Nick Metcalfe was born in Northern Ireland into a family that for generations had worked in the linen mills of County Armagh and County Antrim.
He was commissioned from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1982. In a successful military career over the course of 27 years he served all over the world; he spent just short of eleven years on operations in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Sierra Leone and Iraq. He was awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal in 1989 and the MBE in 1997. He retired in 2009.
His current projects are: an online project to examine the lives of men buried in the United States and commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission; a 'prequel' to his book about the Queen's Gallantry Medal, examining awards of the Colonial Police Medal for Gallantry; the publication of the letters of a First World War commanding officer; and a series of essays that will be published on his blog.