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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 13
I just love understanding battlefields; their context, their geography, their nuances, their consequences and of course the people who were involved. How those potentially uncharted elements such as human character, climate, technology and fate made a difference. Somewhere in that mix is found an incredible story that defines the human condition in its most testing circumstances. Some failed and some succeeded and were honoured; some missed the umpire’s eye and went unrecognised. Some only knew their own 10 yard horizon and some left us the most telling descriptions of their battle experience; for example Private Louis Canler’s account of advancing with the 28th de Ligne in D’Erlon’s I Corps at Waterloo. I am just the person who for a small period of time has the honour to tell those stories with the benefit of hindsight; to engage, to draw empathy, to perhaps even send my customers home thinking differently. That to me is what historians in general, and battlefield guides in particular. should do – to use evidence to offer people the chance to see history in a different way, to challenge ‘lazy history’ and perhaps to allow people the room to think and perhaps change perceptions. Finally, I see battlefield visits as a shared social experience with customers and there is only one certainty – that somebody will add a strand of information or thought that will add to my knowledge; no battlefield guide knows everything! Some of my best tours have been with knowledgeable customers who have challenged, opined and engaged in debate which has proved to be stimulating for the whole group. Battlefield Guides should not be peddlers of history, but interpreters of events who listen and expand the tour experience. You can read about battles in your study but you cannot better understand them until you have been on the ground.
Accredited Guide Number: 06
I was an infantry officer for thirty years and began writing military history and battlefield guiding while still in the service. Since leaving I have become a full time military historian. I have had eighteen books published, mainly on WW2, and as Director of Production for Battlefield History TV, I have made fifty full length military history documentaries on conflicts ranging from the Dark Ages through to modern times.
My real love, however, remains getting out onto the battlefields of the world and studying and talking about campaign strategy and tactics, soldiers; their weapons and equipment, plus of course the engagements and battles themselves.
In a typical year the groups I take to various battlefields range from general to private, through school groups to veterans and families with young children. All have their specific needs and research requirements.
I served a term on the Board of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides as Director of Validation.
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: 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: 17
I qualified as a Guild Guide in 2004, having left the RAF in 2003, where I served for 18 years as an RAF Police NCO at various bases in the UK and abroad and completed tours in Northern Ireland, the Falklands and in Macedonia on a NATO Peace Keeping mission. At present I assist students in attaining diplomas at various levels of education.
I have had an interest in military history since the age of 13 when I was introduced to my Great Grandfather Private G/5203 Frank Smith who served in the 7th and 8th Buffs in WW1 at the Pozieres Memorial on the Somme. Since then I have traced his war from 1915 to 1918 and now assist others in doing the same thing. It is both a passion and a calling to me.
I now work for Adaptable Travel where I am lucky enough to conduct battlefield tours with school groups and I also specialise in taking adult groups across as well. One of my main areas of focus is taking families on small battlefield pilgrimages to locate where their family members served. It is something I love doing.
I am an author having had two books on Norfolk in WW1 and WW2 published in 2012 and 2014 and I am currently working on my third book which will be about the Norfolk Regiment on the Western Front.
One of my other passions is the air war in both WW1 and WW2 and I conduct tours looking at aspects of these aerial battles. Living in Norfolk provides me with access to subjects such as the Zeppelin raids carried out over the county in 1915 and the Commonwealth and US bomber wars in WW2. I also love guiding the Battle of Britain having been brought up with stories of that time whilst growing up in East Kent.
I am comfortable guiding all aspects of WW1 and WW2 in Europe and revel in being provided with new challenges where I am offered the chance to study and walk the ground for specific unit actions.
As one gentleman said once said to me when I took him to see where his father had fought on the Western Front,
‘You helped to put the meat on the bones of my dad’s story.’