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: 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: 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.