With the war came military service, mainly in
In 1946 he was appointed to teach at the
In the late 1950s, as Staff Tutor of the Extra Mural Board of Cambridge University, he guided the Hatfield Branch of the Workers' Educational Association (WEA) to research and produce a 12-part work, `Hatfield and its People’. It remains the most detailed history of Hatfield from its beginnings to the start of the new town in the 1950s.
He was on the committee of the Hertfordshire Association for Local History from 1955 to 1987, serving as chairman and president. He also provided the inspiration for the founding of the Hertfordshire Record Society and became its first secretary.
He was an active member of the Communist Party Historians' Group from its inception. For 20 years he was the editor of the Amateur Historian, later the Local Historian. The change of title was indicative of Lionel's thinking. Local historians were not professional or amateur – just local historians. He was also involved in the British Association for Local History, in later years as president.
Munby published a series of essays in 1971 as The Luddites and Other Essays. His book, The Hertfordshire Landscape (1977) is considered a classic, and many of his other works are indispensable items on any local historian's bookshelves.
Munby died in April 2009 aged 90.
Source: Guardian 23rd July 2009 and 12th August 2009
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