Find a Guide

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

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

Graeme Cooper

Accredited Guide Number: 7

Graeme a battlefield guiding since 1995 operates his family run Essex based business ‘Cooper’s Waterloo Tours’ which specialises in tailored tours to the Napoleonic Campaign battlefields of the Peninsular War and Waterloo. A Fellow of the International Napoleonic Society (FINS), Graeme qualified as a Waterloo Campaign Guide with Les Guides 1815 in 1998. Graeme’s interest in the Napoleonic Campaigns was sparked during his time as a cadet at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst by his tutors, the late and renowned military historians and authors, Professor Richard Holmes and Dr David Chandler. His ancestral grandfather John Cooper fought at Waterloo in 1815 with the 7th Hussars. In WW2 Graeme’s father Johnny Cooper was David Stirling’s navigator in ‘L’ Detachment SAS. Graeme was the driving force behind the creation of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides in November 2002. Since his original idea, the Guild has grown to International status and has set the benchmark for many who have passed its quality validation programme. Graeme was the Guild Secretary until November 2009 when he became the first member to be elected to the Roll of Honour for his services to the Guild. He is currently the Guild’s historian and organizes the Guild’s annual ‘Badged Guides Dinner’ and ‘Annual Guild Golf Championships’.

In May 2006 he established Corporate Battlefields Ltd, a leadership training company for corporate management and has since delivered to senior global management teams from eBay, Boeing, London Fire Brigade, Lilly, Brother UK, HSBC, Parliamentarians, the NATO Secretary General and others on the battlefields of Waterloo, Salamanca, Isandlwana, Normandy D-Day Beaches and Naseby.

Graeme is a recognised Great War and WW2 Guide, member of the Battlefields Trust and former Chairman of the British Army of the Rhine Branch of the Western Front Association. He and his wife Alison live in Essex and have a son and daughter who commissioned through Sandhurst. Graeme enjoys golf, photography, chess and telemark skiing. Graeme’s testimonials declare his standards.

“Graeme Cooper is the master story-teller. You stand with him in a green field, but when he speaks you see a battlefield before you.” – Adam Holloway MP

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.

David Harvey

Accredited Guide Number: 63

I began exploring battlefields, castles and other defensive sites as a teenager. These early interests became a lifelong passion in understanding the past through battles as turning points in history and led to membership of the Guild and gaining qualification as an accredited member.

A full career in policing has trained me in a detective’s way to look for corroboration of facts. There’s a saying ‘never let facts get in the way of a good story’, however I believe the truth holds a more revealing narrative than a mere story. Revisiting the accepted course of events is a rewarding way to explore scenes of battle, encouraging discussion about accepted facts.

Graduating from the School of Ancient History and Archaeology, Leicester University in 2012, I have a familiarity with modern archaeological techniques. This enables me to explain how advances in scientific analysis may significantly add insight for battlefield tourists. An example of this has been scrutinising the recent revelations of King Richard III’s battle wounds and reassessing the conduct of the battle of Bosworth through field walking and geophysical surveys.

I have visited and studied a wide range of historical sites across the Mediterranean and Europe from ancient to modern eras. Organising private tours to interesting locations overseas and in the U.K. has become a real pleasure, providing additional research and discrete visits according to client needs.

As a local historian, I am a member of a variety of community based groups with interest in maintaining a living heritage, such as the Rutland Historical Society. My archaeological skills are maintained through field-walking, surveys and excavations with community archaeological teams and Leicester University.

Personal historical interests extend from Roman occupation of Britain through Saxon and Viking settlement to the Norman Conquest. I have particular knowledge of the English Civil War and an understanding of the Wars of the Roses with fresh interpretation of the end of medieval age with the defeat of Richard III.

Andy Johnson

Accredited Guide Number: 52

I have been guiding battlefield tours since 2009, and have now led over 90 individual tours of one to ten days’ duration. I enjoy variety and this is reflected in the range of battles that I explore and in the variety of groups that I lead.

I am particularly proud to be a guide for the Government’s First World War Centenary Battlefield Tour Programme. I enjoy interacting with young people and get great satisfaction from helping students to explore history, whether the focus is on the effect of war on their local community, the cost of war, tactical and technical deployment, or simply for remembrance. I have a particular interest in the story of the Indian Corps on the Western Front.

I also take groups to Second World War locations, including sites related to the Combined Bomber Offensive and the German secret weapons programme. Doing this in Germany and in former occupied countries gives great insight into the effects of war and helps to explain why certain decisions were taken and why particular events took place as they did.

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.

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

Tony Smith

Accredited Guide Number: 57

I come from a family that saw service in both the World Wars. My mother’s father was in France during the First World War and her two brothers fought in the Second War – one in the Royal Air Force, successfully evading capture at Dunkirk in 1940, and another with the Royal Navy in the Atlantic. On my father’s side of the family, my grandfather saw service in the Royal Army Medical Corps in the First War and later became an Air Raid Warden in Burton on Trent in World War II, whilst his brother was with the Royal Air Force in the Far East.

Talking to them sparked my own interest in military history which then developed to reading about battles and military campaigns – it was the part of the history lessons at school I liked most! When I had some pocket money I would buy books about battles and would always be scouring ‘junk shops’ for military cap badges, medals and the like.

Medal collecting led to me undertaking research into the lives of the individuals that had won them and in turn to research the battles in which they had fought. The next logical step was visiting some of those battlefields. Initially alone but later with friends and family, the visits developed into small guided tours with an emphasis on the human side of war and its effect on the people involved.

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.