Hugh McManners

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Hugh McManners
Born 9 Dec 1952
St Edmund Hall, Oxford
Occupation Medical research charity director, Author, Television producer, Presenter, Journalist, Musician
Nationality British
Genre Non-fiction
Subject War, Military, Outdoor Activities, Geography, Travel, Adventure
Children Capt William John McManners LD
Joseph McManners
Relatives Father Rev Prof John McManners FBA
Brother Lt Col Peter McManners

Hugh McManners is a musician and a writer: a guitarist and songwriter, an author, and a campaigner for medical research to help war veterans.


Hugh writes contemporary folk songs and is currently working with producer Jez Coad on an album to be released in 2017. He performs solo with acoustic guitar, and with his band.

(His music website differentiates from his writing work.) Previous experience with various bands: including as singer and guitarist for The BashBand.[1][2] Hugh is also the bass guitarist for the Coventry-based reggae band Cabstars


He was born into an academic family in Oxford, the son of historian The Rev. Professor John McManners, and was brought up in Australia. He was educated at Sydney Church of England Grammar School, Shore, Oadby Beauchamp Upper School, Magdalen College School, Oxford, and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.[3] He read Geography at St Edmund Hall Oxford.[1]

McManners spent eighteen years in the British Army, the majority of his time serving with 3 Commando Brigade. He was commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1973 and was promoted Lieutenant in 1974 and Captain in 1979.[4]

During the Falklands War in 1982 he fought with his five-man naval gunfire forward observation team, with the Special Boat Service[citation needed] and worked with the SAS, and was awarded a Mention in Despatches. He was promoted Major in 1985. He spent five years with 148 (Meiktila) Commando Forward Observation Battery, as a commando, paratrooper and an army diving supervisor, and ran the British Army's jungle warfare training school in Belize. McManners then passed the year-long Army Staff College course at Camberley, and spent two years working at the Ministry of Defence in London. He has served at Fort Ord California with the US Army's 2nd Infantry Division (Light), on counter terrorist duties in Armagh, Northern Ireland, and with the United Nations in Cyprus during the Turkish invasion of 1974.[1] After commanding 17 Corunna Field Battery [1][clarification needed] [2], he retired from the Army in 1989.

McManners was the Defence Correspondent of The Sunday Times newspaper for five years,[1] and also contributed to other major UK newspapers including The Observer and The Daily Telegraph also writing an article in The Independent regarding the controversial shoot to kill policy.[5] He has co-produced a list of television documentaries and series on military subjects. He co-presented the BBC2 Bare Necessities survival series and the critically acclaimed Radio 4 series The Psychology of War. He is the author of many military books including the hard-hitting Scars of War, and several very successful Dorling Kindersley titles, including the Outdoor Training Manual and the Commando Survival Guide.

In 2011, with neuroscientist Prof Morten Kringelbach, he founded The Scars of War Foundation at the University of Oxford's Queen's College. McManners' research into the psychological effects of military combat on participants, joined forces with Prof Kringelbach's neuroimaging studies into how the brain functions. This led to a five-year project to compare the brains of combat veterans of similar experiences with and without combat-related PTSD (post traumatic press disorder).

The Scars of War Foundation is developing further research into the cognitive neuroscience of combat veterans in conjunction with the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at the University of California, Los Angeles. Prof Peter Whybrow, the Semel Institute's Director, is the Chair of the Scars of War Foundation's Scientific Advisory Board.

He continues to work as an author and broadcaster, lives in Oxford, and has two sons.


  • Falklands Commando
  • Crowning the Dragon
  • The Scars of War
  • Commando Survival Guide
  • Outdoor survival guide
  • The Backpackers Manual
  • Commando – Winning the Green Beret
  • Top Guns
  • The Complete Wilderness Training Manual
  • Dorling Kindersley Children's Outdoor Adventure book series
  • Ultimate Special Forces: The Insider's Guide to the Most Deadly Commandos
  • Forgotten Voices of the Falklands: The Real Story of the Falklands War
  • Gulf War One – Real voices from the Front Line (to be published in Nov 2010 by Ebury)


  1. ^ a b c d Hugh McManners biography at, (accessed 7 September 2007)
  2. ^ The Bashband Official Site, and HM Band (accessed 7 September 2007)
  3. ^
  4. ^ London Gazette
  5. ^ Hugh McManners: The truth about our 'shoot-to-kill' policy at, (accessed 7 September 2007)