© Michael St Maur Shell/Mary Evans Picture Library/Caters

Welcome to the International Guild of Battlefield Guides

Find a guide, book a tour, become a battlefield expert...

Whether you’re looking for a professional guide to take you on a battlefield tour, or you’re already a Battlefield Guide, just interested in finding out what battlefield guiding is all about, considering a future in battlefield guiding or improving your battlefield guiding skills, or simply have a general interest in battlefields – the International Guild of Battlefield Guides is for you. Our Honorary Members include Tonie and Valmai Holt – the pioneers of battlefield guiding – and President Professor Gary Sheffield – the acclaimed First World War historian – the Guild is the foremost organisation in the world dedicated to Battlefield Guiding.

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Coming Up

Accredited Guides Annual Dinner

With the Guild's intent to promote the validation journey to ‘The Badge’ a formal Annual Dinner for ‘Badged Guides’ of the Guild is held on a chosen Friday in August. Accredited Guides of the Guild who attend rendezvous in a Pub or Inn not knowing where they are going to dine nor who will host their evening.

Until 2017 the event has been held in London. In the past ‘Badged Guides have Dined at the follow establishments all of which have a which have intriguing connection to military history.

  • Cavalry & Guards Club 2011
  • The ‘In & Out Club’ 2012
  • The East India Club 2013
  • The Oriental Club 2014
  • The Reform Club 2015
  • The RAF Club 2016
  • HQ-Ship Wellington 2017

Accommodation is reserved for those who wish it at ‘Guild rates’ in the Union Jack Club. Details are published on the weekly update well in advance.

For further information contact the Event organiser Graeme Cooper cooper@waterlootours.co.uk

Do visit the Facebook ‘Badged Ones’ page for more information and pictorial history of past events.

August 3rd, 2018

Golf Day

The Guild's Annual Golf Championship

Every year on a Friday in August The Guild of Battlefield Guides hold their Annual Golf Championships at a Golf Course on or near to a battlefield. Guild members are encouraged to invite golfing guests.  In the morning all members from the Golf Club concerned are invited to a presentation on a battlefield subject. After a light lunch the Championship is played in the Stapleford format. The Guild Champion and Runner up receive their trophy’s at the Championship Dinner in the evening.

Since 2007 SouthamptonNorth WealdArlesford and John O’Gaunt Golf Clubs have hosted the Championships. Presentations on The Battle of Cheriton (Chris Scott), ‘D’ Day Landing Craft’ (Mike Mizen), The Bridge at Arnhem (Jo Hook), ‘Glider Pilots in Sicily’(Mike Peters), The Battle of Waterloo, The Special Air Service  (Graeme Cooper) and The Battle of Verdun (Chippy Wood) are examples of the Guild’s efforts to raised funds in support of a charity nominated by the respective Club Captain.

This year’s Championships will be held at John O’Gaunts Golf Club Sutton Park, Sandy, Bedfordshire

For further information contact the Event organiser Graeme Cooper cooper@waterlootours.co.uk

August 17th, 2018 John O’Gaunts Golf Club

Amesbury 7-9 September 2018

A ‘traditional’ Guild weekend with a quiz, a wide variety of topics/sites and plenty of opportunity to socialise. Travel during the event will be self-drive. Some walking on rough tracks is involved, with one lung-busting hill well known to anyone who served at Bulford. A number of themes/subjects will be outlined for possible development into UK tours or preliminary to continental tours by Gareth Davies, Andy Johnson and Paul Oldfield.

Friday 7 September

Settle into accommodation (details to follow), assemble for drinks, dinner in a local pub/restaurant, followed by quiz (Ian Mitchell).

Saturday 8 September

360 degree view from Beacon Hill of sites of military importance including:

  • Start of Ordnance Survey.
  • Expansion of the military on Salisbury Plain.
  • Military railways.
  • Bulford Kiwi.
  • WW1 trench system on Bulford Ridge. Porton Down - chemical and biological warfare.
  • Airfields - Thruxton, Boscombe Down, Larkhill, Netheravon and others.
  • Armoured warfare development in 1930s.
  • Battle of the Beams in WW2.
  • Development of airborne forces.
  • Bruneval Raid training.
  • Glider pilot training for Operation Deadstick.

Snack lunch in Amesbury followed by:

  • Expansion of camps and military railways in WW1.
  • Formation of RFC, airfields, military aircraft trials, lots of ‘firsts’, deployment of RFC to France August 1914, famous names.

Dinner in a local restaurant/hotel.

Sunday 9 September

Morning tour of sites involved in the invasion of Normandy, including:

  • Ashley Walk bombing range and Stoney Cross airfield in the New Forest.
  • Lepe Country Park – PLUTO, MULBERRY, loading hard and jetty.
  • Portsdown – C2, HQs, COPPs, landing rehearsals, key meetings and decisions, convoy routing etc.

If you wish to attend please contact Paul Oldfield – oldfield118@btinternet.com.

September 7 - 9, 2018

Validation Event

Want to progress towards Accredited Membership?
Need to do a face-to-face assignment?
Can't get to a Guild Weekend?
Available on 22 September 2018?
Then here's your opportunity!

Middle Wallop's a few miles from Andover, and a one-day Validation event at the Museum of Army Flying there on 22 September could be the chance for you to get Assignment 1, 5 or 6 under your belt. Six (out of eight) assignments attempted at the last one-day event (Thundersley, in September 2017) resulted in a Pass (and of the other two, one candidate re-attempted the assignment in October and, with the experience of the first try behind him, passed with flying colours). Put the date in your diary now!

September 22nd, 2018 Museum of Army Flying

Verdun Recce

A 5-day recce trip, based at Verdun, France. Organised by Francois Wicart, assisted by Simon Worrall.

Travel will be self-drive. Car-shares will be arranged, where possible. (Might be an opportunity to use your Guild discount on car parking at Maidstone).

Core dates are Weds 17 Oct – Sun 21 oct inclusive. Five full days on the battlefields.

Two days will be spent examining sites for the Verdun campaign of 1916 (the longest of the Great War), both Right Bank and Left Bank, plus its aftermath in 1917.

A third day will be spent covering important aspects of the Meuse-Argonne campaign.

The fourth day will be spent looking at the battle-sites around the St.-Mihiel Salient, and into the Woevre Plain east of Verdun.

The fifth day will be spent on a shift of focus to look at the Maginot Line, with a visit to an open Fort.

The purpose will be not only to share information about the military campaigns, but also to get to know more about the tourist infrastructure in these areas. Where can you eat, get a coffee, pit-stop, etc. with a party?

This is a great opportunity for members to learn and share information about some of the key battlefields of the Great War, not often visited by non-French citizens.

Francois has secured a reduction for members in the B&B hotel.

We will be eating in any of a number of restaurants in Verdun and its outskirts each evening.

Sites to be visited may include, but are not restricted to:

Col Driant’s command post

Fort Douaumont

Douaumont ossuary

Fort Vaux & Commondant Reynal

Trench of Bayonets

Tavannes tunnel disaster

The Destroyed Villages

Fort de Souville

Maginot memorial

Lion Abattu memorial

Verdun necropole nationale

Verdun Citadel

Verdun memorial museum

Hill 304


Goose Ridge, Corbeaux & Cumieres

Malancourt, Haucourt & Bethincourt

Butte de Vauquois


‘Lost Battalion’ site

USA’s largest cemetery in the world

Meuse-Argonne battlefield area

The Voie Sacree

Fort de Troyon

Bois d’Ailly, Fort de Liouville & Marbotte

Le Jurat, bois Brulee, Gobessart & German hospital site

Butte de Montsec

Thiaucourt, Hattonchatel, tranchee de Calonne & Alain-Fournier’s memorial

Crete des Eparges

The ‘Lange Max’ gunsite

Camp de Marguerre site

Plus the Maginot Line content.

Because this is a recce participants are encouraged to bring any material they may have along, so that the rest can gain from hearing/seeing it.

If you have a suggestion for a location to visit, not included in the list above, please let us know!

If you wish to attend please contact Simon Worrall sworrall@btinternet.com

We need to get a handle on numbers as early as possible, in order to make reservations with the hotel.

October 17 - 21, 2018 Verdun

Battle of Britain Weekend

Battle of Britain Weekend - a Core Event including Validation - 2 to 4 November 2018

The event will look at the Battle of Britain through visits to key sites in the North and West London area.

On the Saturday we will start with a single Validation session and then visit the newly opened Bentley Priory visitors centre to look at the role of Fighter Command and Hugh Dowding in the conduct of the Battle, and will also have lunch there.  In the afternoon we will visit the newly re-opened 11 Gp Bunker at Uxbridge and the Sector Station at RAF Northolt, including afternoon tea in the WWII Officers' Mess and a visit to the Sector Ops Room.  In the evening there will be a Guild Quiz and dinner.

On the Sunday morning there will be two Validation sessions and we will then go to the RAF Museum at Hendon.  Here we will look at the exhibition of Battle of Britain aircraft and Chain Home equipment.  We will  finish with lunch in the new restaurant under the wings of the Sunderland flying boat.

The plan is to base the event on a hotel in Watford which will provide the Validation rooms a part of an overall package.  Further details of this will be promulgated in March.

Please let Chris Finn know if you are interested in attending using his Dval@gbg-international.com email address.

November 2 - 4, 2018
Guild Xmas Lunch Dec 1 2017

Christmas Lunch

Come and join us at our annual Christmas lunch. Meet old friends and make new ones, exchange
battlefield stories and Guild gossip at this extremely popular social gathering.

More details from Andy Thompson - andy@eyewitnesstours.com

December 7th, 2018 UJC