Patrick Watt is Curator of Modern History and Military Collections.

Patrick WattPatrick Watt gained a BA (Hons) in History from the Open University and a MSc by Research from the University of Edinburgh, where he was affiliated to the Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies. He completed his doctorate at the Centre for the Study of Modern Conflict at the University of Edinburgh in 2017, with a thesis entitled ‘Managing Deadlock: Organisational Development in the British First Army, 1915’, which examined institutional learning practices and organisational culture during the First World War.

Watt worked for six years as an assistant archivist at the National Archives of Scotland (now National Records of Scotland) before embarking on his academic career. During his doctoral research, he taught Modern Scottish History and British History courses at the University of Edinburgh and contributed to an honours course on Scotland and the Great War. He joined National Museums Scotland as the curator for modern history and military collections in July 2017.

Watt’s main research interests are located in the Scottish military tradition, specifically the material culture of recruitment into the armed forces and the relationship between Scottish manpower and the British state.  He is also interested in Scottish associational culture in the diaspora, particularly relating to the formation of army regiments with Scottish characteristics; Scots who fought in foreign armed forces; and the history of creating miniature military medals and decorations.

Selected publications

  1. Watt, P. (2017), ‘Beautiful and Striking: Uncovering Edinburgh’s Scottish-American War Memorial’, History Scotland 17 (3).
  2. Watt, P. (2015), ‘Douglas Haig and the Battle of Neuve Chapelle’, in Spencer Jones (ed.), Courage without Glory: The British Expeditionary Force on the Western Front, 1915 (Solihull: Helion & Co.).
  3. Watt, P. (2014), ‘Militia Chieftains: Profiling the Founders of Canada’s Scottish Militia Regiments’, International Review of Scottish Studies 39.
  4. Watt, P. (2013). ‘The Platoon: An Analysis of Number 10 Platoon, 6th Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders at the First Battle of the Scarpe, 1917’, Journal of Army Historical Research 91 (4).
  5. Watt, P. (2013), ‘The Last Scottish Invasion of England: the Highland Division in Bedford, 1914-1915’, History Scotland 13 (1).
  6. Watt, P. (2012), Steel and Tartan: the 4th Cameron Highlanders in the Great War (Stroud: Spellmount).
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