Birmingham publisher sweeps the board at British military history ‘Oscars’

Randall Nicol

A BIRMINGHAM-based publisher has won the top two accolades at the ‘Oscars’ of British military history publishing – the Templer Awards.

Helion and Company, which has also celebrated its 20th anniversary, published both the best book on British military history and the best first book for 2016, selected by The Society for Army Historical Research (SAHR).

Publisher Duncan Rogers accepted the Templer Medal on author Stewart Stansfield’s behalf as he was unable to attend the London-based ceremony.

“Stewart’s book Early Modern Systems of Command: Queen Anne’s Generals, Staff Officers and the Direction of Allied Warfare in the Low Countries and Germany, 1702-1711 took the night’s top prize, while Randall Nicol’s Till the Trumpet Sounds Again: The Scots Guards 1914-19 in Their Own Words was declared best first book,” says Duncan – a graduate of Warwick University.

“This recognition is much deserved for both authors, whose works have contributed immensely to our understanding of British military history. It also reflects the overall standard and quality of books we are producing, working with exciting emerging talents as well as established authors at the very top of their game.”

“I would like to congratulate Stewart and Randall wholeheartedly as well as to thank the SAHR and the judges. The prizes evidence that Helion and Company is one of the world’s leading publishers of military history.”

A total of 49 books were submitted to the Templer Award panel for consideration by publishers on three different continents including Bloomsbury Studies in Military History, the Cambridge University Press and Yale University Press.

Just two prizes were handed out to authors whose works covered conflicts from the sixteenth to the twenty-first century.

Helion’s First World War Commissioning Editor Michael Lo Cicero (pictured right) – a graduate of Birmingham University – delivered the keynote speech at the SAHR’s annual general meeting held prior to the award ceremony.

He spoke about his research into the last days of fighting around Passchendaele, which resulted in his acclaimed book: A Moonlight Massacre. The Night Operation on the Passchendaele Ridge, 2 December 1917.

“Michael is among a large number of university graduates now writing for Helion,” adds Duncan. “The fact that he was selected to deliver the keynote speech at the Royal United Services Institute in Whitehall demonstrates our increasing reach into the academic market, and that we have much to offer those studying and writing military history.”

Speaking on behalf of the Department of History, Politics and War Studies of the University of Wolverhampton, Stephen Badsey – Editor of Helion’s Wolverhampton Military Studies Series – added: “The award of the 2016 Templer Medal by the Society for Army Historical Research to Stewart Stanfield’s ’s Early Modern Systems of Command, Number 14 in the Wolverhampton Military Studies Series, is a great honour for the author himself, for Helion Publishing, and also for the Series and all of us associated with it.

‘We created the Wolverhampton Military Studies Series four years ago, with the intent that its books would be academically rigorous and based on a high standard of research, but also well written and accessible to all; books that anybody interested in military history, not least my own students, would want to read.

‘When the first book in the series, Spencer Jones (ed.) Stemming the Tide, was judged runner up for the 2013 Templer Medal, we felt that we were on the right track. Since then, the Series has produced books recognised as being of a very high quality, to both critical and popular acclaim. This includes books already published or awaiting publication by members of my department, or by our former students based on their research.”

To purchase the Templer Medal-winning titles, visit

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