The guide directory details all Guild Accredited Members. Each of these has passed our Accreditation Programme – so you can be sure they are all high quality guides and will give you a great tour!
You can filter by battle/campaign or country and then click on the name of an Accredited Guide to read their biography. Most Accredited Guides have contact details by which you can contact them directly. If not, or if you want to pass a message to them, please contact them via the Guild Secretary via our Contacts Page.
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 and you have not identified a particular Accredited Guide, please contact the Guild Secretary. We guarantee we’ll have somebody that can help you!
Finally, this list shows only our Accredited Guides. Our Ordinary Members are not listed here and if you would like to check whether a particular individual is a member of the Guild, or for any other further help, please contact the Guild Secretary via our Contacts Page.
Accredited Guide Number: 8
I am a freelance guide, historian and heritage professional. After retiring following ten years in the army as a Royal Artillery Officer, I became increasingly involved in interpreting and presenting battlefield heritage for the Battlefields Trust and The Royal British Legion. My interest in battlefield touring was triggered by noticing that the part of Germany in which we were training in the 1980s had been a battlefield in 1757. I had always been interested in military history and both my father and grandfather had fought in the world wars.
As a guide, my clients include small and large groups, businesses as well as educational and military groups. I was an early supporter of the Guild of Battlefield Guides and been part of its validation team, responsible for assessing guides’ competence, since 2008. I instruct on courses teaching battlefield guides and have been Guide Co-ordinator for the Liberation Route Europe.
In 2012 I was elected to the British Commission for Military History. My published work includes two books on D Day and Normandy, chapters in British Army Guide to the Western Front, and articles in military history journals. I write a military history blog https://theobservationpost.com
My interest and knowledge of military history stretches from Caesar to the Cold War and my guiding experience covers much of Europe. Besides the world wars and the Napoleonic era, I am also interested in the mid C19th wars between Prussia, Austria and France and the Severn Years War.
Two of my books are on artillery in Normandy and I am currently writing a battlefield guide to artillery on the First Day of the Somme in publication. The artillery story of both world wars is a little neglected and I offer battlefield tours to tell the artillery story under the brand www.gunnertours.com
One speciality is providing military background for people researching their ancestry. I have been a researcher for a company that makes a popular ancestry-based TV programme and have appeared on television myself.
I have been privileged to support some of the British Army centenary staff rides as a subject matter expert alongside academic historians. My clients include many military units and headquarters. I run a website offering advice to military units planning staff rides, battlefield studies or realities of war tours. www.staffrideservices.com
The links between military and business strategy fascinate me. I offer a service to help organisations to learn from other people’s mistakes using examples from statecraft and military history. www.businessbattlefields.com
I chaired the Battlefields Trust from 2008-2015 and was involved in many projects to preserve, interpret and present many of the Battlefields of Britain, including the re-discovery of the battlefields of Bosworth.
Accredited Guide Number: 116
Simon was an infantry officer for over 30 years. A member of the Royal Anglian Regiment, he served on operations in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in History, Master’s Degree in Military Studies and is a Graduate of the Advanced Command and Staff Course.
His fascination with touring battlefields began in 1977, when living in Germany he went to see the film a Bridge Too Far. Then persuaded his father, a Royal Air Force officer, to take him to Arnhem to try and bring to life what he had just seen. This interest further developed as student, studying for a History Degree at Portsmouth Polytechnic, where he organised his first Battlefield Tour, a trip with student friends to Normandy. He was very lucky in that his military career really allowed him to indulge this passion, taking him on numerous Battlefield Tours and Staff Rides, In Europe, America, and as far afield as Vietnam and the Falkland Islands.
Currently Simon focuses on three main campaigns; the Blitzkrieg of 1940, D-Day and the Normandy Campaign and the Ardennes Offensive, the ‘Battle of the Bulge’.
Accredited Guide Number: 22
Like most of my generation my family served in both World Wars and my father was a regular officer serving from WW2 to the mid-70s. It was as a child in Cyprus during the EOKA Campaign that my interest in History and Military History was sparked. My interest was further fuelled, at Sandhurst, by listening to John Keegan, David Chaundler and Peter Young. After Sandhurst I became a regular officer in the Army serving in the Infantry for 27 years followed by 10 years’ service in the Reserves with Airborne Forces.
On leaving the military I was able to indulge my love of military history and then utilise it as a guide. My interest has always been in the role played by the fighting soldier, that much derided player in military history. If you take the stories of the soldiers and officers of both sides involved and then analyse any battle using Alfred Burne’s theory of “Inherent Military Probability” you should understand what happened.
I have also, jointly with 2 fellow Accredited Guild Members, been involved in producing and presenting 50 films with Battlefield History TV. In this enterprise we have been assisted by many fellow accredited guides and have I believe added to the objective study of many battles.
I get immense pleasure in researching, planning and delivering battlefield tours to all types of client, from student groups, bespoke adult tours, military units and military headquarters, each has it challenges and rewards.
Accredited Guide Number: 42
Christopher Finn served in the RAF for 33 years as a navigator, primarily on the Buccaneer, and was a weapons and tactics specialist. As a Wing Commander he was the UK’s LGB specialist in AHQ Riyadh during Operation GRANBY. His final flying tour was as OC the Navigator & Airman Aircrew School. A graduate of the Joint Services’ Defence College, in 2000 he gained an MPhil in International Relations from Cambridge University. His last 5 years in the RAF were spent at Shrivenham, firstly on the Directing Staff of the Advanced Command and Staff Course and then, on promotion to Group Captain, as the RAF’s Director of Defence Studies. In this role he lectured extensively on air power to UK and international audiences, published articles on air power and ran the RAF’s staff ride programme.
On leaving the RAF in 2005 he spent ten years as a Senior Lecturer in Air Power Studies with Kings College London, later Portsmouth University, based at the RAF College Cranwell.
Since 2003 Chris has developed and led over 30 staff rides and battlefield tours covering the subjects and battles listed below. These have predominantly covered the influence of air power on the battlefield but also areas such as joint fires, logistics, command and control, intelligence, campaign planning, leadership at all levels and the political aspects of warfare. However, he has also covered maritime battles (Malta & NEPTUNE) and land battles (Monte Cassino & Berlin).
Chris also lectures on Military History to a wide range of audiences including, recently, a lecture on the role of the Royal Artillery in the Imjin River Battle of the Korean War.
He is a Fellow of both the Royal Aeronautical Society and the Higher Education Academy, and works as a volunteer Guide at the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
A member of the Guild since 2008, Chris gained his Badge in 2009, became the Chief Validator in 2015 and became the Director of Validation (now Accreditation Director) in 2017. He was elected the fourth Fellow of the Guild at the 2020 Annual Conference.
Accredited Guide Number: 26
Dudley Giles has been an active battlefield guide for over 25 years and was an early member of the Guild of Battlefield Guides.
A former British Army officer, Dudley managed, in a career spanning nearly 34 years, to serve a third of his time in North West Europe (Germany and Belgium), a third in the UK (including three residential tours in Northern Ireland) and a third in ‘exotic’ locations such as Afghanistan, Bosnia, Canada, Croatia, Kosovo and the flanks of NATO (Norway and Turkey). In 1990 he attended the Army Command and Staff Course, and, in 2001, was serving as NATO’s senior military police officer during the climactic events post 9/11. In 2006/7 he deployed to Afghanistan as General Richards’ senior police advisor and his last appointment in the Army before finally retiring in 2012 he was Deputy Provost Marshal (Army).
In 2006/7 Dudley found himself on the modern battlefields of Afghanistan and was able to help soldiers, diplomats and journalists understand the historical similarities between the present and past experience of British soldiers in that country. On his return he acted as the chief battlefield guide for the very first Help for Heroes Big Battlefield Bike Ride and continued to support the charity in that capacity until 2013. This experience eventually led him to set up a specialist touring company -‘Battlefields by Bike.
Dudley took his first degree in Law (LL.B (Hons) at the University of Leeds in 1979 and later a Masters Degree in British First World Studies (2010) – graduating with Distinction.
When not running his own tours or carrying out research, Dudley works as an independent contractor for schools, military groups, families and other battlefield touring companies.
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 is a former Chair of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides and has led tours since 1998. During that time, Ian has visited the battlefields of Anglo-Saxon England, the Norman Conquest, the Hundred Years War, the War of the Roses, the English Civil Wars, 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 the training of all junior and potential officers in Wales; trained junior managers in the Defence Industry as the Officer Commanding the Sandhurst Leadership Challenge 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 took part in the battle and the ground over which it was 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 Battlefields Trust, the Last Post Association, and the Society for Army Historical Research (SAHR).
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: 18
Brian Shaw is an Ex Warrant Officer in the Parachute Regiment who has been leading
battlefield tours for the past twenty years. Born in Nottingham in 1958 he joined the Army in
1974 as a Junior Soldier, progressing through a busy career specializing in Battlefield
Communications. Brian become a Warrant Officer Class 1 in 1995 and retired from the
Army in January 2013 after 38 years’ service.
Brian has had an extensive career serving across the globe, in Northern Ireland on operations
and from South Africa to the Arctic Circle and from California to Hong Kong, the long way
round, on training. This long Infantry experience and knowledge of tactics, give him a
soldier’s eye for ground and the implications of terrain on the weapon systems of any
Brian has a long-held interest in military history, particularly the Second World War. He
combines his own experiences and his knowledge of history to put his audience on a tour
within the experience of what the soldiers of the day saw, felt and experienced.
Whilst Brian’s passion is for the Second World War and specifically NW Europe 1944/45
(D–Day to the war’s end) but with a wide military history knowledge he is happy working with
groups on the battlefields of the Great War or others.
Brian has assisted in and personally planned and led tours on the Battle of Waterloo, The
Western Front, Gallipoli, France and Belgium 1940, Malta, the fighting in Normandy,
Operation Market–Garden, Aachen, the Hurtgen Forest, the Rhine Crossing (Plunder and
Varsity) and the Ardennes Offensive. Italy – Anzio and Cassino.
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.
I have significant experience of working with school groups and was recently part of the guide team that delivered the Government initiative to take two students and a teacher from every English state school to the battlefields of France and Belgium between 2014 and 2019. I am currently a volunteer speaker for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and also help to clean and maintain CWGC headstones in local churchyards.
“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: 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.