After reading Geography at Oxford University, Michael St Maur Sheil began his career in photojournalism covering 'The Troubles' in Northern Ireland in 1970 and entered into a career-long association with the New York picture agency Black Star. Since then he has worked in over 60 countries and in 2001 he received a World Press Photo Award for his work on child trafficking in West Africa.
In 2005, in conjunction with the late Professor Richard Holmes, he began documenting the battlefields of the First World War as they are today, and it is this work which has given him an almost unrivalled knowledge of the landscapes of the First World War. His work, entitled Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace 14-18 has been shown around the world in a series of exhibitions which have been seen by over 5 million people. His latest exhibitions entitled The Doughboys 1917-1918 have been commissioned by the U.S. National World War I Museum and Memorial and will be touring in both the U.S. and U.K. for eighteen months from April 1917.
In addition to being an Accredited Member of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides with Badge No. 38, he is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a member of the British Commission for Military History. When he is not getting lost on a muddy battlefield he lives with his wife Janet in Oxfordshire.