Other Activities - Malvern Festival of Military History

The Malvern Festival of Military History is not just about top-class speakers! We have musical entertainment on Friday and Saturday night and a War Art exhibit running for the duration of the Festival.

The Exhibit hall will also host the Festival Bookshop where you can buy books to be signed by our speakers. There will also be stands of information about military history museums, associations, courses, charities and publishers.

Try to find time in our packed programme to sample some of our other attractions!


Friday night sees the New Scorpion Band perform a set of traditional folk tunes from the 18th and 19th Century. Familiar songs such as Spanish Ladies and Over the Hills and Far Away will get your feet tapping!

The New Scorpion Band is one of the most entertaining and original groups in British traditional music. Their virtuosic playing, rich vocal harmonies, sophisticated musical arrangements and spectacular collection of traditional and historical instruments combine to create the distinctive sound that has won the New Scorpion Band a wide following, both in Britain and internationally.


There will be a collection at the gig on behalf of Help for Heroes.

Help For Heroes logo

Saturday is the turn of our resident orchestra the Royal Air Force Association Concert Band who will play a selection of war movie themes including The Dam Busters, The Great Escape and A Bridge Too Far.


The R.A.F.A. CONCERT BAND was formed in 1998 as a unique partnership with the RAFA, who are the bands sponsors, to help raise funds for Royal Air Forces Association Charities.

The Band quickly established itself as a fine Concert Band, which is much in demand. All the musicians are volunteers, some have served in the Forces; some are ex-pro players; some teachers, but most are civilian players who enjoy making music together. They contribute a significant amount of time to their “hobby” much to the benefit of the RAF Association and other Service Charities.

There will be a collection at the concert on behalf of SSAFA – The Armed Forces Charity

War Art

War has always generated great art. Our exhibit and speaker halls will be the venues for an exhibition of some striking images – both painting and photography.

A number of artists working on military subjects, both historical and contemporary, are displaying at the Festival.


Chris Collingwood strives to produce paintings that are historically accurate, which is why many museums, publishers and historical exhibitions are particularly interested in his work, but the real aim is to capture the energy and spirit of the moment, to bring the history alive.

He works solely in oils using traditional Dutch paints manufactured now, as in 1664. He uses these paints very thinly, mixing in a quick drying medium so that he is able to rework certain areas without muddying the design and enabling the building up in layers of the fine detail. One canvas will take from 3-4 months to complete.

The vast amount of detail in the pictures necessitates a large amount of intensive research about any new subject in order to maintain its authenticity. This may involve contacting experts, regimental museums, record offices and libraries around the world, buying or obtaining items of equipment, uniforms, armour and weaponry. This detail enables him to create a ‘super realistic’, style that reflects the techniques, the passion and depth of the old masters that he really admires. His style however is very much an “in your face” view of the subject sometimes having figures coming out of the frame at the observer. This is a deliberate attempt to find a different and more contemporary angle on the subject than that of the classic 19th century military artists.

Chris’s paintings are used in the Festival website and other promotional materials.



Derek Eland’s work examines what it’s like to ‘be human’ using text, images and digital media and he is particularly interested in the written word to access emotions and thoughts. Much of his work is created on location using his ‘Diary Rooms’ approach and then re-contextualised in exhibition settings.

In 2011 he was an official war artist embedded with the British Army in Helmand, Afghanistan. In his month on the front line the artist asked soldiers and civilians to write down what it was like to be there on postcards, which were then collated in three front line Diary Rooms. The work which resulted has been described in the international press as ‘groundbreaking’ and has toured galleries in the UK and overseas.

Derek Eland has a Degree in Politics and a Masters Degree in Contemporary Fine Art. His first book ‘Diary Rooms – Being human on the front line in Afghanistan’ was published in 2014 with the support of the Arts Council. In the 1980s he attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and served as a Captain in the Parachute Regiment.




Sarah-Marie Flint is an artist, architectural illustrator and creator of illustrated maps. Her career spans over 30 years. She began painting military work when her husband left the Corps after 13 years as a Royal Marines Commando. A leaving gift of a couple of her paintings led to her being commissioned to paint a retirement present for an officer. She has been commissioned for over 10 years by serving members of the military and veterans on a wide variety of work from illustrated career maps and historic uniforms to cartoons. Her work is sold in the Royal Marines Shop. Her military work is predominantly pen and ink and painted in inks. Her popular prints amongst the Corps include a depiction of the Rope Regain Royal Marines Commandos have to learn to master during their training and a Corps themed ‘Stained Glass Window’ design which she adapts for individual clients. She was asked to provide a painting for the book cover for former Army Officer LA Clarke’s Callsign Whiskey. Lima Company, 42 Commando, commissioned her to paint a picture commemorating the 1962 Limbang Raid to present at their Annual Dinner with veterans of the Raid. She had 3 weeks to research the Raid and collate all the information into an illustrated map. She started at Royal Marines Museum archives and the Royal Marines Historical Society. Then, via clients of hers who were former bootnecks, she was introduced to a veteran of the Raid, Brian Downey. This introduction altered how she was putting her picture together. Commandant General Buster Howes once said, during a speech at CTCRM Lympstone, “The only thing which ruins a good war story is a witness.” For a military artist however, a witness is invaluable! Photographs were sent in from other veterans and Royal Marines who had served in Limbang including Paddy Ashdown. Apparently though, his photographs came in too late and he was greeted by a telephone call, “You’re too late Paddy, she’s already done the painting”.


Exhibit Hall Stands

In addition to our War Art displays the Exhibit Hall hosts the Festival Bookshop where you can buy books to be signed by our speakers. This is also the venue for the author book signings.

There will also be information stands about military history museums, associations, courses, charities and publishers. If you can find the time amongst the packed speaker programme, there is plenty of browsing to pique your interest!

What people are saying...

Professor Ian Beckett

Honorary Professor of Military History, University of Kent

Military history is arguably more popular with the public than ever, and this festival is a welcome and unique opportunity for military historians to showcase some of the most exciting new directions and discoveries in the subject.