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: 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: 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: 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: 68
I retired from the army after a 34-year career in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. During my career, I served with a variety of regiments, including operational service in The Gulf, Bosnia and Afghanistan. From the very beginning of my career I was fascinated by each regiment’s unique history and battle honours. This soon developed into a quest for more knowledge, especially that of The Great War.
My interest in military history probably goes back even beyond my military service to my childhood, listening to my father who was a proud regular soldier who served with the Royal Army Medical Corps during the Second World War and saw service with the British Expeditionary Force at Dunkirk and later with the 8th Army at El Alamein.
I studied at Birmingham University under Professor Gary Sheffield and Dr Spencer Jones and in 2013 was awarded the MA in British First World War Studies. My thesis focused on the mechanical challenges of British armoured warfare in the Great War. I also have an MSc in Battlespace Technology gained at Shrivenham.
I have particular interests in trench raiding in the First World War and armoured warfare up to the modern day. I have been organising and guiding battlefield tours and conducting individual research for many years.
I completed the Guild’s validation scheme in 2014 and became one of the few accredited members not referred during validation. I was very proud to be awarded Badge Number 68 in 2014 by Professor Gary Sheffield.
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.