© 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 Guild President Doctor Spencer Jones – the acclaimed First World War historian – the Guild is the foremost organisation in the world dedicated to Battlefield Guiding.

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Explore our database of expert accredited battlefield guides.

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Coming Up

AGM 2021, Online

Given that the Covid 19 and travel restrictions, it has been agreed to hold the Annual General Meeting online. It is hoped that under these arrangements those who normally attend will do so as well as many more who, for whatever reason, are not able to make the travel arrangements to do so. We have capacity for all of our members to attend, so let's make it a record attendance!

The normal Annual Conference has been cancelled but we will be investigating whether it is possible to hold an alternative event later in the year when conditions permit.

Details of how to attend, and documents for the AGM, can be found in the Membership Area.

(Image is our 2018 Annual Conference dinner in Mons, Belgium)

January 30th, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Awards and Badge Presentation, Online

The Guild Awards presentation and presentation of badges to newly-accredited guides will take place shortly after the Annual General Meeting (exact starting time will be announced at the end of the AGM).  Registration details can be found in the Membership area of the Guild website under "2021 AGM and Awards Ceremony".

Guild of Battlefield Guides - Accredited Members Badge

January 30th, 2021 @ 1:30 pm - 2:00 pm

EOD, Malta

The Guild recce to Malta will take place from the 9th to the 11th of April 2021. The theme of the recce is the defence of Malta during WW2, with the emphasise being on the Explosive Ordnance Disposal capability of the Islands. It will also cover air and sea campaigns, the experience of the Maltese population and the Axis plans to invade the islands to provide background and context. There will also be a presentation on the siege of Malta in 1565.

Despite being the most bombed place on earth in WW2, Malta is a beautiful island with experiences and sights to suit everybody from narrow meandering streets with baroque church’s, medieval towers to some of the oldest known human structures in the world.

The Islands have rightly been described as an open-air museum with superb weather, fantastic beaches and 7,000 years of intriguing history.

To register an interest contact Bob Shaw

April 9 - 11, 2021 Malta

Guild Portuguese Peninsular War Recce – Rescheduled Dates

This Recce had been scheduled to take place in April 2020 but was postponed as Europe went into Covid 19 lock-down which prevented all but non-essential travel. The recce has now been provisionally rescheduled to 16th to 21st May 2021. If travel is still difficult in May, we are looking at further alternative dates for later in 2021.

Please contact the organiser if you are interested in going if you were not down to go on the original recce dates as there may be spaces available.

This 6 day Guild Recce visits the battlefield of Bussaco where Wellington’s strategic genius saw the demise of Massena. We walk Wellington’s early battle sites of Rolica and Vimeiro and contemplate his vision and strategy at the Lines of Torres Vedras. We examine Wellington’s decision making at Oporto where Nosey’s army routed Soult’s French into full retreat.

The intent of the reconnaissance is to visit and consider main battlefield stands, suitable hotels, restaurants, museums and relevant places of interest in order to conduct future successful tours. We will have fun and certainly fair better than our ancestors who soldiered and suffered here during the Napoleonic Wars.

Full details can be found in the attached document.


May 16 - 21, 2021 Oporto

Special Forces in the UK

The Guild Special Forces recce will take place on the 11th and 12th September 2021 in the Poole area.

The theme of the recce is the development of Special Forces capabilities during WW2 and will study the Special Operations Executive, The Auxiliary Units, the Special Raiding Force, Special Forces Communications, Air support to SF operations, MI9, the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry, the COPPs and Operation Frankton.

This promises to be a packed weekend with lots of historical info and a fun but challenging quiz night. You will be home on Sunday in time for tea and medals!

Contact Bob Shaw to reserve a place.

September 11 - 12, 2021 Poole

Somme Recce (Provisional)

Taking a Guild recce format with participating Guild members passing on their knowledge of the battlefield and tour tips based on experience. Participants will be invited to share their knowledge with the group as we visit possible "stands" around the battlefields.

Newcomers to the Guild and battlefield guiding on the Western Front need not be concerned that your knowledge may not match that of experienced members. That is the whole point of recces to gain information and you will be surprised that even the smallest piece of knowledge, even if thought to be in another area, may be of considerable interest to your fellow members. Apart from that, the camaraderie of members is fabulously infectious!

This is five-day recce to the Somme under recce leaders John Cotterill & Paul Oldfield.

An itinerary based on last year's postponed recce is expected to be followed (note days in this itinerary do not correspondent to 2021 days!)

November 1 - 5, 2021

Guild Christmas Lunch 2021

A great opportunity to catch up at the end of a battlefield guiding season and at the Union Jack Club, Waterloo, London as usual. Full details will be provided later in the year.

December 3rd, 2021 Union Jack Club