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: 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: 94
Gareth has been a keen student of twentieth century warfare for many years. He served in the Royal
Tank Regiment for over 25 years and his military career included tours teaching at Sandhurst, the Land Warfare School, and the Joint Services Command and Staff College, as well as two tours in the
Ministry of Defence. He has an MA in Defence Studies from Kings College London.
Gareth now works as a Warfare Analyst, looking at current military challenges as well as helping people
learn from the past. He regularly leads group tours for schools and military units as well as highly
bespoke tours for individuals and families. His interests include command, learning, and technology;
the Great War in France & Flanders, Italy, and Palestine; Second World War combined arms actions of
1944 and 1945; and tanks – because a day without a tank is a day wasted. His first book, on tanks in
1917, will be published by Helion in 2021.
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 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: 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: 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.
“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.