Dr Alex Mayhew

Dr Alex Mayhew

LSE Fellow


Office Hours
Mon 14:30-15:30 (KSW.3.01)
Connect with me

Key Expertise
First World War Studies, Modern British History, Interdisciplinary History

About me

I completed my PhD in the Department of International History in December 2018, where I was an LSE PhD Studentship holder. My thesis – Making Sense of the Western Front: English Infantrymen’s Morale and Perception of Crisis during the Great War – was supervised by Professor Heather Jones (now UCL) and Professor David Stevenson (LSE). It was awarded a prestigious international scholarship by the Historial de la Grande Guerre in 2017. My work straddles military and cultural history but is also highly interdisciplinary. It engages with a broad array of theory from anthropology, behavioural economics, psychology, and sociology as it unpicks soldiers’ morale. Broadly, my research looks to understand combatant’s mentalities and explores how their environment (social, physical, and psychological) informed their frames of reference and conditioned their perceptions of crisis. I am now in the process of turning my doctoral work into a monograph. My next project will shift its perspective to look at similar issues in the British Army during the Second World War. My other research interests include the history of mentalities, national identity, and patriotism. I completed my undergraduate degree at King’s College, London, where I won the Brewer Prize for Modern History in 2013. Before embarking on my PhD, I was on the management fast-stream of an international travel company and also interned for the Royal United Services Institute, a military/foreign affairs think tank. I have previously taught HY226: The Great War, 1914-1918, but moved to LSE100 in 2016. During the course of my doctoral studies I represented International History research students on the Research Students Consultative Forum and also sat on the Academic and Student Affairs Committee as research student representative. I also co-convened the HY509 International History Research Seminar.


LSE Class Teacher Award (2017)

Bourse Gerda Henkel du Centre International de Recherche de l’Historial de la Grande Guerre (2017)

LSE PhD Scholarship (2014-2018)

Brewer Prize for Modern History, King’s College London (2013)


‘A War Imagined: Postcards and the Maintenance of Long Distance Relationships during the First World War’, War in History [Accepted: Awaiting Publication]

Hopes of 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 (Routledge, 2018) [included as one of five ‘key chapters,’ from across Routledge’s publications, in The First World War: A Routledge Freebook,released to mark the centenary of the end of the Great War.]

Fields of Battles – Lands of Peace 1914-1918: An Interview with Michael St Maur Sheil’, RUSI Journal, Vol. 161, Issue 4 (Aug/Sep, 2016)

‘The Patrie and English Patriotism: Infantrymen’s Identity and Perception of Home during the First World War [currently in preparation]

Conferences and Public Events

‘Making Sense of the Western Front: Attachment to Space and Place during the First World War’, ‘First World War: Past, Present and Future’ Conference, First World War Network, Edinburgh Napier University, June 2019

‘The 1918 Vegetable Show at the BEF’s Le Havre Base Depot: A New Window onto the Great War’, ‘1918-2018. The End of the War & the Reshaping of a Century’ Conference, University of Wolverhampton, September 2018

‘Making Sense of the Western Front: Identity, Morale and Englishmen, 1914-1918’, Historial de la Grande Guerre, Péronne (Fr.), November 2017

‘A Home Imagined: Morale, Memories and Dreams of England on the Western Front’, In the Heart of the Great War Conference, Mons (Bel.), October 2017

‘Mud, Blood and Not So Much Poppycock: “Myth” Formation and the British Army in Late 1917’, ‘Thy Myriad Faces of War: 1917 and its Legacy’ Conference, Wellington (NZ), April 2017

‘“I Faced the Depths of Misery”: Winter and Morale on the Western Front,’ Institute of Historical Research, ‘War, Society and Culture’ Seminar, London, March 2017

‘Hopes of Peace: Morale and the Future on the Western Front, 1914-1918,’ ‘War Time’ 9thConference of the International Society for First World War Studies, Oxford, November 2016

‘“Long Distance Relationships”: Postcards to and from the Western Front during the First World War.’ LSE HY509 International History Research Seminar, London, September 2016

‘The Face of First World War Battlefields and Battles,’ Graduate Summer School, Historial de la Grande Guerre, Péronne and Verdun (Fr.), June/July 2016

‘From Bilaik to Blighty: Tracing British Imperial and Military History through Language,’ LSE/Columbia Research Seminar, London, May 2016

‘Training and Morale: The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry,’ BCMH ‘New Research in Military History Conference,’ London, October 2015