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Explore the world’s most trusted directory of battlefield guides

The guide directory details all Guild Accredited Members. Each of these has passed the our validation programme – so you can be sure they are all high quality guides and will give you a great tour!

You can filter by battle or country. Then click on the name of a Guide to read their biography and email them directly. This list shows our Accredited Guides, we also have many Associate Members not listed here. If you would like to check whether a particular individual is a member of the Guild, or for further help, please contact the Guild Secretary at secretary@gbg-international.com. We guarantee we’ll have somebody that can help you!

Many Guides can develop bespoke personalised tours and can research where particular ancestors might have fought or died. If you want to advice on following a particular ancestor please contact the Guild Secretary.

Battle

Wybo Boersma

Accredited Guide Number: 30

I was born just before the Second World War and still have some memories of that time; Jewish people being hidden by my parents, my farther coming back from a concentration camp and the fighting and liberation in April 1945 of my native town, Groningen, in the Northern part of The Netherlands by the Canadian Army.

I joined the Dutch Army in 1960 as a member of the Royal Signals and retired in 1991 as a Warrant Officer. In 1974 I became a member of the Board of the Airborne Museum in Oosterbeek and was responsible for the organisation of the museum and its dioramas following the move from its original location at Doorwerth Castle, to the Hartenstein Hotel in 1978. After 1991 I spent the next 14 years as a Volunteer Director of the Airborne Museum Hartenstein at Oosterbeek and was responsible for its establishment in 1978 and the renovation of the museum in time for the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Arnhem.

I organise and conduct battlefield tours for military and civilian groups on Market Garden, (specialising on the 1st British Airborne division, the1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade, and the 101st and 82nd US Airborne Divisions), Normandy, Ardennes, Hürtgenwald, Dieppe, the French SAS participation in Operation Amherst in April 1945 and the Airborne Operations during the Rhine Crossing in March 1945.

I have been a guide for 30 years and guide in collaboration with the Liberation Route Europe, Battlefield tours of the city of Groningen and the Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum. From the start I have been a member of the Battlefields Trust and the Dutch Documentation Group 1940 – 1945.

Ewan Carmichael

Accredited Guide Number: 84

Ewan’s particular interests are Leadership, the Realities of War and Close Combat, through the ages, but particularly the ‘horse and musket’ era. On tour, he believes in balancing depth of research with enjoyment.

He is a direct successor to Wellington’s McGrigor as Director General Army Medical Services. He set up and led the British Army’s Air Assault Medical Regiment and then commanded all of the Army’s Field Hospitals operating in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He was awarded an MBE for Squadron leadership in the First Gulf War and CBE for his direction of the Army Medical Services (AMS), at a time when the AMS achieved its highest battle casualty survival rate in history (halving the death rate).

A graduate of the Army Staff College and member of the Royal College of Defence Studies, his MA was on whether it is possible to create a strategy which endures. A Fellow of one of the Medical Royal Colleges, he is also an Apothecary and Freeman of the City of London.

Gregarious rather than combative by nature, he was surprised to be elected as President of the Combined Services Martial Arts Society by its members, and even more pleasantly surprised to win the first Worldwide Open tournament for renaissance sword & buckler at Hanover in 2010.

Ed Church

Accredited Guide Number: 11

I have been a guide for over 24 years and a military historian since leaving school. I gained my Guild badge in 2004, receiving it from our late patron Prof. Richard Holmes. I come from a family with a long tradition of military service in both world wars, Korea and Aden, and it was hearing the menfolk of the family talking ( and shooting lines ! ) at family gatherings which ultimately started me off down the road to becoming a guide.
I studied modern history at “S” level at school, studying the Rise and Fall of the third Reich, and took an especial interest in the actions of the RAF and the Royal Navy during WW2 as a result of close family involvement, one uncle a gunner on Lancasters, the other a Chief Petty Officer on HMS Renown.
My interest in the Great War came from talking to my two great uncles, both of whom served throughout, one gaining the MM and MSM and MID twice, the other being cited for a VC ( which he didn’t get, much to his relief ! ). Knowing them as I did, I got to thinking about the ordinary man at war and wanted to visit the places they had been, fought and existed from day to day.
I have an passion for the paraphernalia of war, collecting militaria, uniforms, equipment, and ephemera and I belong to two Living History Groups portraying the ordinary soldier of WW1, and the Home Guard of WW2. I occasionally do film extra work and outreach to schools. I love maps and interpreting the ground fought over, so important in understanding what happened, and more importantly why.

I would like to think that I can bring the events of the past alive for visitors, getting them, as our founder Graeme Cooper would say, to “smell the cordite” !

HolocaustFall of FranceWWI...WWIIArrasBattle of the SommeArnhemLoosD-DayDunkirkYpresOperation Market Garden

HollandBelgiumFrance...GermanyNetherlands

Adult Coach GroupsBespoke GroupCollege Groups...FamiliesIndividualsSchool GroupsSmall Groups

Ian Gumm

Accredited Guide Number: 62

Ian Gumm is the founder and CEO of In The Footsteps, a leading independent battlefield tour operator, as well as a full-time battlefield historian and guide. He has led tours since 1998 and has visited the battlefield of the Norman Conquest, the Hundred Years War, the Napoleonic Wars, the Anglo-Zulu War, the First World War, the Second World War … and much more.

“Touring the battlefield is my passion, it is what I love to do and I feel extremely privileged to be able to escort people around the battlefields of the world visiting some of the most important historical sites that have shaped the world in which we live.”

Ian served in the British Army as a Reservist for thirty-six years during which time he commanded B (Rorke’s Drift) Company of the 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Wales; commanded the Regimental Contingent at the affiliation parade with 121 South African Infantry Battalion (a Zulu Battalion) in South Africa; was the officer responsible for training all junior and potential officers in Wales and was the staff officer responsible for the First World War Centenary Commemorations for Wales.

His experience, gained both on the battlefield and with the British Army, allows him to add a soldier’s perspective and paint the picture of a battle on the canvas of the countryside. This enhances your tour experience, as Ian is not only able to impart an understanding of the history, but also a feel for the men who fought the battle and the ground over which they were fought.

“So whether you are ‘following in the footsteps’ of an ancestor or relative on a genealogy tour; ‘following in the footsteps of heroes’ on a more general tour or retracing the steps of a military unit or formation on a battlefield study or staff ride you can be sure that Ian will deliver an experience that will leave you with memories that last a lifetime.”

As an Accredited Member of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides, Ian endeavours to maintain the high standards, both in terms of service and good practice, that are commensurate with the Guild’s ethos. In addition to being an Accredited Member of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides, Ian is a member of the Western Front Association, the Last Post Association and a registered tour guide with the European Tour Operators Association.

As well as leading battlefield tours Ian delivers interesting and informative military history talks and presentations to professional organisations, businesses, clubs, societies and other groups, small or large.

Jo Hook

Accredited Guide Number: 48

Jo Hook is a full time military historian and Guide and has been guiding for sixteen years.  Jo spent four years in Hong Kong in the 1980s working for the military and upon her return to the UK she spent eighteen years as a Reservist with the Royal Corps of Signals including an operational tour of Bosnia in 1994.  It was during her time as a reservist that Jo began guiding initially with military groups wanting to focus on Operation Market Garden, Normandy and the First World War.   Jo has a History Degree in Modern to Medieval History and an MA in First World War Studies under the tutelage of Professor Gary Sheffield her thesis concentrated on the involvement of I ANZAC Corps at Bullecourt in 1917.  She has also worked as a presenter with Battlefield History TV and their DVD on Operation Market Garden as well as providing articles for local papers and local radio stations.  She is passionate about military history and feels that through her work as a military historian she is able to continue the legacy of remembrance and understanding of both World Wars.

Jo presently works for Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours predominantly guiding Australian and New Zealand clients on the Western Front, Gallipoli, Normandy and Verdun and has led tours to all the major Australian First World War centenary commemorations in Gallipoli and on the Western Front.  Whilst working for Mat McLachlan Jo has also led four different Australian schools to the battlefields of Normandy, the Western Front and Verdun.  She has also been heavily involved within the UK schools battlefield study market where she works with Galloway Battlefield Tours for Schools, Battle Honours and has undertaken work with the military for Staff Ride.  As well as working for some of the major battlefield tour operators Jo also undertakes private work and regularly guides RAF Cadets to Arnhem..  She has a diverse knowledge of both World Wars and an intimate knowledge of the Australian involvement in the First World War on the Western Front and Operation Market Garden.  She is however equally at home guiding British groups to the First World War battlefields and has guided on the beaches of Normandy, at Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain, and the Gallipoli landings.

Jo was awarded her Guild Badge in October 2010.  She is one of only a few accredited members to have never been referred during her validation.  Until 2017 she was the Membership Secretary for the Guild of Battlefield Guides and she continues to work full time on the Battlefields of Europe.

Vimy RidgeVillers-BretonneuxWWI...GallipoliWWIIArrasAubers RidgeBapaumeBattle of the SommeBullecourtDellville WoodArnhemFromellesD-DayDunkirkYpresVimy

BelgiumWestern EuropeTurkey...FranceNetherlands

Adult Coach GroupsBespoke GroupClubs and Societies...FamiliesIndividualsMilitary & VeteranPilgrimage GroupsSchool Groups

Paul Oldfield

Accredited Guide Number: 51

In a military career spanning 36 years, Paul served in most of the usual hotspots, including three years in Ulster, plus the Balkans, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and Iraq. Other appointments included running the MOD’s Africa team for three years, commanding a mountain and arctic warfare unit and a tour with the Gurkhas. With his military experience he is able to bring a soldier’s insight to battles of the past.

Paul was educated in Sheffield and at Victoria College, Jersey, where he became interested in the German occupation and fortifications. He ran his first tour in 1983 on the Somme and has dabbled in WW1 and WW2 tours since. Paul is a member of the Western Front Association and Gallipoli Association. He joined the Guild in April 2008 and was presented with Badge 51 on 20 th November 2010.

In 1988 he co-authored Sheffield City Battalion in the Pals series. Cockleshell Raid was published in Pen & Sword’s Battleground Europe series in 2012 and Bruneval followed in 2013. He is currently writing a series of ten books, Victoria Crosses on the Western Front. The first was published in July 2014, since when four others have been released. The sixth in the series will be published in spring 2018 and the remainder will appear at regular intervals thereafter.

John Pratt

Accredited Guide Number: 68

I retired from the army after a 34-year career in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. During my career, I served with a variety of regiments, including operational service in The Gulf, Bosnia and Afghanistan. From the very beginning of my career I was fascinated by each regiment’s unique history and battle honours. This soon developed into a quest for more knowledge, especially that of The Great War.

My interest in military history probably goes back even beyond my military service to my childhood, listening to my father who was a proud regular soldier who served with the Royal Army Medical Corps during the Second World War and saw service with the British Expeditionary Force at Dunkirk and later with the 8th Army at El Alamein.

I studied at Birmingham University under Professor Gary Sheffield and Dr Spencer Jones and in 2013 was awarded the MA in British First World War Studies. My thesis focused on the mechanical challenges of British armoured warfare in the Great War. I also have an MSc in Battlespace Technology gained at Shrivenham.

I have particular interests in trench raiding in the First World War and armoured warfare up to the modern day. I have been organising and guiding battlefield tours and conducting individual research for many years.

I completed the Guild’s validation scheme in 2014 and became one of the few accredited members not referred during validation. I was very proud to be awarded Badge Number 68 in 2014 by Professor Gary Sheffield.

Villers-BretonneuxWWIWWII...Battle of the SommeBattle of AmiensCambraiLe HamelD-DayDunkirkYpresNormandy Landings

BelgiumFranceGermany...United Kingdom

Adult Coach GroupsBespoke GroupClubs and Societies...College GroupsFamiliesIndividualsMilitary & VeteranSchool Groups

Steve Smith

Accredited Guide Number: 17

I qualified as a Guild Guide in 2004, having left the RAF in 2003, where I served for 18 years as an RAF Police NCO at various bases in the UK and abroad and completed tours in Northern Ireland, the Falklands and in Macedonia on a NATO Peace Keeping mission. At present I assist students in attaining diplomas at various levels of education.

I have had an interest in military history since the age of 13 when I was introduced to my Great Grandfather Private G/5203 Frank Smith who served in the 7th and 8th Buffs in WW1 at the Pozieres Memorial on the Somme. Since then I have traced his war from 1915 to 1918 and now assist others in doing the same thing. It is both a passion and a calling to me.

I now work for Adaptable Travel where I am lucky enough to conduct battlefield tours with school groups and I also specialise in taking adult groups across as well. One of my main areas of focus is taking families on small battlefield pilgrimages to locate where their family members served. It is something I love doing.

I am an author having had two books on Norfolk in WW1 and WW2 published in 2012 and 2014 and I am currently working on my third book which will be about the Norfolk Regiment on the Western Front.

One of my other passions is the air war in both WW1 and WW2 and I conduct tours looking at aspects of these aerial battles. Living in Norfolk provides me with access to subjects such as the Zeppelin raids carried out over the county in 1915 and the Commonwealth and US bomber wars in WW2. I also love guiding the Battle of Britain having been brought up with stories of that time whilst growing up in East Kent.

I am comfortable guiding all aspects of WW1 and WW2 in Europe and revel in being provided with new challenges where I am offered the chance to study and walk the ground for specific unit actions.

As one gentleman said once said to me when I took him to see where his father had fought on the Western Front,

‘You helped to put the meat on the bones of my dad’s story.’

WWIGallipoliArnhem...Battle of BritainD-DayOperation Market Garden

Western EuropeTurkey

Adult Coach GroupsFamiliesIndividuals...School Groups

Andrew Thomson

Accredited Guide Number: 14

I am a historian, tour operator and private guide based in Canterbury. I run my own company Dr Thomson’s Tours full-time, specialising in tailor-made tours with a historical and cultural theme in France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany.

Battlefield guiding accounts for around two-thirds of my business. Battlefield tours are particularly special to me as they combine history (asking what happened, why it happened then, there, and in that way), people (both empathy with those who fought, and on–the–spot interactions with one’s clients), landscape, and travel – all great interests of mine. Where History and Place overlap is at the heart of the buzz I get from history and explaining it to others.

After graduating with a degree in American Studies in 1979 I was briefly a civil servant, then a university administrator for fifteen years. I was Administrator of University College London’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory (the UK’s first and largest university space research group), then moved to Canterbury in 1992 to be Administrator of the new Canterbury Business School. Meanwhile I was taking my love of history forward by completing a PhD in American History in my own time; the subject was the experiences of ordinary American troops in France in 1944 and 1945 and their interactions with the French people. On completion of this I set about my aim of doing something ‘useful’ (i.e. productive!) with a History PhD and set up Dr Thomson’s Tours in 1997. This allows me to teach ‘in the field’, to take my study of history forward, and to meet a fascinating and varied mix of people.

References (see Trip Advisor, for instance) pay tribute to my relaxed but authoritative style, the high level of organisation of tours, and my ability to personalise a tour and make the complexities of war understandable to audiences with very varying degrees of pre–existing knowledge.

I was very proud to obtain the Guild of Battlefield Guides’ badge in November 2004.

Julian Whippy

Accredited Guide Number: 31

Julian has had a passion for military history since his childhood and has led tours across the battlefields of the globe from Beesheva to Spion Kop. He has a particular interest in both Normandy and Arnhem having spent years researching and travelling the beach and inland battles of 1944. He enjoys leading groups to uncover lost or seldom-seen sites of battle from all wars. He has a military background, having served with the Royal Anglian Regiment as a member of the Territorial Army. A published author, he is a badged member and validator within the Guild of Battlefield Guides. Julian lectures on military history widely including in Whitehall for the Royal United Services Institute. Julian is today employed full time in military history as co-owner of both Battle Honours & Staffride Ltd, two leading specialist battlefield tour operators.