Patrick Watt

PhD Student - History


I am a fourth year doctoral candidate in history whose research focuses on institutional learning and organisational leadership and culture in the British Army of the Great War.  After working as a civil servant for ten year, I completed a BA (Hons) in History with the Open University in 2012.  In 2013 I was awarded an MSc by Research (Distinction) for my thesis 'Kilted Canucks: How Scottish Military Identity shaped the 16th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force'.  I began my doctoral studies in September 2013 under the supervision of Professor Ewen Cameron and Dr Stuart Allan.  I have published in the International Review of Scottish Studies, History Scotland, and the Journal of the Society of Army Historical Research and my first book, Steel and Tartan: the 4th Cameron Highlanders in the Great War was published by Spellmount in 2012.


PDF icon 57925.pdf


2012-2013 - MSc by Research in History, University of Edinburgh

2008-2012 - BA (Hons) in History, Open University

Responsibilities & affiliations

Affiliated to the Centre for the Study of Modern Conflict, University of Edinburgh

Research summary

  • The British Army of the Great War
  • Institutional Learning and Organisational Culture
  • The Impact and Image of the Scottish Soldier
  • Scotland and the Great War

Current research interests

My doctoral thesis is entitled 'Managing Deadlock: Organisational Development in the British First Army, 1915'. It applies concepts more commonly found in business studies such as institutional learning, knowledge management and organisational forgetting to the learning process of the British First Army in the 1915 campaign on the western front. My thesis presents the first model of how British 'war managers' sought to consider and learn from their experiences of the campaign and evaluates the factors which assisted and hindered this process.