Dr. Nick Mansfield

Dr. Nick Mansfield

Senior Research Fellow in History

School of Humanities, Language and Global Studies

Livesey House, LH316

+44 (0) 1772 89 3978


Subject Areas: History, Politics

Started at UCLan in 2010 after over 30 years in museums, 21 as Director of the People's History Museum, Manchester. Labour historian, particularly early 20thc farmworkers, published widely on patriotic labour in the Great War and post 1918 political allegiances, including ex-servicemen, war memorials and working class conservatism. He also writes about material culture, especially historic banners, folk art and labour movement buildings. Current writing a 2 volume labour history of 19thc rank and file British army soldiers.

Nick is research active within the area of history.

Full Profile

Wide research interests and publications over 35 years. Led Heritage Lottery funded National Banner Survey (1997-1999) and £13m capital project (2007-2010). Simon Research Fellow Manchester University, 1999-2000. A leading UK practitioner on the use of material culture as academic evidence.

Since 1979 author of over 50 book chapters and journal articles on artisans, common soldiers, servants, farmworkers, ex-servicemen, working class political allegiances, historic banners, folk art and buildings.

Author of three monographs English Farmworkers and local patriotism, 1900-1930 (Ashgate Press, 2001) and Buildings of the labour movement (English Heritage, 2013), and Soldiers as Workers – Class, employment, conflict and the nineteenth century British military (Liverpool University Press, 2016). Currently writing a companion volume book for LUP; Popular politics, class and the nineteenth century military, focusing on soldiers as workers retaining working class political activities, resistance and culture.

Co-editor of special number on buildings of European labour movements, International Journal of Heritage Studies, 2013. Editor ‘Great War and the North West ‘ edition Manchester Region History Review, 2014 and (with Craig Horner) The Great War – Local and Regional Identities, (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2014).

Currently Co-Investigator Everyday lives in War, University of Hertfordshire First World War Engagement Centre, covering the North West of England.


  • BA (Hons) Politics and Modern History, Manchester University 2i, 1973
  • B.Phil., Social Administration, University of Exeter, 1975
  • Associate of the Museums Association (AMA), 1986
  • PhD, ‘Agricultural trades unionism in Shropshire, 1900-1930’. University of Wolverhampton, 1997


  • Society for the Study of Labour History (past EC member), Interwar Rural History Group, Society for Army Historical Research, Worklab- International Association of labour museums (Secretary 2008-2012), Museums Association.


Soldiers as WorkersClass, employment, conflict and the nineteenth century British military (Liverpool University Press, 2016) ISBN: 9781781382783.

Guest editor and Editorial, Editor ‘Great War and the North West ‘ edition Manchester Region History Review, September, 2014, ISSN 0952-4320, V-XII.

Buildings of the labour movement, (English Heritage, 2013). ISBN:978-1-84802-129-7

Nick Mansfield and Myna Trustram, ‘Remembering the buildings of the British labour movement: an act of mourning’, International Journal of Heritage Studies, Vol. 19 No. 5, September 2013, 439-456. DOI: 10.1080/13327258.2012.674967.

More publications

External Affiliations and Roles

  • Curatorial advisor, Rochdale Pioneers Museum and member Advisory Board National Co-operative Archive.
  • Curatorial advisor, Museum of Primitive Methodism, Englesea Brook, Cheshire.
  • Honorary Research Fellow, People's History Museum, and MMU.
  • Academic advisor for the People’s History Museum for March 2019 centenary exhibition on the Representation of the People Act, 1918, which created modern British democracy.
  • Academic advisor for the People’s History Museum’s Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) funded First World War exhibition, A Land Fit for Heroes –War and the working class, 1914-18., opened by Tristram Hunt on 30.5.14
  • First World War advisor to HLF; including 4.12.15 First World War Knowledge Briefing for HLF staff, North West office linked by Video conference to all HLF offices, on Working Class people and the First World War. See also Blog for HLF The Battle of the Somme and rural England.
  • Mentor for Museums Association Associate Scheme.
  • Chair of Friends of Manchester Centre for Regional History, MMU.
  • Founder and mentor to the First World War Postgraduate and Early Career Researchers group, which has been awarded AHRC funding.
  • Interviewed for BBC 2 series, What Did the Canals Do for Us? on the Navvies Union, John Ward MP, and the 3 Public Works battalions raised during the First World War, broadcast, Autumn 2015 and Spring 2016.


Mansfield has given over one hundred academic conference papers since the late 1970s, in Canada, Finland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the USA, as well as in the UK. In addition he has given very many talks to community groups and learned societies. His most recent have been:

13.6.17 Paddy Griffith Memorial Lecture 2017, ‘ The British army of the Napoleonic Wars; Class, work and conflict’,  Manchester Military History Society

4.4.17 ‘How the British working class won the First World War: patriotism, protest and commemoration’, Department of Continuing and Professional Education, Cardiff University

10.7.16 People’s History Museum, Manchester; ‘Battle of the Somme and rural England’

1.7. 16 ‘The Battle of the Somme and rural England, farming, farmworkers and food’, national Somme 100 event Heaton Park, Manchester.

4.4.16, ‘Sites of rural labour – places, buildings and people, 1830-1930’, keynote, Agricultural History Society Spring conference, 

19.3.16, ‘Feigned illness, self harm and suicide in the British army; a long established tradition of resistance’ Resistance to War 1914-1924, conference Leeds University

26.2 .16. ‘Connections between Great Wars: 1642, 1805 and 1914’, The First World War: Commemoration and Memory, AHRC FWW Engagement Centres, Imperial War Museum North.

3.7.15, ‘Foreign Service as a form of resistance’, Conference, War, Society and Culture, Leeds University.

2.3.15, ‘Class, employment, conflict and the Nineteenth century British military’, Leyland Local History Society.

31.1.15 Organised and chaired conference on Ex-servicemen after the Great War, People’s History Museum, Manchester.

3.10.14, IWM North Academic Network conference Collaboration: Potential and Pitfalls, ‘The Other side of the Fence’.

24.9.14, ‘Buildings of rural co-operation, 1830-1940’, Rochdale Pioneers Museum.

18.9.14,  Tenbury Wells Museum, Worcestershire on ‘Rural Life and the Great War’,

3 and 4.7.14 83rd Anglo-American Historians conference; The Great War at Home, ‘Farmworkers, Food and Politics, 1914-1923’ and organised, convened and chaired panel ‘Labour and the Great War’.

5. 6.14   Recruiting and the Great War working class community in Cambridge,  Friends of Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge.

6.6.14  Recruiting and the Great War in Cambridge, Museum of Cambridge.

2.5.14, Talk on book for English Heritage, Buildings of the labour movement, Hay Festival.

2.4. 14, Food and the First World War conference, Liverpool Hope University, gave paper ‘Farming, farmworkers, food and politics, 1914-1923’.

25.1.14 ‘Buildings of rural co-operation’, Conference, 150 Years of The People’s Business, People’s History Museum.


Currently writing a 2 volume book for Liverpool University Press on work, class, politics and the nineteenth century British military, focusing on soldiers as workers retaining working class activities, resistance and culture. The first volume Soldiers as Workers – class, employment, conflict and the nineteenth century military, will be published early in 2016.


Until the end of December 2019 currently Co-Investigator Everyday Lives in War, University of Hertfordshire First World War Engagement Centre, covering the North West of England. For details of these First World War centenary activities see www.herts.ac.uk/everyday-lives-in-warwww.ahrc.ac.uk/News-and-Events/News/Pages/New-publication-showcases-range-of-WW1-research.aspx and https://fwwnetwork.wordpress.com/

Teaching Activities and Responsibilities

None internal, 0.4 post only. Experienced PhD supervisor and examiner.