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The Richard Holmes Library

Centre for Army Leadership

About the Leadership Library

The CAL Leadership Library (The Richard Holmes Library) opened in May 2022. It is located on the ground floor of Robertson House and it is open to any visitors – military and civilians – working on any leadership-related project. The library holds one of the largest collections of resources on leader and leadership development in the UK. It offers access to an outstanding set of bibliographical resources, official documents, research reports, audio recordings, and visual material to support and to enhance the study of leadership within the British Army and beyond.

Please note that the Richard Holmes Library is a research library only. Borrowing is currently unavailable.

Prospective visitors must book an appointment by writing to [email protected]

They should state their title/rank, full name, relevant academic affiliation (if any), dates of their visit, and one line to explain the content of their research.

Please read the visitors' guidelines prior to contacting us to book an appointment.

Links to the Library Catalogue Welcome to Heritage Online 3.6 ( Please note that the Richard Holmes Library’s resources are identified as ‘Robertson House Permanent Collection’ in the online catalogue. 

Please read the visitors guidelines prior to contacting to booking an appointment

Leadership Library information booklet

Location of the library

Academy Map (1)

Brigadier and Professor Richard Holmes, CBE, TD, JP (1946-2011)  

Richard Holmes

Brigadier Professor Richard Holmes was born on 29 March 1946. He was educated at Forest School, north-east London, and went on to study at Emmanuel College, Cambridge University. He then pursued further studies at Northern Illinois University and the University of Reading.   

 In 1969, Holmes moved to the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, where he was Lecturer in the Department of War Studies and subsequently became Deputy Head of Department (1984-86). Holmes was later appointed Professor of Military and Security Studies at Cranfield University, Shrivenham, where he became Co-Director of the Security Studies Institute (1989-2009).  

In tandem with his academic career, Holmes enlisted in the Territorial Army in 1964. He was appointed Lieutenant Colonel (non-Regular Permanent Staff), and Commanding Officer of the 2nd Battalion, The Wessex Regiment (Volunteers) between 1986 and 1988). He was later promoted to Brigadier, and from 1997 to his retirement in 2000 was Director General Reserve Forces & Cadets, the highest ranking reservist in the British Army. From 1999 to 2007, Holmes served as Colonel of the Regiment of the Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, Holmes became widely known for his television work, which included numerous successful television documentaries on the Duke of Wellington, Sir Winston Churchill and Oliver Cromwell, whom he championed in the BBC’s Great Britons series.  

In 1975, Holmes married Katharine Elizabeth Saxton, with whom he had two daughters.