I am a military historian and archaeologist with a particular interest in the First World War. As we commemorate the centenary of the Great War I want to bring this period of history alive to adults and children of all ages by talking about the experiences of real soldiers who fought in the trenches. I have a number of talks that specifically tie in with exam syllabi including a talk on developments in trauma medicine in the First World War trenches (GCSE Edexcel) and The Changing Nature of Warfare 1790-1918 (A Level) ( see list below). I can also bring along items of equipment and, even deactivated weapons, to bring the learning experience alive.
As well as writing many books on this period I have consulted on a variety of archaeological projects along the Western Front . I co-presented the popular BBC2 series Two Men in a Trench and have made regular appearances on Tony Robinson's Time Team as well as being the lead historian for Channel 5's The Trench Detectives.
I was the military expert on Steven Spielberg's film War Horse and was involved in the production of the film from the early days of the screenplay to the last day of filming. This experience gave me a fascinating insight into the world of the Hollywood blockbuster and how, sometimes, historical accuracy has to take a back seat! Unexpectedly, I was also given a small acting role in the film. More recently I acted as the historical adviser on the recent Wonder Woman film.
My TV credits include:-
Pearl Harbour: The New Evidence (2016, Channel 4) Military historian
Tony Robinson's World War 1 (2014) Consultant and military historian
Operation Ouch (2013, CBBC) Consultant
Explosion 1812 (2012, History Channel) Military historian
The Real War Horse (2012, Channel 4) Military historian
Bullets, Boots and Bandages (2012, BBC4) Lead historian
Who Do You Think You Are? John Bishop (2012, BBC) Military historian
Who Do You Think You Are? Robin Gibb (2011, BBC) Military historian
I have built a replica of a First World War trench near Lewes in Sussex. This will be officially launched in March 2017 as a fully operational educational resource for school trips. Hill 60, as the trench will be known, will also be open for private groups. The trench is already being filmed for television projects.
Along with colleagues, I can also help schools to build their own historically accurate trench system. I am currently involved in three such projects and welcome discussions with any schools or museums seeking to create their own trench.
I offer a range of talks on the First World War.The RAMC talk complements the new GCSE History module on the history of medicine. (see testimonial below) The Changing Nature of Warfare talk ties in with A Level History modules:-
Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) in the First World War: Developments in trauma medicine
The Changing Nature of Warfare, 1790-1918
Not Just a White War: The Great War and Empire
Filming War Horse - the magic of the movies: My experience as the military adviser on Steven Spielberg's blockbuster.
Digging the Trenches: the archaeology of the Western Front - including a detailed look at the background of four soldiers whose remains were excavated.
Ghosts on the Somme. Filming and photography of the battle in June-July 1916. An explanation of one of the first war films ever made and an analysis of the manipulation of truth and the use of artifice.
Feeding Tommy: Rations and cooking on the Western Front - how the average soldier cooked and ate in the trenches.
The Platoon: The life of Joseph John Steward on the Western Front, 1916-19. Based on an unpublished memoir this talk also acts as a guide to researching a Great War ancestor.
Bombs, Bullets and Bayonets: The Weapons of Trench Warfare - illustrated with all the "inert" weapons in question.
WAACs and FANYs: The experience of women on the First World War front in the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps and the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry
First World War Maps - how maps developed to respond to the changing nature of war on the Western Front.
I am happy to adapt my talks for a particular audience. I am willing to travel to various parts of the UK and to travel abroad. I have recently undertaken a lecture tour in Canada and have worked as a forensic trauma specialist for the Norwegian Army. I also lead regular tours of First World War battlefields and am happy to create tailor-made tours for schools.
I am an honorary lecturer at University College London's School of Archaeology and an honorary research fellow at University of Birmingham's War Studies Centre. I have previously worked as Education Officer at the National Army Museum and as Director of the Royal Logistic Corps Museum in Surrey. I have extensive experience of talking to all age groups and enjoy talking to professionals and interested amateurs alike.
I am happy to negotiate fees and use the Society of Authors' guidelines to do so.
"Who would have thought that I would get to cock and shoot a Lee Enfield rifle in my classroom? Andy Robertshaw's visit was amazing and I would really recommend a visit to help you learn about the war."
"Mr Robertshaw brought the whole four years of WW1 to life in one morning! I never imagined how much equipment one soldier would have to carry....It was amazing and we all learned a lot. Mr Robertshaw knows a lot of information and makes it funny and memorable."
"Thank you for a very enjoyable and entertaining talk. We feel, as staff, that we've all learned something new and you've generated a buzz among our students for medicine in the trenches. I hope you will consider returning next year so we can build on this success and enable future Year 10 groups to have the same experience."
Springwood High School, King's Lynn
"The staff were amazed at how he captivated the whole school in assembly (staff included!) and then went from the Reception class to Year 6 with such ease. This s not something many people can do. He was fantastic and I felt my school was very lucky to have met him!"
A West Sussex junior school
"Mr Robertshaw's enthusiasm for the subject is contagious and, each year, my students come back inspired, with a concrete understanding of the subject. Mr Robertshaw does not simply lecture - he allows students to touch, hear and see the war through objects, video and activities. I cannot think of a better way to experience World War One."
Institut Nortre Dame, France
"We had an excellent day. The students really appreciated his enthusiasm, commitment, depth of knowledge and range of props -they were utterly engaged throughout. We would be delighted to invite him back."
Tonbridge Grammar School
For interviews please contact Andy on 0776 806 5054 For details about availability for talks etc. please contact Elizabeth Kaye at firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 07887 977537
I aim to bring the First World War to life using the real-life experiences of the soldiers who fought in this terrible conflict.