Meet our Patrons and Presidents

Guild Patron

Lord Richard Faulkner of Worcester

The Guild was very fortunate to have the internationally known historian, author and battlefield guide Richard Holmes as its original Patron. He supported the idea of the Guild from the outset and his untimely death in 2011 came as a great shock to members.

After a long search the Guild invited Lord Richard Faulkner of Worcester to be its new Patron.
Lord Faulkner of Worcester is an active working peer and a Deputy Speaker in the House of Lords. He served as a minister in the whips’ office in the last government, and has a particular interest in transport heritage and policy.

He is a trustee of the Science Museum, and of the National Football Museum. He was the founder of the parliamentary all-party war heritage group, and remains its chairman. He is a member of the government’s advisory board on the commemoration of the centenary of the Great War.

Guild President

Professor Gary Sheffield MA PhD FRHistS FRSA

Professor Gary Sheffield is one of Britain’s foremost military historians. He specialises in Britain at war, 1914-45, and is the author of a number of acclaimed histories, including the best-selling Forgotten Victory: The First World War – Myths and Realities (2001) and The Chief: Douglas Haig and the British Army (2011), which was chosen as a military book of the year by The Times and was shortlisted for the Duke of Westminster’s Medal for Military Literature.

In 2003, he shared the Templer Medal for Military Literature for his contribution to The British General Staff: Innovation and Reform (2002). His other works include Douglas Haig: War Diaries and Letters (edited with John Bourne, 2005); Leadership in the Trenches: Officer-Man Relations, Morale and Discipline in The British Army in the Era of the First World War (2000). He is working on a study of the British and Dominion soldier in the Second World War, and, with Dr John Bourne, on a scholarly edition of the First World War papers of General Sir Henry Rawlinson.

A Fellow of both the Royal Historical Society and the Royal Society of Arts, he was educated at the University of Leeds (BA, MA) and gained his PhD from King’s College, London. He is currently Professor of War Studies at the University of Wolverhampton, and was formerly Land Warfare Historian on the Higher Command and Staff Course at the Joint Services Staff College, where his students included many of today’s most senior generals, admirals and air marshals. He sits on the Advisory Board of the Journal of the Royal United Services Institute, and is Regimental Historian of The Rifles.

Guild Vice-President

Air Vice Marshal Steve Abbott CBE MPhil BA FCMI RAF (Retd.)

AVM Abbott joined the RAF on 15 September 1974 as a University Cadet. He gained a BA Honours degree at the University of East Anglia in 1977. He joined 37 Sqn RAF Regt as a Rapier Flight Commander in 1978. He completed the Long Gunnery Staff course at the RSA Larkhill in 1981, followed by tours on 27 Sqn RAF Regt at RAF Leuchars and 19 Sqn RAF Regt at RAF Brize Norton. During this period, he completed 5 operational tours in Belize. In 1985, he was posted to RAF Coningsby as the Station Regt Officer, before returning to GBAD duties in 1987 as the Deputy Sqn Cdr of 63 Sqn RAF Regt at RAF Gutersloh. During this period, he completed an operational tour in the Falkland Islands.