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

Welcome to the International Guild of Battlefield Guides

Find a battlefield guide, join the Guild of Battlefield Guides.

Are you looking for a professional guide to take you on a battlefield tour? Are you working as a battlefield guide, would you like to find out more about becoming validated as a battlefield guide?

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.

To analyse, develop and raise the understanding, practice and profession of battlefield guiding; and to promote the education of battlefield guides and visitors.

Find a Battlefield Guide

Search for a battlefield guide. Find an accredited battlefield guide who can help you to explore the battlefields – search by campaign, battle, or country.

Join The Guild

Find out more about the International Guild of Battlefield Guides’ Accrediation Progamme, and all the associated benefits of being a Guild Member. 

Coming Up

Guild Webinar “My Path Through our Craft”

This will be the second in our series of Guild webinars which will be delivered by one of the founder members of the Guild, Graeme Cooper.  Graeme has titled his presentation ‘My Path Through our Craft’ and he will pull no punches in relating the ‘triumphs and disasters’ of his guiding career.  There is no doubt that this will be a fascinating talk which all members will find both informative and entertaining.  The talk will start at 7pm; the link for registration will be available shortly.  These webinars will be available to watch again on the Guild website.

August 7th, 2024 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm Online

GBG Annual Golf Championships 2024

This year the Guild of Battlefield Guides celebrates its 22nd Anniversary and the 15th Year of its Annual Golf Championships at the John O’ Gaunt Club in Potton.  Each year a Guild Member presents a battlefield subject to all invited guests in the morning before the Championship commences.  This year’s talk is to be presented by Dudley Giles – Op Husky: The Invasion of Sicily and the campaign


0930 Hrs: Arrive for bacon rolls and coffee

1030 Hrs: Sicily Presentation

1200 Hrs: 18 Hole Stableford Full Handicap

1900 Hrs: Dinner & Prizes

Cost = Coffee and bacon rolls on arrival, Lunch, Golf, Dinner and prize levy is £75.

To attend please e-mail: James Davis  (james@jamesdavisphysio.co.uk)

August 14th, 2024 John O’Gaunts Golf Club

Guild Visit: Larkhill Royal Artillery Garrison, Wiltshire

The Venue

Larkhill has been used as a training area for the British Army since the first tented camp was established in 1899.  In 1914 the first wooden and permanent buildings were built, and the camp expanded rapidly through the First World War and years that followed.  A military light railway was established in 1915 to carry troops between the camps and training areas at Larkhill and nearby Bulford.  Between 1909 and 1914 there was an aerodrome at Stonehenge to explore military applications for balloons and the powered aircraft.  In the early 1930s the British Ordnance QF 25-pounder was developed and tested by the school of artillery at Larkhill.

In 1919 the Royal School of Artillery was established at Larkhill, and in 2003 the Headquarters for the Royal Artillery was moved from Woolwich in south-east London to the camp.

The garrison is currently made up the RA Headquarters, Royal School of Artillery and six Regiments of Gunners (including 14RA which is the training regiment for the artillery).  The Garrison Artillery Volunteers have the base at Larkhill where they research, restore and train on legacy artillery pieces and keep alive ‘reversionary means’ of firing guns – something that will become important in a future conflict if modern computer/GPS aided system were interdicted.

A temporary RA museum is housed in the historic aircraft hangers close to the camp, and the garrison is also home to an impressive collection of silver, paintings and other memorabilia in the Grade II listed Officer’s Mess and Garrison Church.

The Visit

The visit will include a tour of the (temporary) RA Museum, a presentation on military flying at Larkhill and viewing the ‘gatekeeper’ collection of historic guns, followed by lunch in the Officer’s Mess and a tour of the Mess's paintings and silver collection.  The afternoon activities will include a tour of current modern gunsheds and an introduction to the 105mm Light Gun, after which we will have a tour of historic gun sheds and a presentation on the work of the Garrison Artillery Volunteers before closing the visit with tea.  There is no cost for the day, but those attending would need to pay for their own lunch.

October 9th, 2024

Operation Market Garden – Guild Recce

The Guild will conduct a recce of the Operation Market Garden area from 1-3 November 2024.  During the recce we will visit known and lesser known locations along the Market Garden corridor, beginning at Joe's Bridge, going all the way up to and including Arnhem.  It will be fast paced to see as much as possible, to make it easier for you to plan your next battlefield tour.

The programme:

31 October: Arrival

1 November: Joe's Bridge. 30th Corps breakout and 101st Airborne battles along Hell's Highway

2 November: Nijmegen and the 82nd Airborne division

3 November: Arnhem and Driel, the 1st Airborne and the Polish para brigade

4 November: Departure

October 31st, 2024 - November 4th, 2024 The Netherlands

Richard Holmes Lecture 2024

Air Control from the Sea: Tactical Air Command & Control during Operation Neptune

The talk will examine the development of expeditionary air command and control (C2) in the European Theatre in 1942 and 1943; examine the problems facing the planners for the air aspects of Operation Neptune; describe the solutions arrived at; explain how they were implemented; examine the problems that occurred, and the successes; the implications of these factors in the different conduct of day and night air defence; and briefly describe the subsequent uses of sea-based air C2 in the final year of the war in Eurpoe.  It will be shown that the solutions employed to deliver continuous C2 of Allied airpower, in the transition from bases in UK to ones in France, were specific to that situation.  And, whilst the ability to control air support assets from the naval HQ ships proved to be of limited value the ability to control day and night fighters from the Fighter Direction Tenders was of significant value and employed for much longer than envisaged.

November 19th, 2024 Royal College of Defence Studies

Guild Christmas Lunch 2024

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 6 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 Shaw (rtnshaw@hotmail.com).

December 6th, 2024 @ 12:30 pm - 5:00 pm Union Jack Club

Operation Frankton/Operation Chariot Recce

Operation Frankton was the famous WW2 raid on German blockade running shipping in Bordeaux, France.  The raid was carried out by the Royal Marines Boom Patrol Detachment (RMBPD), which was part of Combined Operations.  Inserted by the submarine HMS Tuna, five folding kayaks, (Cockleshells) paddled up the Gironde and attacked the cargo ships with limpet mines.  The recce is a detailed study of the intelligence, planning, execution and outcomes of a strategic mission that ended with only two of the ten men surviving the mission, including “Blondie” Haslar and Bill Sparks, (who used an MI9 escape line), with six being executed by the Germans and two dying from hypothermia.

The St Nazaire raid (Operation Chariot) was an attack by Combined Operations to destroy the dry dock in the port of St Nazaire to prevent it being used by the German battleship Tirpitz and force her to return to Northern Germany for maintenance.

September 17 - 21, 2025