© Peter Hodgkinson 2016

Dr Peter E Hodgkinson Chartered Clinical Psychologist - Military Historian

Infantry Battalion Commanders

Peter’s doctoral research at the University of Birmingham concerned the infantry battalion commanders (COs) of the British Expeditionary (BEF) 1914-1918.

These officers emerged from a small cadre of professionals and amateurs (the former chosen on seniority, the latter on social position) and, with an infusion of adept citizens, evolved into a tough, experienced group promoted largely on merit.

He has built a database of all the BEF’s infantry COs from which details in the form of listings of CO for each regiment are available at www.ww1infantrycos.co.uk.





















Great War


His full work on infantry Commanding Officers, British Infantry Battalion Commanders in the First World War, was published by Ashgate, now Routledge, in January 2015, as both a hardback and e-book.

Buy it from Amazon here:





The review in the Western Front Association’s Stand To! states:

“This is an important book. The research is impressive, the text clear, the conclusions are sound and illuminating …”





Peter contributed a chapter on the BEF’s infantry COs of August 1914 to Stemming the Tide, published by Helion, a book voted runner-up for the 2013 Templer Medal.

He is currently working on a chapter for the 1916 volume in this series on ‘Evolution of Infantry Battalion Command on the Somme’.


His article written jointly with Australian historian Dr William Westerman, on the training of COs, appears in the Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research 93 (2015), pp.120-138. (See downloads page).



Reviewing the book for Strife Journal Dr William Philpott, author of Bloody Victory, wrote:

“This book is highly recommended as an important contribution to the study of the British army in the First World War, and of military command more broadly.”


Geofrey Hayes, writing for H-Net.org concluded:

“This is a remarkable piece of scholarship, a fine example of the Birmingham school of military history. The combination of statistical work and rich personal accounts stands as a testament to the author’s exhaustive curiosity”.


Peter’s lecture on the infantry COs of 1914, given at the AGM of the Western Front Association in 2014 can be seen on YouTube.


British Infantry Battalion Commanders in the First World War (Routledge Studies in First World War History)