Nick Bailey

Nick Bailey


I returned to the academic world in 2018, having worked in advertising since I graduated from Leeds with a BA (Hons) in Political Studies in 1990.

I undertook an MA in Modern History at the University of Kent, and graduated with a distinction in 2020. The title of my dissertation was ‘View from the Mersey: Representations of the Great War Veteran in Liverpool, 1919-1939’, for which I received the School of History prize for the best dissertation. My work analysed how these men represented themselves in letters, the role played by a local regimental association in promoting their interests, and how the city’s local press campaigned on behalf of the city’s disabled ex-servicemen.

I returned to Leeds in 2021 to undertake a  WRoCAH funded Collaborative Doctoral Award with Corps Security; originally known as the Corps of Commissionaires, the organisation was dedicated to finding employment for ex-servicemen. My PhD allows me to extend my study of this group of men, and by looking at the period 1900-1945, I am able to combine analysis of those commissionaires who served in the First and Second World Wars, as well as those who also fought in the Boer War, and earlier colonial conflicts.

My dissertation is adopting a gendered approach, which will allow me to look at the interaction between the masculinised identities of the Corps and its commissionaires, and the role that this relationship played in allowing these men to transition back into civilian life. My analysis will address the following questions:

  • What was the organisational identity of the Corps, how did it communicate this to different publics, and how was it controlled through the regulation of the commissionaire’s behaviour?
  • How can the identities of the commissionaires be characterised and what influenced these identities?
  • How did these factors combine to influence the professional and personal trajectories of these men?
  • What were the public perceptions of the Corps, and what impact did these perceptions have on the organisation’s performance?

My project is co-supervised by Dr David Churchill from the School of Law, and Professor Jessica Meyer from the School of History. My project combines analysis of both the historical development of the British security industry and the masculine identities of ex-servicemen. 

Research interests

  • Gender and masculinity
  • The impact of war
  • Welfare provision for ex-servicemen
  • Cultural representations of ex-servicemen
  • Historical organisational identity
  • Philanthropy
  • Social and cultural history
  • Family life
  • Biography
  • Outreach to non-academic audiences


  • MA Modern History - University of Kent
  • BA (Hons.) Political Studies - University of Leeds