.) A Readers Guide to Military History (Fitzroy Dearborn, 2001)

Rural parish churches and the bereaved in Sussex after the First World War' Sussex Archaeological Collections Vol. 139, 2001.

Five entries in J. Ramsden (ed.) The Oxford Companion to Twentieth Century British Politics (Oxford University Press, 2002).

There are times when we would all prefer the factory life: letters from the trenches to the Shippam works in Chichester during the First World War' Family and Community History Vol. 6/1, 2003.

The quiet of the country and the restless excitement of towns: rural perspectives on the home front, 1914-1918' in M. Tebbutt (ed.) Rural and Urban Encounters in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: Regional Perspectives (CORAL, Manchester 2004).

Remembering an ill-fated venture: the Fourth Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment at Suvla Bay and its legacy, 1915-1939' in J. Macleod (ed.) Gallipoli: Making History (Frank Cass, 2004).

Eleven entries for the New Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004)

Huts, demobilisation and the quest for an associational life in rural communities after the war in P. Puirseigle (ed.) Warfare and Belligerence. Perspectives in First World War Studies (Brill, Leiden, Netherlands (History of Warfare Vol.30, 2005).

'Depicting the war on the Western Front: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the publication of The British Campaign in France and Flanders' in M. Hammond and S. Towheed (eds.) Publishing in the First World War (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007)

The Propinquity of Place: Home, Landscape and Soldier Poets of the Great War' in J. Meyer (ed.) The First World War and Popular Culture (Brill, Leiden, Netherlands, 2008).

Leith Hill, Surrey: Landscape, Locality and Nation in the era of the Great War' Landscapes Vol 9 (2), autumn 2008

War comes to the fields. Sacrifice, localism and ploughing up the English countryside in 1917' in I. Beckett (ed.) 1917: Beyond the Western Front (Brill, Leiden, Netherlands, 2009).

Forthcoming publications:

 'Remembering the fallen of the Great War in open spaces in the English countryside' in M. Morgan (ed.) Remembrance, Commemoration and Memorials (Black Dog publications, 2011).



Media Highlights

Keith provided background information for the original "Not Forgotten" series, which Ian Hislop presented for Channel Four. The series of four, broadcast in November and December 2005, examined the impact on British Society of the First World War. Prof Grieves contributed to the programme on war memorials in rural areas, which drew on his research on Balcombe Village Hall. He has also been a guest on BBC Radio Four's Open Country programme, in November 2005, when he was interviewed at Warnham war memorial in West Sussex by presenter Helen Mark. Prof Grieves has also appeared on BBC South TV on his specialist subject.


Conference Highlights

Prof Grieves is a seasoned conference presenter and keynote speaker, on both the national and international circuit.



Professional Body Membership

British Commission for Military History.

Institute of Historical Research.

Group for War and Culture Studies.

International Society for First World War Studies.

Inter-War Rural History Research Group.

Sussex Record Society.

Surrey Archaeological Society.

Contact us

General enquiries:

Journalists only:

  • Communications team
    Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 3034
    Email us

Contact us

General enquiries:

Journalists only:

  • Communications team
    Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 3034
    Email us