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The International Guild of Battlefield Guides is the foremost organisation dedicated to touring the battlefields. We enable guides and historians to share information, expertise and knowledge; we help visitors to find accredited battlefield guides who can help them to explore the past. We all have one thing in common: a love of military history and a desire to ensure the sacrifices of past generations in war are not forgotten.
Our Honorary Members include Tonie and Valmai Holt, the pioneers of battlefield guiding, and our Guild President is the award-winning historian and author, Dr. Spencer Jones.
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This event will study the creation and reformation of the WW2 Commando and Ranger units and their notable missions from WW2 to their role today. Based in scenic Scotland at Achnacarry, it will also study the SOE paramilitary training at Arisaig House (and surrounding estates) and will feature the usual dinner and quiz night, pertinent memento and plenty of 'hands on' for those that want to, on demolitions, booby traps, survival, camouflage and concealment, elimination of sentries and weapon handling. Those interested please contact Robert Shaw on firstname.lastname@example.org and remember (to quote the commando recruiting slogan) - 'It's a state of mind'!
The evening starts at 1925 when everyone meets at the main gate (West Gate) of the Tower where I will meet you. I will then take you on a tour of the Tower which will last an hour before retiring to the Yeoman Warders Bar, The Keys, for refreshment. I normally conduct a raffle but this is up to you, it’s certainly not compulsory. At 2130 we go back outside for me to brief you on the ancient Ceremony of The Keys and we then watch it before returning to the Bar for 2205. Everyone must be clear of the Tower by 2345 as the pedestrian gates are secured at midnight. It’s an enjoyable evening in a remarkable historic venue and we are by far the cheapest bar in town!The dress for the night is jacket, shirt, tie, trousers and shoes for the gents (basically no jeans, trainers, t-shirts) and smart casual for the ladies. My advice would be for the ladies to not wear heels as the cobbles can prove challenging! It’s a cash only bar, we haven’t quite caught up with the modern world yet but at £3 a pint you won’t need a huge amount. We sell a good selection of gifts such as wine glasses, decanters and cuff links which may necessitate more cash if guests are interested in these.We can take up to 60 but I’m always very flexible on this. The more of us there is, the better the evening in my experience.
A great opportunity to catch up at the end of the year; the Guild’s annual Christmas lunch will be held at the Union Jack Club, Sandell St, London SE1 8UJ (which is adjacent to Waterloo Station) on Friday 2 December.
The bar opens at 11.00 a.m. and members are asked to assemble for 12.30 for lunch at 12.45 when a three course lunch will be served. The event is informal (lounge suits and equivalent for female members and guests) and offers members a convivial atmosphere to enjoy the company of others at the end of what is normally a long year of guiding. The cost for the lunch this year will be published when known.
Full instructions will be sent to members and their guests joining the lunch in early November.
Members wishing to be attend should contact the organiser, Bob Darby (email@example.com)
The two-day programme over the weekend (starting on Friday evening and ending Sunday evening) will include battles and battlefields from:
- The Hundred Years’ War
- The War of the Roses
- The English Civil War
- 18th century wars (including American War of Independence, Battle of Jersey 1781)
- WW2 and the German Occupation 1940-45 – particularly putting the Channel Islands into wider context of WW2 history
We will also see the very extensive British Napoleonic and 19th century era fortifications, in many cases used and adapted by the Germans.
There will be opportunities for members to take and assist in stands to supplement the local history with the wider historical context of the period/era.
We could have a group dinner together on the Saturday evening, and a traditional Guild quiz night, probably the day before.
Accommodation, costs and travel
We are expecting to procure a discounted group accommodation rate at the Merton Resort hotel -https://www.seymourhotels.com/merton-hotel . The daily B&B room rate for two sharing will be about £105, with single occupancy being slightly lower. Other costs will be advised in due course.
Flights are available from a number of UK airports, ferries from the UK south coast and from St Malo and Granville. Unfortunately, the schedules for airlines and ferries have not been published yet. The main local tourist website is www.jersey.com
We are also aiming to organise optional activities and visits covering other battles, prehistoric warfare, naval engagements, and an afternoon on the range between Thursday (18th) and Monday (22nd) for those who may like to stay longer. Current ideas include:
- Friday 21st - prehistoric warfare, archaeology/ history tour (Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages)
- Thursday 18th afternoon/early evening – 20th century military firearms range event
- Monday 22nd – boat trip (max 7 persons unless we can gather a flotilla of small boats (as Dunkirk & St Malo 1940!) – naval engagements, commando raids, fortifications from the sea and/or the Battle of Cezembre 1944 (this will be weather dependant)
Alternative activities and visits
Dependant on numbers, there is also a possibility to organise parallel non-battlefield/military history visits/activities for spouses, partners etc who might not ordinarily come on a IGBG event.
Expressions of Interest
Any members interested in going to Jersey in May 2023, please let Marc Yates know with numbers, sole/twin occupancy preferences and whether they would be interested in the optional activities / visits etc - email firstname.lastname@example.org. A suggested reply form is here, and any information provided will assist in planning the detail and costing of the weekend.