About

Jonathan Vernon is a 2nd year part-time MA student at the University of Wolverhampton studying ‘The History of Britain and the First World War’.

He has an MA (Geography) from the University of Oxford and an MA ODE (Open and Distance Education) from The Open University. He is a graduate of the School of Communication Arts, London.

This is his learning Journal.

This is where he likes to gather themes, readings, lecture notes, images and book reviews to do with the course, and the First World War in general. Many of these pages are deliberately Private though can be accessed with a password if asked. Often they are cryptic notes on books, papers or lectures though.

Jonathan  has a First World War blog based on the 3 1/2 hour recorded interviews he did with his late grandfather John A. Wilson MM.‘That’s Nothing Compared to Passchendaele’.  ‘Jack’ from Shotley Bridge, Co. Durham, enlisted as a private in the Durham Light Infantry, was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps then served on the Somme and Ypres Salient until on 27 December 1917 he successfully transferred to the Royal Flying Corps. Accept as a pilot cadet he went on to complete his flying and was demobbed in May 1919. Part of the RFC Military Training, which he was obliged to do despite 18 months in the army, took place in Hastings and a set of postcards show him in uniform and in swimming gear on the beach.

Jonathan Vernon is the Digital Editor for The Western Front Association with responsibilities for the website, monthly e-newsletter and Facebook.

His 15,000 word dissertation will be on the billeting of men in Lewes between 14 September 1914 and 4 October 1914 taking in the context of the early months of the Great War and its social impact. There is no current thesis, but it may be along the lines of the British people, in more academic terminology, being ‘up for it’ within weeks, the reality of ‘total’ war, even if it wasn’t called this, quite apparent by the end of September 1914. As well as setting the wider context, before dealing with the specific of the place of Lewes in the early months of the war, a unique opportunity exists to work with Edward Reeves Photography (est. 1858) to see how much we can learn from photographs taken at the time.

Through the University of Wolverhampton, I am able to turn to the following for advice and support: Prof. Gary Sheffield, Prof. Stephen Badsey, Prof. Peter Simkins, and Dr. Spencer Jones. They have each in turn expressed delight at the proposed project and feel the focus should deliver a suitable dissertation for the MA in History of Britain and the First World War.