Book Prize Nod for Birkbeck fellow

Dr Clare Makepeace is in the running for Templer Medal Best First Book Prize

Birkbeck’s Dr Clare Makepeace has been shortlisted for a major military writing prize with her debut book, Captives Of War.

The work, published by Cambridge University Press, is nominated for the Templer Medal Best First Book Prize, awarded by the Society for Army Historical Research.

The Templer Medal – commemorating Field Marshal Sir Gerald Templer – is awarded to the most significant book relating to the British, Commonwealth or Dominion armies of the preceding year. An additional first book prize was introduced from 2014 with Clare’s book against four other titles.

Captives Of War is based on the doctoral dissertation she carried out at Birkbeck between 2009 and 2013 and is a pioneering study of the experiences and emotional lives of British prisoners of war in Germany and Italy during the Second World War.

As well as tackling the stories of wartime imprisonment through the loneliness, frustration and guilt felt by those who were captured, it also looks at the challenge that their homecomings represented.

Clare, an honorary research fellow at the College, said: "I am honoured to have been shortlisted for the Templer Medal Best First Book Prize.  It felt like a great achievement to publish my first book on prisoners of war but for a panel of experts to consider it might be worthy of a prize feels something quite special.'

“I started off studying history at Birkbeck as an uncertain part-time MA student in 2006, with no idea where it would lead. I am so delighted it has taken me to the shortlist of the Templer Medal Best First Book Prize, and a big part of that is due to my fantastic mentor, Professor Joanna Bourke, and the teaching and encouragement of many others in Birkbeck's school of history."

The winners will be announced, and the prizes awarded, at the Society’s AGM on 24 April.

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