Author Jon Cooksey wins BBC’s Gillard Award

Jon Cooksey, one of Pen & Sword Books’ longest running author and leading military historian, has won a 2015 Gillard Award in the Faith category for a radio documentary about an ordained priest who, during the First World War, commanded a British infantry battalion.

The documentary about the Reverend Bernard Vann, co-wrote and co-produced by Jon, was broadcast on BBC Radio Northamptonshire and presented by Reverend Richard Coles, a former student from Stratford College.

The documentary follows the story of how Reverend Vann rose through the ranks of the Sherwood Foresters, received the Military and Victoria Cross and was killed October 1918 by a German Sniper.

Jon told the Stratford-upon-Avon Herald: “The Gillard Awards recognise the very best in terms of the breadth, depth and quality of the BBC’s local radio output, output which, despite the well-known and popular flagship TV and radio shows, remains the bedrock of the corporation.

The Battles of the French Flanders is Jon’s most recent book, with Jerry Murland, and Battle Lines: The First Day of the Somme is due for release in June this year.