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: 11
I have been a guide for over 24 years and a military historian since leaving school. I gained my Guild badge in 2004, receiving it from our late patron Prof. Richard Holmes. I come from a family with a long tradition of military service in both world wars, Korea and Aden, and it was hearing the menfolk of the family talking ( and shooting lines ! ) at family gatherings which ultimately started me off down the road to becoming a guide.
I studied modern history at “S” level at school, studying the Rise and Fall of the third Reich, and took an especial interest in the actions of the RAF and the Royal Navy during WW2 as a result of close family involvement, one uncle a gunner on Lancasters, the other a Chief Petty Officer on HMS Renown.
My interest in the Great War came from talking to my two great uncles, both of whom served throughout, one gaining the MM and MSM and MID twice, the other being cited for a VC ( which he didn’t get, much to his relief ! ). Knowing them as I did, I got to thinking about the ordinary man at war and wanted to visit the places they had been, fought and existed from day to day.
I have an passion for the paraphernalia of war, collecting militaria, uniforms, equipment, and ephemera and I belong to two Living History Groups portraying the ordinary soldier of WW1, and the Home Guard of WW2. I occasionally do film extra work and outreach to schools. I love maps and interpreting the ground fought over, so important in understanding what happened, and more importantly why.
I would like to think that I can bring the events of the past alive for visitors, getting them, as our founder Graeme Cooper would say, to “smell the cordite” !
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: 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: 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: 51
In a military career spanning 36 years, Paul served in most of the usual hotspots, including three years in Ulster, plus the Balkans, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and Iraq. Other appointments included running the MOD’s Africa team for three years, commanding a mountain and arctic warfare unit and a tour with the Gurkhas. With his military experience he is able to bring a soldier’s insight to battles of the past.
Paul was educated in Sheffield and at Victoria College, Jersey, where he became interested in the German occupation and fortifications. He ran his first tour in 1983 on the Somme and has dabbled in WW1 and WW2 tours since. Paul is a member of the Western Front Association and Gallipoli Association. He joined the Guild in April 2008 and was presented with Badge 51 on 20 th November 2010.
In 1988 he co-authored Sheffield City Battalion in the Pals series. Cockleshell Raid was published in Pen & Sword’s Battleground Europe series in 2012 and Bruneval followed in 2013. He is currently writing a series of ten books, Victoria Crosses on the Western Front. The first was published in July 2014, since when four others have been released. The sixth in the series will be published in spring 2018 and the remainder will appear at regular intervals thereafter.
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: 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!
Accredited Guide Number: 66
Allan served for 22 years in the Regular Army in the 17 th /21 st 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 over 100 battlefield tours for both Regular and Territorial Army units, schools and numerous adult groups to the Western Front, North West Europe and battles of other campaigns outside of the 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.
Allan is an Accredited Member of (Badge Number 66) of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides. He is a member of the Western Front Association, Royal Lancers Regimental Association and a Trustee for the Dorset Yeomanry Association.
Allan is an ‘Old Boy’ of the Duke of York’s Royal Military School. Whilst in the Army he studied and graduated through the Open University and later trained 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, where he lives with his wife Angela, who tolerates both his guiding and golf in exchange for holidays in the sun! They have two children.