Many people have the idea that the 'Great War' on the Western Front was simple, if ghastly, to fight - with few tactics, and unbroken, monotonous, trench lines as the main feature of the battlefield. In such a scenario soldiers with rifles and bayonets charging each other in blind obedience to stupid repetitious orders are imagined as archetypal of battle. Though undeniably bloody the war was in fact a ferment of new ideas and new weapons. Gas, flame throwers, super-heavy artillery, concrete bunkers, tanks, aircraft and other innovations were all introduced, whilst older notions such as barbed wire, machine guns and armour took on a new lease of life.
Museum curator and university external examiner Dr Stephen Bull studied at the University of Wales, and worked at the BBC and National Army Museum in London. Now Curator of Military History and Archaeology for Lancashire County Museums he has curated exhibitions, completed an MBA, and been elected to the Institute for Archaeologists. Published in a variety of languages on both sides of the Atlantic he has been listed for the Portico Prize for Literature. For 2014 he is working on a photo volume of the Western Front to be published in US and European editions.
Stephen has made many TV and radio appearances including the series 'Battlefield Detectives' and 'Instruments of Death', both shown internationally, and the BBC 'One Show'. His book of the Channel 4 series 'Last War Heroes', is available in North American, UK and Norwegian editions. The series took Canadian Screen Award for 'best history' under its US title 'D-Day to Victory' in 2013. A consultant to the University of Oxford, Stephen has assisted in the creation of a European database to document the individual experience of the First World War through archives, photographs, and objects. The photograph shows Stephen (right) with Lorenz Andraes at the German National Library, 'DNB', Frankfurt.