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: 8
I am a freelance guide, historian and heritage professional. After retiring after 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.
I was an early supporter of the Guild of battlefield Guides and been part of the validation team, responsible for assessing guides’ competence, since 2008. I instruct on courses teaching battlefield guides and a Guide Co-ordinator for the Liberation Route Europe. My clients include include small and large groups, businesses as well as educational and of all sizes
In 2012 I was elected to the British Commission for Military History. My published work includes chapters in British Army Guide to the Western Front, and articles in military history journals. I write a military history blog www.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.
I am writing the official history of the Normandy campaign for the Royal Regiment of Artillery and have battlefield guides to Artillery on the D Day beaches and 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
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 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: 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: 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: 86
Much of my own family history has been forged by war. My maternal grandparents lived in the Polish lands of the Russian and Austro-Hungarian Empires. Whilst my mother and grandmother experienced life in occupied Poland at first-hand during the Second World War, my grandfather served with the Polish army and then Polish units of the British Army in Poland, France, North Africa and Italy. Other family members served in Berling’s army and the AK. My interest in battlefields was kindled as a youngster as my grandfather took me to visit his comrades’ resting places in Bolgna, Ancona and Padua.
My interest in History led me to 25 years of teaching and lecturing in institutions as diverse as secondary schools, universities and high security prisons and my teaching has always recognised the importance of either taking the students to the outdoors or, in secure conditions, to bring the outdoors to the students. Even my PhD thesis – a study in contrasting British and Austro-Hungarian interpretations of the problems of late imperial Russia – provided numerous opportunities to walk the ground described by nineteenth century commentators. Nothing compares with experiencing History in its actual environment.
My academic interests and family history have taken me firmly down the line of an inter-disciplinary approach to my craft, and I work from the perspective that military history and the study of battlefields can be hugely enhanced when accompanied by a secure political and socio-economic context. Civil historical sites and concentration camps are integrated into my tours whenever relevant. I gain enormous pleasure from guiding, as it provides the excuse to develop my research, broaden my own perspectives and share my expertise with a broad range of people. Part of my pleasure in studying History is to witness the evolution of my own views – their constant reassessment and refinement is firmly rooted in my translation of academic desk-bound study to bringing the past to life in the field.
Accredited Guide Number: 88
Des retired from the Army in 2015 after over 30 years of service. Initially enlisting and serving as a Gunner, he was commissioned into the Worcestershire & Sherwood Foresters (later Mercian) Regiment. He is a self-employed Defence Consultant and was recently working on the STRIKE Brigade experiment, with a particular focus on Concepts and Doctrine. He is a student of the Advanced Command and Staff Course and has served in 1* and 2* Headquarters, as well as being the Chief Instructor of the Combined Arms Tactics Division. He has a MA in Defence Studies from Kings College London.
He has a keen interest in military history and is widely read. In particular, he enjoys visiting battlefields and has dragged his long-suffering wife over many of them. (Though still happily married she now refuses to follow him anymore.) He has led tours to the Crimea, Dublin, Italy and Normandy. He is now developing his expertise in the Napoleonic era. He has a particular interest in understanding how and why decisions were made; the impact of doctrine, terrain and organisational culture; as well as trying to relate the experience of the soldiers at the time.
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: 32
Chris comes from both an RAF ( Father AC2 to Flt Lt.) and a police ( Grandfather London PC, Uncle, Met Inspector) family. Chris undertook 40 years in Radiology in the NHS as a radiographer both in clinical practice and in management.
An active member of the Western Front Association he began guiding by organising regular trips to the Western Front for his local WFA branch. Interest in developing his guiding skills led to membership of the Guild of Battlefield Guides. Chris is proud to have been accredited with Badge 32. He is also proud to have been a member of the first GBG guiding team to accompany the initial H4H Great Battlefield Bike Ride through Northern France.
The Guild has helped to widen his areas of interest to V weapon sites within the Nord Calais area.
Chris also has lately developed an interest in historic sites around his Lichfield home from the Civil War sieges of Lichfield cathedral, WW1 encampments on Cannock Chase, with the Messines Terrain model and CWGC and German cemeteries there, to the history of Castle Bromwich airfield in both world wars, with the many local burials of WW1 aviators, and their individual histories.
Chris is a regular weekly volunteer guide at the National Memorial Arboretum both for normal weekday visits and participation in the many special events held there, Armistice Day service, New name dedications, Ride to the Wall ( 5000 motorbikes on a special day), new memorial unveilings, remembrance parades and many others.
Accredited Guide Number: 38
Mike St Maur Sheil spent his career working as a photo-journalist in over sixty countries around the world. In 2005 he began a collaboration with the late Prof Richard Holmes, the renowned British military historian, documenting the battlefields of the First World War as they are today.
Since 2014 this work has been presented as a series of outdoor photographic exhibitions, entitled ‘Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace’, which have been viewed by an audience of over 10 million people in nine countries. In creating these exhibitions, Mike has visited battlefields and photographed places generally only mentioned in books and has thus acquired an extraordinary knowledge of the ‘battlescapes’ of the conflict.
In 2014 his photography was published by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in their centenary commemoration book entitled ‘For the Fallen’ and, in 2016, the collection of his work, entitled ‘Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace’, won the accolade of the European Federation of Professional Photographers as the best book of landscape photography published in that year.
He has led numerous tours to the familiar British battlefields of Ypres and the Somme but his extensive knowledge of terrain has led to numerous tours of Gallipoli, northern Italy including the Dolomites and the Isonzo valley, the mountains of the Vosges, the Aisne and Marne and the Champagne regions of France.
Furthermore, in 2016 he was commissioned by the US National WWI Museum and Memorial to create an especial ‘Doughboys 1917-1918’ exhibition describing the American experience of the conflict which has given him an especial insight into the US involvement in WWI and the battlefields of Meuse-Argonne, Belleau Wood and the Marne.
Mike is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a member of the British Commission for Military History and currently writing a Masters dissertation on the importance of the aerial photography in the development of Air Power in WWI.
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.’
Accredited Guide Number: 90
I was born and brought up in Jersey, Channel Islands and from an early age became passionate about its history.
My maternal grandfather, apart from serving from 1914 to 1919 with the Canadian Infantry on the Western Front, held the government position of Guardien of Gorey Castle for 25 years. He was responsible on a day to day basis for Gorey Castle, which is an 800-year-old ancient monument, and he acted as a guide to its many visitors from members of the Royal Family to French day-trippers. He taught me after he retired, without me knowing at the time that I would effectively follow his footsteps, how accurate history and humour make for the best tours.
With both of my paternal great-grandfather and grandfather being career soldiers and seeing service in both World Wars, it was inevitable that military history would help form my interests and I even contemplated a military career myself. However, that didn’t happen, and I followed a career as a lawyer for 35 years.
I got into guiding accidentally as a result of our law firm entertaining some visiting conference lawyers on a coach tour. I thought that the “pre-taped” commentary was so bad that I grabbed the microphone and gave my first guided tour! I did it again when we next had visiting clients and then again for a big family birthday coach tour. Then came a family “pilgrimage” back to the Western Front which I researched with the assistance of my grandfather’s battalion’s war diary and his 90-page military record (the Canadian ones are very full and now are all online) and by then I realised that once I had finished practising as a lawyer, there was another career!
I set up Jersey Military Tours (and its sister brand, History Alive!) in 2016 and I focus on providing personal service for small groups, although I am happy to guide larger parties. I believe in providing a complete experience to my clients to help them get the best of their exploration of a battlefield or fortress. This generally involves getting to know individual participants through their stories, the impact on them and the local population, as well as introducing other disciplines like archaeology and geology to better understand the topography.
I particularly enjoy the educational element of battlefield guiding – be it for individual clients, a class of school children or a military unit undertaking a conceptual study exercise. My mother was a teacher, so I suppose that is where I get that from!