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
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.
Accredited Guide Number: 43
Although from a family with a record of distinguished RAF and RAAF service I have pursued a career in finance and law. I live in Suffolk and own and manage Barnes Insight, a company providing expert witness, dispute resolution, and professional training services. All of these activities, like battlefield guiding, require the ability to express complex ideas and events lucidly and engagingly.
My interest in military history and fortification began as a biology undergraduate at UEA; whilst walking the Ypres Salient during the 1974 summer vacation I met my future wife. In the ensuing years I developed a passion for history and completed an MA in Modern History in 2000 under the supervision of Professor Gary Sheffield, then at RMA Sandhurst. My dissertation evaluated the impact of the Great War on West Flanders.
I began guiding small groups to European battlefields and fortifications in 1999, progressing to school, university, military and other groups from 2007. As well as tours to Ypres, the Somme, Arras and 1918 battlefields, I guide tours to selected World War 2 and Cold War sites including Dunkirk, Sedan, Berlin, Munich, Warsaw, Krakow and concentration camps. I have a parallel interest in fortification in France, Belgium, Germany, Scandinavia and the Far East.
My tours also consider the non-combatant’s perspective, and the wider impact of conflict. They usually contain insights into the natural history of battlefields!
I continue to research aspects of warfare, and to visit sites of fortification, whenever and wherever practicable. I assist in tracing military ancestry. My wife and I are regular visitors to West Flanders. I am also a member of the Western Front Association, and of the Fortress Study Group.
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” !
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, not just the combatants but those back home or in the countries where the campaigns and battles were fought.
As well as general tours of the Western Front battlefields I also have a particular interest and knowledge in the involvement of the Canadian and Australian forces in both World Wars and have led a number of tours to the European battlefields where they fought. I also particularly enjoy taking small groups on family pilgrimages and undertaking the research that is involved in developing these tours.
“Once again you’ve made our battlefields trip and amazing experience. Thank you for all the extra special investigations you do. We can’t imagine these trips without you!”
Teacher – School group
“Our trip has been the trip of a lifetime experience – your part made it absolutely awesome!”
Guest – Canadian Adult group
Accredited Guide Number: 46
David has been guiding the battlefields since 1997, with his main interests in WW1 & WW2.
His enthusiasm for military history originated from several sources, not least his 20 years in the British Army, predominantly with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, serving in many parts of the world. Also, his father was a Battle of Britain pilot, while his mother was one of the decoders on the Enigma machine at Bletchley Park. Hence his desire to become passionately involved in military history, and especially the personal stories of those who partook.
Though he works as an independent guide, he is presently guiding for four companies, including one in America and another in Canada, taking schools, universities, adult and military groups (including Staff Rides), and offering private bespoke tours. All tours always include any research to meet client requirements.
As one company recently requested, when they contacted David. ‘Can you do a Normandy tour in one day? The reply being, ‘but it takes at least 4 hours just to drive there’ (from England). The company’s response being; ‘no, it’s only 45 minutes by private aircraft’. What a tremendous tour!
Accredited Guide Number: 66
Allan served for 22 years in the Regular Army in the 17 th /21 st Lancers and Queens Royal Lancers, a career which ended at the Armoured Fighting Vehicle Gunnery School, Lulworth. Allan was later commissioned into the TA serving for a further 9 years firstly with the Dorset and later the Royal Wessex Yeomanry in Bovington where he began guiding battlefield tours.
Allan’s first battlefield tour as a guide was for the Yeomanry to Normandy in 1999. He has since guided over 100 battlefield tours for both Regular and Territorial Army units, schools and numerous adult groups to the Western Front, North West Europe and battles of other campaigns outside of the World Wars including Waterloo and Agincourt. Allan has guided many ANZAC focused tours of the Western Front, 1916-1918. Allan retired from teaching to give himself the time to be an active Battlefield Guide and works freelance for several companies and organisations. Allan also regularly gives talks on Military History to a wide variety of audiences.
Allan is an Accredited Member of (Badge Number 66) of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides. He is a member of the Western Front Association, Royal Lancers Regimental Association and a Trustee for the Dorset Yeomanry Association.
Allan is an ‘Old Boy’ of the Duke of York’s Royal Military School. Whilst in the Army he studied and graduated through the Open University and later trained as teacher at the University of Bath after which he taught History in a secondary school in Poole. Allan was later appointed as the Headteacher of the Compass, the school responsible for providing Alternative Provision for young people in Weymouth, where he lives with his wife Angela, who tolerates both his guiding and golf in exchange for holidays in the sun! They have two children.