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Fort Nelson

Fort talks

Arthur Conan Doyle and the fight for body armour 1914-18
24th October - 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

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Image: Arthur Conan Doyle Collection, Lancelyn Green Bequest, Portsmouth City Council

Philip Abbott, Royal Armouries Archives and Records Manager, will give an account of how the creator of Sherlock Holmes used his fame to campaign for the adoption of helmets, body armour and shields by the British Army to reduce the horrific casualties on the Western Front.

Tickets cost £5 and include light refreshments

You may also be interested in Philip’s book Saving lives: Arthur Conan Doyle and the fight for body armour 1914-18, available from our online shop.

Inspired by a collection of letters received by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle during the First World War, Philip sets out to explore the campaign to provide body armour to British soldiers serving in the trenches.

Setting the letters in the context of the terrible losses suffered during the Battle of the Somme, Abbott reveals the actions of the War Office and Ministry of Munitions in providing better protection for the troops. He examines Conan Doyle’s personal motives for involvement, and investigates the part played by another Edinburgh graduate, Caleb Saleeby, in promoting the development of helmets, body armour and shields.