Dr Michael Reeve

Lecturer in History


I am a historian of modern Britain, with broad interests in the social and cultural history of war and conflict, empire, consumption and coastal-urban contexts in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. I am particularly interested in the study of morale and resilience, and how practices such as smoking figure in their maintenance for historical actors, as well as the reflection of such practices in popular arts and culture. The urban realm is also a focus, particularly coastal towns and cities in the context of war and empire.

I have earned degrees in history and social and cultural history from Leeds Beckett University and the University of Leeds respectively. I was awarded a PhD in History by the University of Hull in 2019. I am a Fellow of Advance HE and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Follow me on Twitter: @DrMichaelReeve.

Related courses:


Social and Cultural History

Related Courses

Undergraduate modules:

  • HIS405 - The Long Weekend: Britain in the Interwar Years.
  • HIS506 – People and Places: Researching Local History.
  • HIS604 – The Sun Never Set and the Blood Never Dried: The British Empire in the Long Nineteenth Century.
  • HIS406 – History of Identity: Sexuality, Class, Race and Gender.
  • HIS509 – Professional Contexts and Public History.
  • HIS602 – Crime, Justice and Punishment: 1750-1950.

Postgraduate modules:

  • HIS707 - City and Countryside in Transition: 1870-1914.

My current research is focused on several intersecting strands related to wartime resilience and endurance. Firstly, I am conducting research focused on South Asian soldiers and ‘comforts funds’ (including efforts to provide tobacco, food and entertainment to troops) during the First World War and Second World War, attempting to contribute a new perspective on soldierly welfare during the conflict. Secondly, a concurrent project is focused on voluntary policing during the First World War, exploring the role of the Special Constabulary in enforcing public safety regulations, as well as the role of non-official forms of 'policing' in working-class communities.

In addition to my doctoral research (2015-19), previous professional research projects include:

  • Researcher and consultant for the Big Ideas Project, ‘The Unremembered: World War One’s Army of Workers’ strand (funded by Big Lottery Fund and the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government). This work focused on the British Labour Corps on the Western Front and POWs in Lincolnshire and the Humber region (2018).
  • AHRC-funded work placement at North of England Civic Trust (now known as the Cultura Trust), Newcastle-upon Tyne. Research and public engagement project related to the First World War heritage of the Northumberland coast, specifically Roberts Battery in New Hartley (2017).


2021 Bombardment, Public Safety and Resilience in English Coastal Communities during the First World War. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021.

Journal articles

2021 ‘‘An Empire Dock’: Place Promotion and the Local Acculturation of Imperial Discourse in ‘Britain’s Third Port’’, Northern History, 58 (1) (2021), pp. 129-150. https://doi.org/10.1080/0078172X.2020.1856566. Winner of the 2020 Gordon Forster Essay Prize.

2019 ‘‘Are we downhearted? NO!’: representing war damage and destruction following bombardment on the First World War ‘home front’’, Critical Military Studies, May 2019 (First View). https://doi.org/10.1080/23337486.2019.1611695.

2017 (with A. McTominey) ‘Grim up North?: Northern Identity, History, and Heritage’, International Journal of Regional and Local History, 12 (2) (2017), pp. 65-76. https://doi.org/10.1080/20514530.2017.1400723.

‘‘The darkest town in England’: patriotism and anti-German sentiment in Hull, 1914-19’, International Journal of Regional and Local History, 12 (1) (2017), pp. 42-63. https://doi.org/10.1080/20514530.2017.1353770. Winner of the 2016 Yorkshire History Prize (Beresford Award).

2016 ‘Special Needs, Cheerful Habits: Smoking and the Great War in Britain, 1914-18’, Cultural and Social History, 13 (4) (2016), pp. 483-501. https://doi.org/10.1080/14780038.2016.1237409.

Book chapters

2021 ‘‘Something-to-smoke, at the right time, is a godsend’: voluntary action and the provision of cigarettes to soldiers during the First World War’, in Redcoats to Tommies: The Experience of the British Soldier from the Eighteenth Century, eds. Kevin Linch and Matthew Lord (Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2021).

Book reviews

2019 Barbara McClune, Star shell reflections 1914-1916: the illustrated Great War diaries of Jim Maultsaid, in First World War Studies, 9 (3) (2019), pp. 367-8. DOI: 10.1080/19475020.2019.1657313.

2017 Brad Beaven, Karl Bell and Robert James (eds.), Port Towns and Urban Cultures: International Histories of the Waterfront, c. 1700–2000, in Urban History, 44 (2) (2017), pp. 347-9. https://doi.org/10.1017/s09639....

Encyclopaedia entries

2018 ‘Smoking and Cigarette Consumption’, in: 1914-1918-online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War, ed. by Ute Daniel, Peter Gatrell, Oliver Janz, Heather Jones, Jennifer Keene, Alan Kramer, and Bill Nasson, issued by Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin 2018-05-23. DOI: https://encyclopedia.1914-1918-online.net/article/smoking_and_cigarette_consumption/2018-05-23?version=1.0.

Other publications

2018 (with A. McTominey) ‘Epilogue: T’other Half’ in These Northern Types, ed. Oli Bentley (Leeds: Split, 2018). Link: https://www.split.co.uk/work/these-northern-types/.

Selected blogs and online articles

2022 ‘A War in the Air and on the Coast: Civilian ‘Night Patrols’ and the Defence of Hull during the First World War’, Port Towns & Urban Cultures project website, February 2022. Available: http://porttowns.port.ac.uk/a-war-in-the-air-and-on-the-coast-civilian-night-patrols-and-the-defence-of-hull-during-the-first-world-war/

2020 ‘DIY facemasks and the domestication of personal protection in the First World War’, Social History Society: Research Exchange blog, https://socialhistory.org.uk/shs_exchange/diy-facemasks-fww/, 13 May 2020.

2017 ‘Engaging local communities in the North East in their First World War heritage’, blog, Heritage Consortium website, heritageconsortium.ac.uk/2017/10/10/engaging-local-communities-in-the-north-east-on-their-first-world-war-heritage-by-mike-reeve, 10 October 2017.

‘Museum review – The National Army Museum, London’, Social History blog, socialhistoryblog.com/museum-review-the-national-army-museum-london-by-michael-reeve, 22 May 2017.

2016 ‘The ‘North Sea Incident’ of 1904 and the consequences for Anglo-German relations’, Port Towns & Urban Cultures project website, Oct. 2016. Available: porttowns.port.ac.uk/north-sea-incident-1904-consequences-anglo-german-relations.

‘Transcending Space? Maritime Place Identity and Mass Mobilisation in Hull during the First World War’, Port Towns & Urban Cultures project website, Jan. 2016. Available: porttowns.port.ac.uk/transcending-space

I am a committee member and social media officer at History Lab Plus (HL+), a network for early career historians based at the Institute of Historical Research in London. From 2017-20, I was the web editor and social media officer for the Society for the Study of Labour History and a co-opted member of the SSLH executive committee.

At BGU, I am the History liaison for the Foundation Year programme.

I am a member of the following academic associations and learned societies:

Coastal History Network
European Association for Urban History
History Lab Plus, Institute of Historical Research (IHR), London (committee member)
International Maritime History Association
International Society for First World War Studies
Royal Historical Society (Fellow)
Society for the History of War

Historical consultant and interviewee, Britain by Beach with Anita Rani. Featured in episode 4, ‘Northumberland and Yorkshire’. A documentary series, shown on Channel 4 in November 2021, produced by Plimsoll Productions: https://www.channel4.com/programmes/britain-by-beach.

Appearance on the ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’ podcast (Episode 135), presented by Dr Tom Thorpe of the Western Front Association. Published 4 November 2019 on iTunes and Spotify. Available: https://www.kensingtons.org.uk/podcast/ep135-north-east-coastal-communities-during-the-great-war-dr-michael-reeve/.

Co-convenor (with Dr Ann-Marie Foster, Northumbria University) on a First World War Network funded public engagement project at Heugh Battery Museum, Hartlepool. This project led to new museum interpretation and a new commemorative narrative for the museum's website, alongside a public lecture at the museum in 2019 (2018-19).