Trevor Royle - Author

About the Author

Trevor Royle is an author specialising in the history of war and empire. Latest publications include Montgomery: Lessons in Leadership from the Soldier's General (Palgrave Macmillan) and Bearskins, Bayonets and Body Armour: Welsh Guards 1915-2015 (Frontline). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland's national academy, and an Honorary Fellow of the School of History, Classics and Archaeology in Edinburgh University. He was born in India in 1945 and lives in Scotland.

Featured books by Trevor Royle

Culloden Scotland's Last Battle and the Forging of the British Empire

Culloden Scotland's Last Battle and the Forging of the British Empire

Author: Trevor Royle Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/02/2016

The Battle of Culloden has gone down in history as the last major battle fought on British soil: a vicious confrontation between Scottish forces supporting the Stuart claim to the throne and the English Royal Army. But this wasn't just a conflict between the Scots and the English, the battle was also part of a much larger campaign to protect the British Isles from the growing threat of a French invasion. In Trevor Royle's vivid and evocative narrative, we are drawn into the ranks, on both sides, alongside doomed Jacobites fighting fellow Scots dressed in the red coats of the Duke of Cumberland's Royal Army. And we meet the Duke himself, a skilled warrior who would gain notoriety due to the reprisals on Highland clans in the battle's aftermath. Royle also takes us beyond the battle as the men of the Royal Army, galvanized by its success at Culloden, expand dramatically and start to fight campaigns overseas in America and India in order to secure British interests; we see the revolutionary use of fighting techniques first implemented at Culloden; and the creation of professional fighting forces.

Britain's Lost Regiments

Britain's Lost Regiments

Author: Trevor Royle Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/10/2014

The history of the British Army is really the story of its regiments and the men who served in them. From the very beginning they formed the backbone of a singular institution that is itself a reflection of the way the people of Britain view themselves and their collective past. Beginning with the Glorious revolution of 1660 and the return to the throne of King Charles II, it was a time when Cromwell's Commonwealth and his military institutions were not popular. But the new king had to be protected and the country had to be defended. Through a process of slow growth and frequent tardiness an army eventually came into being and from the outset it was based solidly on a regimental system which needed steady supplies of recruits to keep it in being. Since then, men have joined up for many valid reasons such as adventure, patriotism or a sense of duty; but not all motives were commendable. For every young man attracted by the chance to wear a uniform there would be many more who had fallen foul of the law, been poverty-stricken or fallen into debt, or had committed a sexual indiscretion. Others were simply coerced. With the exception of the two great world wars of the twentieth century the Army rarely numbered more than 250,000 and in 2020 its numbers will have fallen to 82,000, a poor reward, one would have thought, for all past endeavours. Over the years periods of warfare have always been followed by times of peace when expenditure on the armed forces dropped, soldiers were made redundant and regiments, mainly infantry, were either disbanded or amalgamated, often with painful consequences. However, there is a case for saying that no regiment is ever entirely lost and that it will always live on in men's minds as a mystical entity. The British Army certainly makes a great deal of the 'golden thread' which still links, say, the Middlesex 'Die-Hards' to the modern Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, but the harsh reality is that those ties are only as strong as the men who made them. Like it or not, the old and bold soldiers are a dwindling band and once they have fallen out for the last time the regiments will be truly lost. For this reason Trevor Royle now explores the histories of the many regiments that have disappeared; to celebrate their existence as well as the men and officers who served with distinction within them.

Other books by Trevor Royle

Culloden Scotland's Last Battle and the Forging of the British Empire

Culloden Scotland's Last Battle and the Forging of the British Empire

Author: Trevor Royle Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/08/2017

The Battle of Culloden has gone down in history as the last major battle fought on British soil: a vicious confrontation between Scottish forces supporting the Stuart claim to the throne and the English Royal Army. But this wasn't just a conflict between the Scots and the English, the battle was also part of a much larger campaign to protect the British Isles from the growing threat of a French invasion. In Trevor Royle's vivid and evocative narrative, we are drawn into the ranks, on both sides, alongside doomed Jacobites fighting fellow Scots dressed in the red coats of the Duke of Cumberland's Royal Army. And we meet the Duke himself, a skilled warrior who would gain notoriety due to the reprisals on Highland clans in the battle's aftermath. Royle also takes us beyond the battle as the men of the Royal Army, galvanized by its success at Culloden, expand dramatically and start to fight campaigns overseas in America and India in order to secure British interests; we see the revolutionary use of fighting techniques first implemented at Culloden; and the creation of professional fighting forces. Culloden changed the course of British history by ending all hope of the Stuarts reclaiming the throne, cementing Hanoverian rule and forming the bedrock for the creation of the British Empire. Royle's lively and provocative history looks afresh at the period and unveils its true significance, not only as the end of a struggle for the throne but the beginning of a new global power.

The Kitchener Enigma The Life and Death of Lord Kitchener of Khartoum, 1850-1916

The Kitchener Enigma The Life and Death of Lord Kitchener of Khartoum, 1850-1916

Author: Trevor Royle Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/04/2016

In this critically acclaimed biography, now fully updated, Royle revises Kitchener's latter-day image as a stern taskmaster, the ultimate war lord, to reveal a caring man capable of displaying great loyalty and love to those close to him. New light is thrown on his Irish childhood, his years in the Middle East as a biblical archaeologist, his attachment to the Arab cause and on the infamous struggle with Lord Curzon over control of the army in India. In particular, Royle reassesses Kitchener's role in the Great War, presenting his phenomenally successful recruitment campaign - `Your Country Needs You' - as a major contribution to the Allied victory and rehabilitating him as a brilliant strategist who understood the importance of fighting the war on multiple fronts.

Culloden Scotland's Last Battle and the Forging of the British Empire

Culloden Scotland's Last Battle and the Forging of the British Empire

Author: Trevor Royle Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/02/2016

The Battle of Culloden has gone down in history as the last major battle fought on British soil: a vicious confrontation between Scottish forces supporting the Stuart claim to the throne and the English Royal Army. But this wasn't just a conflict between the Scots and the English, the battle was also part of a much larger campaign to protect the British Isles from the growing threat of a French invasion. In Trevor Royle's vivid and evocative narrative, we are drawn into the ranks, on both sides, alongside doomed Jacobites fighting fellow Scots dressed in the red coats of the Duke of Cumberland's Royal Army. And we meet the Duke himself, a skilled warrior who would gain notoriety due to the reprisals on Highland clans in the battle's aftermath. Royle also takes us beyond the battle as the men of the Royal Army, galvanized by its success at Culloden, expand dramatically and start to fight campaigns overseas in America and India in order to secure British interests; we see the revolutionary use of fighting techniques first implemented at Culloden; and the creation of professional fighting forces.

Bearskins, Bayonets & Body Armour Welsh Guards, 1915-2015

Bearskins, Bayonets & Body Armour Welsh Guards, 1915-2015

Author: Trevor Royle Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/06/2015

The Welsh Guards have been at the forefront of British military history over the past hundred years. Bearskins, Bayonets & Body Armour traces them from their foundation in the First World War and their baptism of fire at the Battle of Loos in 1915, through their fighting at Dunkirk, in the Western Desert, Italy and Normandy in the Second World War, the Cold War and the Troubles in Northern Ireland, the Falklands War (when heavy casualties were suffered when the Sir Galahad was bombed and sunk in controversial circumstances), the Balkans, up to the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan in the 21st century. As well as the Regiment's operational history, this book also offers a unique insight into its high-profile role in ceremonial events in London such as the Changing of the Guard and Trooping the Colour, which have made the Guards one of the best-known symbols of Great Britain. This book will be required reading for all those interested in the history not just of one famous regiment, but of the British Army over the past century.

A Time of Tyrants Scotland and the Second World War

A Time of Tyrants Scotland and the Second World War

Author: Trevor Royle Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/09/2013

Trevor Royle examines Scotland's role in the Second World War from a wide range of perspectives. The country's geographical position gave it great strategic importance for importing war materiel and reinforcements, for conducting naval and aerial operations against the enemy and for training regular and specialist SOE and commando forces. Scotland also became a social melting pot with the arrival of Polish and eastern European refugees, whose presence added to the communal mix and assisted post-war reconstruction. In addition to the important military aspects - the exploits of the Army's renowned 15th Scottish and 51st Highland Divisions in Europe and North Africa and the role played by the RAF and the Royal Navy from Scottish bases - Scotland was also hugely important as an industrial power house and the nation's larder. The war also had a huge impact on politics, with national centralization achieved through the creation of the Scottish Office and the Scottish Grand Committee. With the emergence of the post-war Labour government and the welfare state,nationalism went into decline and the dominance of socialism, especially in the west, paved the way for the command politics which dominated Scotland for the rest of the century. Based on previously unseen archives in the Scottish Record Office, A Time of Tyrants is the first comprehensive history of the unique part played by Scotland and the Scots in the global war to defeat Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.

National Service The Best Years of Their Lives

National Service The Best Years of Their Lives

Author: Trevor Royle Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/05/2011

More than 2 million men were conscripted to serve in Britain's armed forces during the period of National Service, which began after the Second World War and was phased out by 1963. Aged just 18, these individuals, many of whom had never left their hometowns before, were put in uniform to serve their nation and taken to some of the furthest reaches of Britain's crumbling empire. It was an experience that left a profound mark on the post-war generations. Using first-hand accounts and official documents, these remarkable times are described in this detailed, entertaining and hugely informative account of the National Service years.

The Wars Of The Roses England's First Civil War

The Wars Of The Roses England's First Civil War

Author: Trevor Royle Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/08/2010

THE WARS OF THE ROSES is the definitive account of one of the bloodiest episodes in British history - wars between the houses of York and Lancaster. Trevor Royle provides a military history of the Wars while placing the conflict in the context of the time. This was a period with a rich legacy: William Caxton introduced the art of printing; there was a growing body of literature, such as Chaucer, in the English tongue; architecture flourished and great educational institutions were born such as Winchester School and King's College, Cambridge.

Orde Wingate A Man of Genius 1903-1944

Orde Wingate A Man of Genius 1903-1944

Author: Trevor Royle Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/05/2010

Winston Churchill described Wingate as a 'man of genius who might well have become a man of destiny'. Tragically, he died in an jungle aircraft crash in 1944. Like his famous kinsman Lawrence of Arabia, Wingate was renowned for being an unorthodox soldier, inclined to reject received patterns of military thought. He was a fundamentalist Christian with a biblical certainty in himself and his mission.He is best-remembered as the charismatic and abrasive leader of the Chindits. With the support of Wavell, he was responsible for a strategy of using independent groups deep behind enemy limes, supported only by air drops. Wingate was responsible for leading the charge of 2,000 Ethiopians and the Sudan Defence Force into Italian-occupied Abyssinia. Remarkably, he defeated a 40,000 strong enemy that was supported by aircraft and artillery, which Wingate did not possess.Despite his achievements, Wingate suffered from illness and depression and in Cairo attempted suicide. He was not universally liked: his romantic Zionism contrasted with the traditional British Arabist notions. He did, however, lead from the front and marched, ate and slept with his men. In this authoritative biography, Royle expertly brings to life a ruthless, complex, arrogant - but ultimately admirable - general.Trevor Royle is an author and broadcaster specialising in the history of war and empire, with more than 30 books to his credit. His latest book is The Road to Bosworth, a study of the War of the Roses. He is a columnist for the Sunday Herald and is an Honorary Fellow at Edinburgh University's School of History. He was born in India in 1945.

The Cameronians A Concise History

The Cameronians A Concise History

Author: Trevor Royle Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/02/2009

In May 1968, as part of cutbacks to the British Army, The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) was disbanded at a moving ceremony held at the same spot in Douglas in Lanarkshire at which it had been raised in 1689. And yet, although the regiment is no more, its place in history is unassailable. The ceremony embraced the history of one regiment, The Cameronians, which had its origins in the turbulent period that accompanied the rise of the House of Orange at the end of the seventeenth century, while its other component part - the 90th (Perthshire Light Infantry) - was raised as a light infantry regiment during the war against Revolutionary France. Following amalgamation in 1881, The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) quickly built up a solid reputation as a fighting regiment. During the First World War it raised 27 battalions and during the Second World War its battalions served in Europe and Burma. In the course of its long history, the regiment provided the British Army with many distinguished soldiers including three field marshals: Viscounts Hill and Wolseley and Sir Evelyn Wood. Always tough and enduring in battle, it reflected the character of its main recruitment area - Glasgow and Lanarkshire - and in later years it took self-conscious pride when the Germans nicknamed its soldiers Giftzwerge, or poison dwarfs. The Cameronians puts its story into the context of British military history and makes use of personal testimony to reveal the life of the regiment.

The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders A Concise History

The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders A Concise History

Author: Trevor Royle Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/09/2008

The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders is one of the best-known regiments in the British Army. In a previous incarnation as the 93rd Highlanders, its soldiers were famed for being the 'thin red line' that repulsed the Russian heavy cavalry at the Battle of Balaklava during the Crimean War. When the regiment was ordered to disband in 1968 as part of wide-ranging defence cuts, a popular 'Save the Argylls' campaign was successful in keeping the regiment in being. In 2006, it became the 5th battalion of the new Royal Regiment of Scotland. Formed by two earlier regiments, The Argylls have a stirring history of service to the British Crown. They served all over the empire, taking part in the Indian Mutiny and the Boer War, and fought in both World Wars. In the post-war period the Argylls captured the public imagination in 1967 when they reoccupied the Crater district of Aden following a period of riots. Recruiting mainly from the west of Scotland, the regiment has a unique character and throughout its history has retained a fierce regimental pride which is summed up by its motto: 'sans peur', meaning 'without fear'. The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders puts its story into the context of British military history and makes use of personal testimony to reveal the life of the regiment.

The Flowers of the Forest Scotland and the First World War

The Flowers of the Forest Scotland and the First World War

Author: Trevor Royle Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/10/2007

On the brink of the First World War, Scotland was regarded throughout the British Isles as 'the workshop of the Empire'. Not only were Clyde-built ships known the world over, Scotland produced half of Britain's total production of railway equipment, and the cotton and jute industries flourished in Paisley and Dundee. In addition, Scots were a hugely important source of manpower for the colonies. Yet after the war, Scotland became an industrial and financial backwater. Emigration increased as morale slumped in the face of economic stagnation and decline. The country had paid a disproportionately high price in casualties, a result of huge numbers of volunteers and the use of Scottish battalions as shock troops in the fighting on the Western Front and Gallipoli - young men whom the novelist Ian Hay called 'the vanished generation'.In this book, Trevor Royle provides the first full account of how the war changed Scotland irrevocably by exploring a wide range of themes - the overwhelming response to the call for volunteers; the performance of Scottish military formations in 1915 and 1916; the militarization of the Scottish homeland; the resistance to war in Glasgow and the west of Scotland; and the boom in the heavy industries and the strengthening of women's role in society following on from wartime employment.

The Royal Scots A Concise History

The Royal Scots A Concise History

Author: Trevor Royle Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/07/2006

The Royal Scots are Scotland's oldest infantry regiment, with a tradition that stretches back to 1633. This first concise history of the regiment is based largely on the recollections of several generations of Royal Scots - men like Private McBane, who carried his three-year-old son into battle at Malplaquet, and Private Begbie, the youngest soldier to serve in the First World War. These first-hand accounts take the reader through the great wars of the eighteenth century, when Britain was a rising global power, through the setbacks and the triumphs of the Napoleonic Wars and on to the glorious years of the nineteenth century. The two world wars of the twentieth century saw the Royals expand in size, and there are full accounts of its meritorious service on all the main battle fronts. More recently, the regiment has been involved in operations in the Balkans and Iraq. In 2006, in one of the most radical changes in the country's defence policy, the Royal Scots will be amalgamated into the new Royal Regiment of Scotland. Royal Scots is, therefore, a timely celebration of the British Army's most venerable regiment, right of the line and second to none.

Civil War The War of the Three Kingdoms 1638-1660

Civil War The War of the Three Kingdoms 1638-1660

Author: Trevor Royle Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/01/2005

One late summer's day in 1642 two rival armies faced each other across the rolling Warwickshire countryside at Edgehill. There, Royalists faithful to King Charles I engaged in a battle with the supporters of the Parliament. Ahead lay even more desperate battles like Marston Moor and Naseby. The fighting was also to rage through Scotland and Ireland, notably at the siege of Drogheda and the decisive battle of Dunbar.Few periods in English history are more significant than that to which acclaimed author Trevor Royle turns his attention in CIVIL WAR. From his shrewd analyses of the characters who played their parts in the wars to his brilliantly concise descriptions of battles, Trevor Royle has produced a vivid and dramatic narrative of those turbulent years. His book also reveals how the new ideas and dispensations that followed from the wars - Cromwell's Protectorate, the Restoration of Charles II and the 'Glorious Revolution' of 1689 - made it possible for England, Ireland and Scotland to progress towards their own more distant future as democratic societies.

Fighting Mac The Downfall of Major-General Sir Hector Macdonald

Fighting Mac The Downfall of Major-General Sir Hector Macdonald

Author: Trevor Royle Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/09/2003

On a spring morning in 1903, Major-General Sir Hector Macdonald, one of Britain's greatest military heroes, took his life in a hotel room in Paris. A few days later he was buried hastily in an Edinburgh cemetary as his fellow countrymen tried to come to terms with the fact that one of Scotland's most famous soldiers had ended his life rather than face charges against his character.The suicide and its aftermath created a national scandal and one which still reverberates long after those dramatic events - it is now clear that the official files dealing with his case, the papers of the Judge Advocate have been destroyed. Macdonald or 'Fighting Mac' as he was known to an adoring public, was no ordinary soldier. A crofter's son who had risen from the ranks in the Victorian army, he covered himself with glory during a long and successful military career and in 1898 was widely acknowledged as the true hero of the Battle of Omdurman, which cemented British Imperial rule in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. Everything lay at his feet - a knighthood, honours, the respect of fellow generals such as Roberts and Kitchener - but Macdonald's career came to a shocking full stop when he stood accused of homosexuality and was ordered to face a court martial. Unable to come to terms with the disgrace, he committed suicide. That should have been the end of his story but so powerful was the myth created by Fighting Mac that people refused to believe he was dead. Soon rumours were circulating that Macdonald had faked his death and had adopted the persona of a prominent Prussian officer, the future Field Marshal August con Mackensen, one of Germany's great leaders during the First World War. FIGHTING MAC tells the true story behind his disgrace and sheds new light on the myths....

Crimea The Great Crimean War 1854-1856

Crimea The Great Crimean War 1854-1856

Author: Trevor Royle Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/11/2000

The Crimean War is one of the most compelling subjects in British history. Everyone knows about the Charge of the Light Brigade and men like Raglan and Cardigan, have become household names. The story of Florence Nightingale, 'the Lady with the Lamp', and the heroic reporting of William Russell, THE TIMES' intrepid correspondent, and the sonorous names of the battles, are ingrained deep within the British military consciousness - Sebastopol, Inkerman, Balaclava and the Alma. Trevor Royle demonstrates how the Crimean War was a watershed in world history: coming between the defeat of Napoleon in 1815 and the opening shots of the First World War in 1914 it pointed the way to what mass warfare would be like for soldiers in the twentieth century.

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