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Dr JRT Wood

Richard Wood is a Commonwealth Scholar, Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and graduate of Rhodes and Edinburgh universitites. He is one of the world's leading historians on Rhodesian and Zimbabwean political and military history. He was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) and currently lives in Cape Town, South Africa, where he is engaged in full-time research and writing.


  • 1946-1947: David Livingstone School, Harare [then Salisbury]
  • 1948-1955: St George's College, Harare


  • 1956-1959 University of South Africa and University College of Rhodesia & Nyasaland - as an accountancy student while serving articles with Derry, Ellman-Brown & Fraser, chartered accountants, Harare
  • 1960-1964 Rhodes University
  • 1964-1969 Edinburgh University

Certificates & Degrees

  • 1954: Cambridge Overseas Certificate
  • 1955: Matriculation Exemption with distinctions in French and Geography
  • 1962: BA (Rhodes) with distinction in History and an upper second class pass in Geography
  • 1963: BA Honours (Rhodes) with a first-class pass in History
  • 1969: Ph D (Edinburgh) My thesis, The Public Career of John, Second Earl of Stair, to 1720, was supervised by Professor David Bayne Horn, the eminent diplomatic historian who wrote extensively on the eighteenth century, Professor William Ferguson, the Scottish historian and Dr Stewart Oakley, a leading expert on Scandinavian History. My examiner was Professor Ragnhild Hatton, Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics who has written on the History of Europe, of France, Charles XII, and the Dutch Republic. My subject was a study of the career of the British diplomat and soldier, John, Second Earl of Stair. In the course of full-time research and writing, I read primary and secondary material in the Library of the University of Edinburgh; the Scottish Record Office (where the Stair Papers are housed); the National Library of Scotland; the British Museum; the Public Record Office, London; the Bodleian Library, Oxford; Blenheim Palace; the French Foreign Office Archives at the Quai D'Orsay, Paris.


  • 1964: Ernest Oppenheimer Memorial Post-Graduate Scholarship to study History at Rhodes University which I won but did not take up.
  • 1964: Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship for post-graduate studies in History at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada which I was awarded but did not take up.
  • 1964: United Kingdom Commonwealth Scholarship for post-graduate studies in History at the University of Edinburgh which I accepted.


  • 1993: Elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, United Kingdom

Membership of Professional Associations

  • Historical Association (United Kingdom)
  • Central African Historical Association
  • South African Historical Society
  • South African Institute of International Affairs
  • Southern African - Irish Studies Committee
  • South African Military History Society
  • Royal Historical Society

Military Service

  • 1956-1957, National Service, the Depot, the Royal Rhodesia Regiment.
  • 1957-1976, Territorial and Reservist Service with the First and Eighth Battalions, the Rhodesia Regiment.
  • 1977-1980, Second in Command (as a lieutenant), the Research Unit, the Rhodesian Intelligence Corps.

Clubs & Associations

  • Old Hararians
  • Goshawks Rugby Football Club
  • Coch-y-Bhundu Fly Fishing Club
  • Invicta Fly Fishing Club
  • Cleveland Pistol Club
  • Macintosh Users Durban
  • The Special Air Service Regimental Association of Southern Africa
  • Colonials' Café (Superbru 2004 Global Champion)
© 2001 - 2024 Dr JRT Wood