Julie Summers describes herself as a biographer and historian but above all, she is a passionate story teller. She has discovered a rich seam of tales about people who get themselves into, and for the most part out of, difficult situations. Sir Ernest Shackleton was caught in the icy deserts of Antarctica, Sir Philip Toosey in the steaming jungle of the Death Railway where he built the bridge on the River Kwai, Sandy Irvine died close to the summit of Mount Everest in one of the greatest mountaineering mysteries of all time. Julie is also researching a historical novel about a young man who was caught in the clutches of the Luftwaffe.


She is currently working with ITV and the second series of the six part television drama ‘Home Fires’ inspired by her non-fiction book ‘Jambusters’ will air in 2016. Her book covers the story of the Women’s Institute and how they ran the countryside during the Second World War as told through the diaries of various women who contributed to the war effort. ‘Jambusters’ was published by Simon & Schuster in 2013 and as a paperback edition in March 2014, a further edition was published in the UK to tie-in with the series. A new edition of the book has recently been published in the USA to co-incide with the series transmission on PBS America.


The ITV drama adaptation of ‘Jambusters’ into a period drama has been created and written by 'Lewis' writer Simon Block. Julie thoroughly enjoyed appearing in the drama in an Alfred Hitchcock style cameo role as a WI county organiser. 


Julie latest book ‘Fashion on a Ration’ covering the social history of wartime fashion for Profile Books was published to co-incide with an exhibition at The Imperial War Museum in Spring 2015.


In addition, Julie also wrote a number of Visitor Information Panels for The Commonwealth War Graves Commission to commemorate 100 UK cemeteries to co-incide with the 100th Anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. Many of the war graves will reflect the local history of the towns and the soldiers who gave their lives for their country.


Her book ‘Rowing in Britain’ was published in the summer of 2013 and charts the history of rowing in Britain since it was first practised at the public schools in the late eighteenth century.


Julie is also an exhibition organiser, broadcaster, interviewer and public speaker. Over the past two years she has organised ten exhibitions for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, one of the most extraordinary of the twentieth century’s organisations. She appeared on Radio 4’s ‘Start the Week’ talking about her book ‘Remembered’, a history of the Commission’s work, and has made several appearances on ‘Woman’s Hour’ about her work, including the book ‘Stranger in the House’ published in 2008 looking at the effect on women of men returning from the Second World War. In 2010, Julie contributed to the IMAX feature film ‘The Wildest Dream’, about the last climb on Everest in 1924 of George Mallory and her great-uncle Andrew ‘Sandy’ Irvine which recently aired on BBC2. She also contributed to ‘After The War Was Won’ on the UKTV Yesterday channel which was broadcast in 2011 and has recently given interviews about ‘Jambusters’ on both BBC radio and television.


Her book ‘Remembering Fromelles’ was published in 2010 in conjunction with an exhibition at The Imperial War Museum to mark the Commonwealth War Grave Commission’s first new cemetery in half a century. The cemetery was constructed to hold the remains of up to 400 British and Australian soldiers found in a mass grave in Fromelles in Northern France.


The audio book of ‘The Colonel of Tamarkan’, read by Anton Lesser published by Chrome Audio, was a runner-up in the Best Audio Book of the Year Award in 2010.


Well known within the mountaineering world, Julie is a judge at international book and film festivals. She has appeared at various events including  the Banff Mountain Festival and annually at the Oxford Literary Festival. For the last six years Julie has been involved in the mountain festivals at Kendal, Cumbria, held each November. More recently she hosted the Boardman Tasker Prize for the Mountaineering Literature awards ceremony, interviewing climbers and writers including: Chris Bonington, Ranulph Fiennes and Stephen Venables.


She is the Chair of the Mountain Heritage Trust and represents the sport for Our Sporting Life, a major sports heritage event that culminated in a London exhibition in 2012.


Julie will continue to give talks based on her book Jambusters to a number of WI Federations across the UK in 2016. She also lectures at events for schools and history groups as well as the Royal Geographical Society (in London and Scotland). Events for the corporate sector include a successful talk on Evacuues for Jupiter Asset Management and also for KPMG entitled ‘Related Worlds’ about the situation faced by Philip Toosey building the bridge on the River Kwai.