Dr Frances Hurd

Location: Chichester, West Sussex
About me...

As an experienced public speaker I am in regular demand from local societies, PROBUS groups, arts centres and Women’s Institutes amongst others. My PhD is in history: I was an Ofsted inspector for 19 years and also inspected schools in Abu Dhabi. I have continued historical research throughout my life and I have been an invited speaker at conferences organised by the Imperial War Museum.

About my talks...

I can give  all of my talks as remote presentations using Zoom.

I live in Chichester, West Sussex and for ‘in attendance’ presentations I will travel up to 30 miles, but regret I do not take evening bookings except within the Portsmouth/Chichester area.

All my talks are illustrated by PowerPoint photographs. I have my own projector though I am also happy to bring talks on a memory stick and use an installed system. Audiences need to provide a screen or pale wall for projection. I have done it onto a brick wall with a noticeboard in the middle but it did affect the quality somewhat!




My fee is currently £80. I charge 50p a mile travel expenses (obviously this isn’t needed for a Zoom presentation!)

My Contact Details:

contact by email please

Obsession, Enterprise and Death: the Industrial Revolution and three men's lives'

Economic success came at a high price for individuals – even those who appeared to profit from it most.

Sex, Violence and Alcohol: Some hidden after-effects of the Great War

Some of those who returned from the war were profoundly changed by their experiences, but it was only their families who recognised it – and sometimes paid a high price.

Quakers at War: what do they do and why do they do it?

In 1947 work of Quakers (Society of Friends) during the Second World War was recognised with the Nobel Peace Prize. Why did they receive it? What have Quakers done to help combatants and civilians during wartime, and when did they start doing it? And who are the Quakers, anyway?

Penguins in the Desert: a glimpse behind the scenes in Abu Dhabi

A brief account of the extraordinary history of the United Arab Emirates, then: who are the Emirati and what are their lives like? Who else lives there and what are their lives like? What does the future hold?

Lives, Interrupted: ten young officers in the Great War

The chance find of an evocative photograph launched me on a quest to trace the lives and deaths of ten men and their family before and after the war.


'Cropped Ears, Solitary Confinement and Madness: the life of Dr John Bastwick'

How an ambitious society doctor found himself in prison, suffered a breakdown, wrote a vicious attack on the Archbishop of Canterbury, and had his ears lopped off.

Secrets and Lies: Adventures in other people's family history

Every family has its hidden stories and all of them reveal fascinating insights into different areas and locations. Questions I have answered for clients include ‘Was my great-grandfather really Scottish?’ ‘Why was my grandmother not brought up by her parents?’ and ‘Is it true that my grandfather saved two men’s lives in the First World War?’

From Romans to Normans: the birth of the English Parish Church

Why do we have parish churches, and how did they develop? What did early churches look like, and where do examples survive? Are there any links between pagan sites and Christian ones?


Streets Paved With Gold? Immigrants in Victorian London

Frances Hurd

London has always been a magnet for migrants from all over the UK and the world, seeking a better life and very often an escape from persecution. What sort of welcome did they receive in Queen Victoria’s time?

Officers and Gentlemen? facing disgrace in a 1920s courtroom

Frances Hurd 2

Whatever their original background, a man who’d served as an officer in the First World War was expected to uphold a certain standard of behaviour — even after the war was over, and whatever the circumstances. This talk examines some examples of men who found this difficult.

Homosexuality in the First World War: a purge of gay officers

Gay men were believed to be cowards and possibly traitors: in 1916 it appears that the War Office decided to get rid of as many as it could …

Dr Frances Hurd Contact Details:

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