Jon was educated at Carnegie College, Leeds, (BEd Hons) Nottingham University (MEd) and Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. He has written many published works of military history.
His first, Barnsley Pals – A History of the 13th and 14th Battalions of the York and Lancaster Regiment 1914 -1918 – was published in 1986 and he was part of the team that went on to develop the format for the hugely popular and best-selling Battleground Europe series of guidebooks. He has co-authored seven walking/cycling guidebooks for Pen and Sword Books.
For the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War Jon edited Harry’s War – The Great War Diary of Harry Drinkwater – (Ebury Press: 2013). Stratford-upon-Avon Kitchener volunteer Harry Drinkwater served from 1914 to 1918 and his diary was named by the late Rod Suddaby of the Imperial War Museum as ‘one of the best diaries of the First World War’. In 2015 to coincide with the centenary of the Gallipoli landings he co-edited the Great War diaries of Frederick Septimus ‘Cleg’ Kelly, the Olympic gold medal rower, pianist and officer in the Royal Naval Division who was killed on 13 November 1916 on the opening day of the Battle of the Ancre.
Other works include publications on the Vest Pocket Kodak camera in the Great War, the Second World War and several books on the Falklands War.
Regularly interviewed on BBC radio and on TV, his latest appearance was on the BBC’s We Will Remember Them with Huw Edwards which was transmitted to coincide with the centenary of the Armistice in November 2018.
Jon has led a great many battlefield/military genealogy tours to the Western Front, the battlefields of the Second World War and the Falklands War and he lectures on military history topics to a variety of audiences.