About Me

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I have always been obsessed with history. My Dad, a London cabbie, drove me around the streets of the capital from the youngest age showing me how every building and stone of London bears witness to the past.

My passion for history led me to undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and then a career in University teaching and research. From 2008 to 2024 I was Professor of Modern British History at the University of Kent. For almost 40 years since my first visit to the First World War battlefields aged 16 I have studied these battles and their lingering footprint on the landscape; the experiences of the people who returned to this devasted zone in the 1920s to rebuild their homes and lives; the pilgrims and tourists who later visited the graves and memorials; and the vision and work of the architects who designed the cemeteries and memorials.

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There are no longer any human survivors of the First World War; the landscape is the last surviving witness. Every view and every muddy track, as well as each cemetery and memorial, can take us back in time and show us something of the Great War.

I have established Connelly Contours to share with a wider audience what I have learned about the imprint of history on landscape and place, and so unlock pathways to the past for you.

Professor Mark Connelly

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  1. Battlefield guiding participant
  2. Mark’s wonderfully erudite presentation ably demonstrates his great depth of knowledge and we are so fortunate that he is happy to share his knowledge with us.

    Feedback from online seminar
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Your Guide

I am passionate about ensuring everyone can experience the excitement of encountering the past in the present. Over the last fifteen years I have been involved in making academic research about the Great War accessible to and engaging for all, creating a wide range of bespoke talks, events and tours.