Alex Mayhew

Alex Mayhew

Research Interest

Alex is a historian of modern warfare and is particularly interested in the ways in which individuals navigate crises – the First World War providing an excellent case study of this. His work has explored soldiers’ morale, their sensemaking and psychologies, as well as their relationship with society and the environment. This is the topic of his first book, Making Sense of the Great War, and has informed much of his work to date.  

His early contributions to the field meant that the International Society for First World War Studies chose him to deliver their second annual Denis Showalter Memorial Lecture for an Emerging Scholar. His next project will investigate individuals’ perceptions of the past and of history in the Great War. 
Between 2014 and 2018, Alex undertook his doctorate at the LSE after graduating from King’s College London in 2013 with the top first in modern history. At the LSE, he held an LSE PhD scholarship with his PhD being awarded a further international prize by the Historial de la Grande Guerre, France, in 2017. During this time, he also taught in the Department of International History and on LSE100.  
After completing his doctorate in 2018, he worked as an LSE Fellow for LSE100, helping to redesign the programme entirely in 2020-21. Following this, he spent a year working as a Learning Developer in LSE LIFE. In 2022, he moved to the University of Birmingham as an Assistant Professor in the Social and Cultural History of the First World War. At Birmingham he convened (and helped to design) their innovative MA in First World War Studies, which was taught at the National Army Museum. He returned to the Department of International History in September 2023.  
Beyond the LSE, Alex is an external examiner on the MA (Distance Learning) in War Studies at King’s College London and has worked as an educational consultant, helping organisations develop courses on topics such as historical and academic skills, educational development, and sustainability. At present, he is a historical consultant for BBC Bitesize and works with secondary educators through the PTI (formerly the Prince’s Trust). 


Making Sense of the Great War: Crisis, Englishness, and Morale on the Western Front, 1914-1918 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2023).  

‘British Expeditionary Force Vegetable Shows, Allotment Culture, and Life Behind the Lines during the Great War’, Historical Journal, Vol. 64, Issue 5 (Dec. 2021), pp. 1355-1378. This article was showcased in The Times (3 February 2021), on Times Radio (same date), and in LSE’s Research for the World (4 May 2021).  

‘A War Imagined: Postcards and the Maintenance of Long-Distance Relationships during the Great War’, War in History, Vol. 28, Issue 2 (April 2021), pp. 301-332. 

‘Historiography 1918 – Today (Great Britain)’, 1914-1918 Online: International Encyclopaedia of the First World War, 23 February 2021. 

‘Hoping for Victorious Peace: Morale and Perceptions of the Future on the Western Front’, in A. Luptak, H. Smyth and L. Halewood (eds.), War Time: First World War Perspectives on Temporality (Abingdon, 2018). Included as one of five ‘key chapters’ from across Routledge’s publications in The First World War: A Routledge Freebook