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: 8
I am a freelance guide, historian and heritage professional. After retiring following 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.
As a guide, my clients include small and large groups, businesses as well as educational and military groups. I was an early supporter of the Guild of Battlefield Guides and been part of its validation team, responsible for assessing guides’ competence, since 2008. I instruct on courses teaching battlefield guides and have been Guide Co-ordinator for the Liberation Route Europe.
In 2012 I was elected to the British Commission for Military History. My published work includes two books on D Day and Normandy, chapters in British Army Guide to the Western Front, and articles in military history journals. I write a military history blog https://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.
Two of my books are on artillery in Normandy and I am currently writing a battlefield guide to artillery on 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
One speciality is providing military background for people researching their ancestry. I have been a researcher for a company that makes a popular ancestry-based TV programme and have appeared on television myself.
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 was 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: 75
Steve is one of the leading military historians on the Gallipoli campaign. Even though this is his prime passion, he also has in-depth knowledge of many British military campaigns and battles that include Waterloo to the end of the Second World War. Stephen is a freelance battlefield guide, author and researcher specialising in British military history, from the redcoats to khaki.
He has written several books; his first book in the Battleground Europe series, Gallipoli – Gully Ravine (Pen & Sword 2002) had high acclaim, along with its follow-on volumes; Anzac The Landing (Pen & Sword 2008), Suvla: August Offensive (Pen & Sword 2011) and Anzac: Sari Bair (Pen & Sword 2014). British and commonwealth military history has continued to have been a successful theme, with Uniforms & Equipment of the British Army in World War One (Schiffer Books, 2005), the first serious work on the subject. Recently Stephen co-authored Gallipoli: The Dardanelles Disaster in Soldiers’ Words and Photographs (Bloomsbury 2015) with Richard van Emden and is working on Walking Gallipoli, to be published in 2018. Stephen’s Battleground Europe guidebooks have all been translated in to Turkish.
When not writing, Stephen is on the Battlefield, continuing his research and guiding groups. The best way to study a campaign is to walk in the footsteps of those involved, whether in the grasslands of Zululand, the mud of Flanders or the beaches of Gallipoli.
Stephen is a Trustee of the Gallipoli Association and a member of the Western Front Association and Orders and Medals Research Society. He is also a director of Great War Digital Ltd (http://www.greatwardigital.com/), home of the WW1 mapping Linesman GPS product.
Accredited Guide Number: 113
Accredited Guide Number: 26
Dudley Giles has been an active battlefield guide for over 25 years and was an early member of the Guild of Battlefield Guides.
A former British Army officer, Dudley managed, in a career spanning nearly 34 years, to serve a third of his time in North West Europe (Germany and Belgium), a third in the UK (including three residential tours in Northern Ireland) and a third in ‘exotic’ locations such as Afghanistan, Bosnia, Canada, Croatia, Kosovo and the flanks of NATO (Norway and Turkey). In 1990 he attended the Army Command and Staff Course, and, in 2001, was serving as NATO’s senior military police officer during the climactic events post 9/11. In 2006/7 he deployed to Afghanistan as General Richards’ senior police advisor and his last appointment in the Army before finally retiring in 2012 he was Deputy Provost Marshal (Army).
In 2006/7 Dudley found himself on the modern battlefields of Afghanistan and was able to help soldiers, diplomats and journalists understand the historical similarities between the present and past experience of British soldiers in that country. On his return he acted as the chief battlefield guide for the very first Help for Heroes Big Battlefield Bike Ride and continued to support the charity in that capacity until 2013. This experience eventually led him to set up a specialist touring company -‘Battlefields by Bike.
Dudley took his first degree in Law (LL.B (Hons) at the University of Leeds in 1979 and later a Masters Degree in British First World Studies (2010) – graduating with Distinction.
When not running his own tours or carrying out research, Dudley works as an independent contractor for schools, military groups, families and other battlefield touring companies.
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 is a former Chair of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides and has led tours since 1998. During that time, Ian has visited the battlefields of Anglo-Saxon England, the Norman Conquest, the Hundred Years War, the War of the Roses, the English Civil Wars, 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 the training of all junior and potential officers in Wales; trained junior managers in the Defence Industry as the Officer Commanding the Sandhurst Leadership Challenge 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 took part in the battle and the ground over which it was 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 Battlefields Trust, the Last Post Association, and the Society for Army Historical Research (SAHR).
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: 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.
I have significant experience of working with school groups and was recently part of the guide team that delivered the Government initiative to take two students and a teacher from every English state school to the battlefields of France and Belgium between 2014 and 2019. I am currently a volunteer speaker for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and also help to clean and maintain CWGC headstones in local churchyards.
“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.
Accredited Guide Number: 46
David has been guiding the battlefields since 1997, with his main interests in WW1 & WW2.
His enthusiasm for military history originated from several sources, not least his 20 years in the British Army, predominantly with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, serving in many parts of the world. Also, his father was a Battle of Britain pilot, while his mother was one of the decoders on the Enigma machine at Bletchley Park. Hence his desire to become passionately involved in military history, and especially the personal stories of those who partook.
Though he works as an independent guide, he is presently guiding for four companies, including one in America and another in Canada, taking schools, universities, adult and military groups (including Staff Rides), and offering private bespoke tours. All tours always include any research to meet client requirements.
As one company recently requested, when they contacted David. ‘Can you do a Normandy tour in one day? The reply being, ‘but it takes at least 4 hours just to drive there’ (from England). The company’s response being; ‘no, it’s only 45 minutes by private aircraft’. What a tremendous tour!