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: 84
Ewan’s particular interests are Leadership, the Realities of War and Close Combat, through the ages, but particularly the ‘horse and musket’ era. On tour, he believes in balancing depth of research with enjoyment.
He is a direct successor to Wellington’s McGrigor as Director General Army Medical Services. He set up and led the British Army’s Air Assault Medical Regiment and then commanded all of the Army’s Field Hospitals operating in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He was awarded an MBE for Squadron leadership in the First Gulf War and CBE for his direction of the Army Medical Services (AMS), at a time when the AMS achieved its highest battle casualty survival rate in history (halving the death rate).
A graduate of the Army Staff College and member of the Royal College of Defence Studies, his MA was on whether it is possible to create a strategy which endures. A Fellow of one of the Medical Royal Colleges, he is also an Apothecary and Freeman of the City of London.
Gregarious rather than combative by nature, he was surprised to be elected as President of the Combined Services Martial Arts Society by its members, and even more pleasantly surprised to win the first Worldwide Open tournament for renaissance sword & buckler at Hanover in 2010.
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: 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: 63
I began exploring battlefields, castles and other defensive sites as a teenager. These early interests became a lifelong passion in understanding the past through battles as turning points in history and led to membership of the Guild and gaining qualification as an accredited member.
A full career in policing has trained me in a detective’s way to look for corroboration of facts. There’s a saying ‘never let facts get in the way of a good story’, however I believe the truth holds a more revealing narrative than a mere story. Revisiting the accepted course of events is a rewarding way to explore scenes of battle, encouraging discussion about accepted facts.
Graduating from the School of Ancient History and Archaeology, Leicester University in 2012, I have a familiarity with modern archaeological techniques. This enables me to explain how advances in scientific analysis may significantly add insight for battlefield tourists. An example of this has been scrutinising the recent revelations of King Richard III’s battle wounds and reassessing the conduct of the battle of Bosworth through field walking and geophysical surveys.
I have visited and studied a wide range of historical sites across the Mediterranean and Europe from ancient to modern eras. Organising private tours to interesting locations overseas and in the U.K. has become a real pleasure, providing additional research and discrete visits according to client needs.
As a local historian, I am a member of a variety of community based groups with interest in maintaining a living heritage, such as the Rutland Historical Society. My archaeological skills are maintained through field-walking, surveys and excavations with community archaeological teams and Leicester University.
Personal historical interests extend from Roman occupation of Britain through Saxon and Viking settlement to the Norman Conquest. I have particular knowledge of the English Civil War and an understanding of the Wars of the Roses with fresh interpretation of the end of medieval age with the defeat of Richard III.
Accredited Guide Number: 74
Based near Birmingham, my guiding centres on, but is by no means restricted to, battles of all eras in and around the Midlands & Welsh Marches. I guide for a wide range of national and local organisations, small groups and individuals. I am Secretary of the Battlefields Trust’s Mercia Region.
My guiding is always on a not-for-profit basis or to raise funds for a pre-agreed charity. When presenting a battle I focus on the human aspects, aiming to bring the drama to life through some of history’s more colourful, but often forgotten, characters, through the recorded words of participants, and through the use of original artefacts and replicas. Born into a Diplomatic Service family I grew up amidst a wide variety of cultures, observing the importance of understanding the past to explain the present. After living behind the Iron Curtain, I served with the British Reserve Forces for 22 years during the Cold War. There I learnt how soldiers behave and armies work. After commanding a rifle company I was selected for international staff and liaison duties. Leading British & foreign regulars and reservists in a multi-national HQ, I was privileged to engage with foreign traditions, cultures and military thinking vastly different to the English-speaking experience.
Battlefield visitors often want to gain leadership and management insights. In presenting these aspects I draw on my experience over some 30 years as a senior manager in the public, private and voluntary sectors as well as my formal qualifications. They include an MPA (a public & voluntary sector specific MBA), the Army Staff College’s Reserves Command & Staff course, & the Emergency Planning College’s Strategic Command Course. On the basis of my experience The Chartered Management Institute elected me as a Fellow and the Institute of Directors as a Member.
Research into all eras of military history fascinates me, as does any opportunity to present a battle from a fresh angle. For example I used a tour of Naseby as a case study on “Prejudiced Thinking” for a public sector senior training day.
In 2016 I was awarded the Guild’s prestigious David Chandler prize for my research work.
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!