The main work of Arthur Redford's career was to put Manchester on the map both in its region, in his massive History of Local Government in Manchester, and in the sphere of world trade, as evidenced by the activities of its merchants. In 1915 Redford joined the Army, and served with the 13th Battalion, the Manchester Regiment, in the Eastern Mediterranean. On demobilisation he decided to return to Manchester University to take the honours course in the School of Economics and Political Science and was awarded a first-class degree and the Langton Fellowship in 1920. George Unwin's imaginative and creative approach to the subject inspired Redford, although he was critical of the master's difficult lecturing style. In early life he seems to have been extremely and warmly disputatious, and although he later mellowed somewhat in the respect, his general outlook tended to be one of cautions pugnacity.