This user has oversight privileges on the English Wikipedia.
This user has administrator privileges on the English Wikipedia.

User:HJ Mitchell

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All knowledge is precious, whether or not it serves the slightest human use!A. E. Housman
He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.Friedrich Nietzsche

Me at Wikimedia Foundation headquarters in San Francisco in September 2010. It's an old photo now, but still one of the better ones of me on Commons.
Photo by Laura Hale



I'm Harry Mitchell! Most people call me Harry or HJ for brevity (I really hate being addressed by my surname!).

I write about military history, architecture, and anything else that piques my interest. For the centenary of the First Word War, I've been researching and writing about war memorials. Other subjects I dabble in include railways, policing, politics, and current events but sometimes I'll read about something elsewhere, look it up only to realise it doesn't have an article, and then write the article to satisfy my own curiosity. I once wrote an article on a train after seeing the subject mentioned in the news.

I also get involved with some of the back-end areas of Wikipedia. I'm an administrator and an oversighter (which means I can hide grossly inappropriate content, like libel and personal information, even from other administrators). I like to think of myself as 'keeping the wheels turning' when I'm acting in those capacities—none of them grant me any sort of authority. I strongly believe that administrators are servants of the community and should remain in the position only for as long as they enjoy the community's confidence. The downside of these positions is that I tend to spend more time dealing with vandalism and other nonsense rather than writing encyclopaedia articles.

A slightly more recent photo from the run-up to Wikimania 2014. Here, I'm demonstrating the red t-shirts worn by the volunteers at the conference. Unfortunately, a more photogenic model was not available, so we were stuck with my ugly mug! I had my hair cut the day after this was taken!
Photo by Chris McKenna

I've volunteered in the past with Wikimedia UK, the registered charity that supports Wikipedia in the UK; I'm less involved these days, partly as my life has moved in different directions (like moving to the middle of nowhere!). Through my involvement in Wikimedia UK, I became involved in organising and running Wikimania 2014 in London. I recruited the dozens of volunteers who made sure the conference ran smoothly, advised on community issues, and helped with some of the behind-the-scenes things like planning for emergencies. During the conference, I looked after the dozens of wonderful volunteers, who in turn looked after thousands of delegates for five days. Like any major project, it had its occasional hiccups, but being part of such a wonderful group of people all working towards a common goal was the experience of a lifetime!

This one was taken at Wikimania 2014. Here I am post-haircut with Chris Cooper and Léa Fourmaux—two of the wonderful volunteers—(and a beer!) just before the opening ceremony.
Also by Chris McKenna

Back to Wikipedia itself for a moment, I've been editing since March 2009. I started because I was enticed by the idea that I could edit, and I stick around because I want to help make the encyclopaedia even better than it already is, and because Wikipedians are some of the most remarkable people I've ever come across. I sometimes hear people say that all the articles have been written, but even with 5.5 million articles I constantly find notable subjects that don't have their own article. Trying to fill in the gaps can be addictive! Wikipedia will always be a work in progress but I like to think I'm doing my part to improve the sum of human knowledge.

If you like trivia, my favourite colour is teal, I love Taylor Swift, I have a penchant for single malt whisky (double and neat!), and I'm 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m) and stocky but generally considered a "gentle giant".

If you have questions or need help, please feel free to ask on my talk page—if I can't help you, there's a good chance I'll know somebody who can.

HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts?

Contacting me

  • If it's about Wikipedia, your best bet is my talk page; that's also monitored by friendly people who might be able to help you better or quicker!
  • You can email me through this form or at hjmwiki at, but
  • If you need something suppressed ("oversighted") you might be better off using this form or oversight-en-wp at
  • I'm on Facebook as "mitchell.hj" (HJ Mitchell there is someone else), and Twitter as @HJ_Mitchell (though I rarely use it).

Admin statistics
Action Count
Edits 102264
Edits+Deleted 106152
Pages deleted 14685
Revisions deleted 1609
Logs/Events deleted 514
Pages restored 402
Pages protected 7641
Pages unprotected 266
Protections modified 1742
Users blocked 20218
Users reblocked 625
Users unblocked 249
User rights modified 1373
Users created 29
Abuse filters modified 3
Mass messages sent 1

Shiny things from nice people[edit]

Earlier barnstars etc have been archived to /Awards
Administrator Barnstar Hires.png The Admin's Barnstar
This was an excellent closure, recognizing the purpose of closing discussions and making thoughtful judgments and considerations on all perspectives on the issue. It clearly took a lot of time and thinking to produce. Thanks so much, and keep doing what you do. Face-smile.svg Mz7 (talk) 21:41, 12 August 2016 (UTC)
WPMH ACR.PNG The Military history A-Class medal
On behalf of the Wikiproject Military history coordinators, I hereby award you an A-Class Medal for your great work on Operation Flavius, Death on the Rock, and Devon County War Memorial. Regards, Iazyges Consermonor Opus meum 02:46, 3 November 2016 (UTC)
World War II Barnstar.svg The World War Barnstar
For you work on the Featured Article Northampton War Memorial, which honors the dead from both World Wars, I hereby present you with the World War Barnstar. Congratulations! For the Military history WikiProject Coordinators, TomStar81 (Talk) 08:08, 3 January 2017 (UTC)
WPMH ACR (Oakleaves).png The Military history A-Class medal with oak leaves
For your work in promoting Spalding War Memorial, North Eastern Railway War Memorial, and York City War Memorial, I am pleased to present you with the A-class Medal with Oak Leaves. For the Coordinators of the Military history Project. Zawed (talk) 10:24, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
WPMH ACR (Oakleaves).png The Military history A-Class medal with oak leaves
On behalf of the Wikiproject Military history coordinators, I hereby award you the Military history A-Class Medal with Oak Leaves for your awesome work on Norwich War Memorial, Rochdale Cenotaph, and Manchester Cenotaph. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 03:56, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
Original Barnstar Hires.png The Original Barnstar
To User:HJ Mitchell, in recognition of his helpful efforts in Wikipedia. Thank you so much. The Stray Dog Talk Page 20:58, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
WPMH ACR (Oakleaves).png The Military history A-Class medal with oak leaves
On behalf of the Wikiproject Military history coordinators, I hereby award you the Military history A-Class Medal with Oak Leaves for your efforts in improving the Mells War Memorial, Lancashire Fusiliers War Memorial and Equestrian statue of Edward Horner articles upto A-Class status. Regards, Parsecboy (talk) 12:31, 19 December 2017 (UTC)
WikiprojectBarnstar.png The WikiProject Barnstar
For your content work and continued support to Wikipedia as an administrator I am pleased to personally award you with this barnstar and add you to my 2017 New Years Honours List. Thank you for your contributions to WikiProject Military History. Regards, AustralianRupert (talk) 13:11, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
CRM.png Content Review Medal of Merit (Military history)
On behalf of the Milhist coordinators, you are hereby awarded the WikiChevrons for reviewing a total of 12 Milhist articles at PR, GAN, ACR or FAC during the period October to December 2017. Thank you for supporting Wikipedia's quality content processes. AustralianRupert (talk) 04:29, 3 January 2018 (UTC)

Keep track of upcoming reviews. Just copy and paste {{WPMILHIST Review alerts}} to your user space

Reviewer Barnstar Hires.png The Reviewer Barnstar
FAC can't function without people like you contributing reviews. Thank you for the seven FAC reviews you did during December. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 12:26, 7 January 2018 (UTC)
WPMH ACR (Oakleaves).png The Military history A-Class medal with oak leaves
On behalf of the Military History Project, I am proud to present the A-Class medal with Oak Leaves for Civil Service Rifles War Memorial Royal Naval Division War Memorial, and Tower Hill Memorial. MilHistBot (talk) 04:48, 20 July 2018 (UTC)
Wiki-stripe1.svg Military history reviewers' award
On behalf of the Milhist coordinators, thank you for your two reviews during the April to June 2018 quarter. Here is a WikiStripe for your contribution to our article quality processes. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 08:29, 7 July 2018 (UTC)

Keep track of upcoming reviews. Just copy and paste {{WPMILHIST Review alerts}} to your user space

Other things[edit]