Cyril Bentham Falls
CBE The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, and public service outside the civil service. It was established o ...
(2 March 1888 – 23 April 1971) was a 20th Century British
military historian Military history is the study of armed conflict in the history of humanity, and its impact on the societies, cultures and economies thereof, as well as the resulting changes to local and international relationships. Professional historians nor ...
, journalist, and academic, noted for his works on the
First World War World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, the United States, and the Ottoman Empire, with figh ...

Early life

Falls was born in
Dublin Dublin (; , or ) is the capital and largest city of Ireland. On a bay at the mouth of the River Liffey, it is in the province of Leinster, bordered on the south by the Dublin Mountains, a part of the Wicklow Mountains range. At the 2016 c ...
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, in north-western Europe. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George's Channel. Ireland is the seco ...
, on 2 March 1888, the eldest son of Sir Charles Falls, an Ulster landowner in
County Tyrone County Tyrone (; ) is one of the six counties of Northern Ireland, one of the nine counties of Ulster and one of the thirty-two traditional counties of Ireland. It is no longer used as an administrative division for local government but retain ...
. He received his formal education at the
Portora Royal School Portora Royal School located in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, was one of the public schools founded by the royal charter in 1608, by James I, making it one of the oldest schools in Ireland at the time of its closure. Origina ...
, Enniskillen, and
London University The University of London (UoL; abbreviated as Lond or more rarely Londin in post-nominals) is a federal public research university located in London, England, United Kingdom. The university was established by royal charter in 1836 as a degre ...
. At the age of 27, he published his first book, 'Rudyard Kipling: A Critical Study' (1915).

World War 1

During World War 1 he received a commission into the
British Army The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of the British Armed Forces along with the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force. , the British Army comprises 79,380 regular full-time personnel, 4,090 Gurkhas ...
as a subaltern in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. He served as a Staff Officer in the Headquarters of the 36th (Ulster) Division and the 62nd (2nd West Riding) Division during the conflict. He received the French
Croix de Guerre The ''Croix de Guerre'' (, ''Cross of War'') is a military decoration of France. It was first created in 1915 and consists of a square-cross medal on two crossed swords, hanging from a ribbon with various degree pins. The decoration was first awa ...
, and was discharged from the British Armed Forces with the rank of captain.

Military history career

Immediately after leaving the British Army Falls wrote a history of one of the Divisions that he had served with during the war, entitled 'The History of the 36th (Ulster) Division', which was published in 1922. From 1923 to 1939, he was employed by the Historical Section of the United Kingdom Government's
Committee of Imperial Defence The Committee of Imperial Defence was an important ''ad hoc'' part of the Government of the United Kingdom and the British Empire from just after the Second Boer War until the start of the Second World War. It was responsible for research, and so ...
, researching and writing the text of several volumes of the British Government's ' Official History of the War'. From 1939-1945, he was the military correspondent for '' The Times'' during World War II. From 1946 to 1953, he held the post of Chichele Professor of Military History at
All Souls College, Oxford All Souls College (official name: College of the Souls of All the Faithful Departed) is a constituent college of the University of Oxford in England. Unique to All Souls, all of its members automatically become fellows (i.e., full members of ...
. From the late 1940s through to the end of his life in the early 1970s he was a productive writer of military histories, publishing in-depth detailed studies as well as general works for the commercial market, his final two titles being published posthumously. The historian Sir
Michael Howard Michael Howard, Baron Howard of Lympne (born Michael Hecht; 7 July 1941) is a British politician who served as Leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition from November 2003 to December 2005. He previously held cabinet posi ...
later described Falls' work 'The History of the 36th (Ulster) Division' (1922) as: ''... containing some of the finest descriptions of conditions on the Western Front to be found anywhere in the literature of the war.''Entry for Cyril Falls, 'Dictionary of National Biography', 1971.


Falls died in his 83rd year in Walton-on-Thames, in the county of Surrey, on 23 April 1971.


* * * * * * ''War Books'' (1930) * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


External links

Times Literary Supplement contributor detailsOthers at worldcat.org
* {{DEFAULTSORT:Falls, Cyril 1888 births 1971 deaths British Army General List officers British Army personnel of World War I British military historians British military writers Commanders of the Order of the British Empire People educated at Bradfield College Recipients of the Croix de Guerre 1914–1918 (France) Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers officers Historians of World War I Fellows of All Souls College, Oxford Military personnel from Dublin (city) Chichele Professors of the History of War