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: 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: 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: 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: 24
Iain Standen is CEO of the Bletchley Park Trust, the organisation that runs Bletchley Park the historic site of secret British code breaking activities during WWII and birthplace of the modern computer.
A former Regular Army officer in the Royal Corps of Signals, he served in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Cyprus, as well as on operational deployments to Northern Ireland (where he was Mentioned in Despatches), Saudi Arabia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Iraq. He commanded at troop, squadron, unit and group level, graduated from the Army Staff College and served in a range of staff appointments. This extensive military experience allows him to provide a wide–ranging soldier’s insight on his battlefield tours.
As the son of an RAF officer and the grandson of an Army officer it could be said that the military and military history are in his blood. His interest in battlefields stretches back to his childhood, and he visited his first, Bosworth Field, over 30 years ago. Since then he has toured the battlefields of the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, and the United States, covering battles and campaigns from the Seven Years War to the Second World War. Whilst maintaining a broad interest in a range of campaigns, the American Civil War remains his favourite era. He began leading military battlefield tours with the troops under his command in 1987 and led military tours and staff rides throughout his Army career.
Iain has been working commercially for Anglia Battlefield Tours since 2001 and has guided tours for them on the battlefields of Waterloo, Ypres, Somme and Normandy.
He is a member of the American Civil War Roundtable (United Kingdom) and lectures on American Civil War subjects. He also maintains an interest in military history and battlefield preservation through membership of The Battlefields Trust, the Western Front Association and the Civil War Preservation Trust. He was an early member of the Guild of Battlefield Guides (member number 28) and completed his Validation in August 2006.
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.
Accredited Guide Number: 66
Allan served for 22 years in the Regular Army in the 17th/21st 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 nearly 200 battlefield tours for both Regular and Territorial Army units, schools and numerous adult groups to the Western Front, North West Europe plus other campaigns outside of the two 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 from those including very senior serving officers to local groups in the Dorset area and wider afield.
Allan is an Accredited Member of (Badge Number 66) of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides and a current Validator for candidates on the Path to their own Badge. He is a member of the Western Front Association, Royal Lancers Regimental Association and a Trustee for the Dorset Yeomanry Association.
Allan is an Alumni of the Duke of York’s Royal Military School, Dover. Whilst in the Army he studied and graduated through the Open University, later training 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, Dorset. Allan still in Weymouth with his wife Angela, who tolerates both his guiding and golf in exchange for holidays in the sun! They have two grown up children.