Peter Connolly FSA
Peter Connolly FSA, historian, author,illustrator and experimental archaeologist, died on the 2nd May 2012 aged 76.
After National Service in the RAF Peter enroled at the Brighton College of Arts and Crafts to train as an illustrator. Upon graduation he shared a studio in Regent Street London where he produced illustrations for adverts and also contributed artwork for children's books. During this time he met H. Russell Robinson, keeper of armouries at the Tower of London, who had made reconstructions of the Lorica Segementata found at Corbridge in 1964. In the early 70's Peter accompanied Russell when he lectured at the Roman Army School and became a regular participant from then on until prevented by ill health. In 1975 Russell's seminal book 'The Armour of Imperial Rome' was published, to become a bible for students of Roman military equipment, to which Peter contributed all the line drawings and the superb colour pictures on the front cover.
Peter was the author of over 20 books each one the product of extensive research and immaculate attention to detail. Every building and battlefield had been visited,walked over and photographed before work on the content began. In many cases detailed topographical models were constructed and employed for his illustrations.
In addition to use in his own works Peter's illustrations appeared in many other publications and in museums both at home and abroard.
Peter's appearance at the Roman Army School was always eagerly awaited accompanied as it was by his latest reconstructions. Particularly memorable was the Roman saddle. After studying a saddle cover with Carol van Driel, Peter's reconstruction showed that a man using a saddle with horns at each corner was as effective as one using stirrups. After its initial appearance on a wooden vaulting horse, the saddle was later demonstrated at a society weekend by Anne Hyland, in full regalia of a Roman Cavalryman, mounted on her arab stallion.
At Peter's funeral the Ermine Street Guard, of whom he was a past president, provided the pall bearers.
A collection was organised in Peter's memory in support of the work of Dementia UK to which the Hadrianic Society contributed.
Demonstrating the saddle to the Hadrianic Society at Durham 1989