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Explore the world’s most trusted directory of battlefield guides

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.com. We guarantee we’ll have somebody that can help you!

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.

Battle

Wybo Boersma

Accredited Guide Number: 30

I was born just before the Second World War and still have some memories of that time; Jewish people being hidden by my parents, my farther coming back from a concentration camp and the fighting and liberation in April 1945 of my native town, Groningen, in the Northern part of The Netherlands by the Canadian Army.

I joined the Dutch Army in 1960 as a member of the Royal Signals and retired in 1991 as a Warrant Officer. In 1974 I became a member of the Board of the Airborne Museum in Oosterbeek and was responsible for the organisation of the museum and its dioramas following the move from its original location at Doorwerth Castle, to the Hartenstein Hotel in 1978. After 1991 I spent the next 14 years as a Volunteer Director of the Airborne Museum Hartenstein at Oosterbeek and was responsible for its establishment in 1978 and the renovation of the museum in time for the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Arnhem.

I organise and conduct battlefield tours for military and civilian groups on Market Garden, (specialising on the 1st British Airborne division, the1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade, and the 101st and 82nd US Airborne Divisions), Normandy, Ardennes, Hürtgenwald, Dieppe, the French SAS participation in Operation Amherst in April 1945 and the Airborne Operations during the Rhine Crossing in March 1945.

I have been a guide for 30 years and guide in collaboration with the Liberation Route Europe, Battlefield tours of the city of Groningen and the Society of Friends of the Airborne Museum. From the start I have been a member of the Battlefields Trust and the Dutch Documentation Group 1940 – 1945.

Christopher Finn

Accredited Guide Number: 42

Christopher Finn served in the RAF for 33 years as a navigator, primarily on the Buccaneer, and was a weapons and tactics specialist. As a Wg Cdr he was the UK’s LGB specialist in AHQ Riyadh during Operation GRANBY. His final flying tour was as OC the Navigator & Airman Aircrew School. A graduate of the Joint Services’ Defence College, in 2000 he gained an MPhil in International Relations from Cambridge University. His last 5 years in the RAF were spent at Shrivenham, firstly on the Directing Staff of the Advanced Command and Staff Course and then, on promotion to Gp Capt, as the RAF’s Director of Defence Studies. In this role he lectured extensively on air power to UK and international audiences, published articles on air power and ran the RAF’s staff ride programme.

On leaving the RAF in 2005 he spent ten years as a Senior Lecturer in Air Power Studies with Kings College London, later Portsmouth University, based at the RAF College Cranwell.

Since 2003 Chris has developed and led over 30 staff rides and battlefield tours covering the subjects and battles listed below. These have predominantly covered the influence of air power on the battlefield but also areas such as joint fires, logistics, command and control, intelligence, campaign planning, leadership at all levels and the political aspects of warfare. However, he has also covered maritime battles (Malta & NEPTUNE) and land battles (Monte Cassino & Berlin).

Chris also lectures on Military History to a wide range of audiences including, recently, a lecture on the Imjin River Battle in the Korean War.

He is a Fellow of both the Royal Aeronautical Society and the Higher Education Academy, and works as a volunteer Guide at the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

A member of the Guild since 2008 Chris gained his Badge in 2009, became the Chief Validator in 2015 and the Director of Validation in 2017.

EuropeUnited Kingdom

College GroupsMilitary & Veteran

Des FitzGerald

Accredited Guide Number: 88

Des retired from the Army in 2015 after over 30 years of service. Initially enlisting and serving as a Gunner, he was commissioned into the Worcestershire & Sherwood Foresters (later Mercian) Regiment. He is a self-employed Defence Consultant and was recently working on the STRIKE Brigade experiment, with a particular focus on Concepts and Doctrine. He is a student of the Advanced Command and Staff Course and has served in 1* and 2* Headquarters, as well as being the Chief Instructor of the Combined Arms Tactics Division. He has a MA in Defence Studies from Kings College London.

He has a keen interest in military history and is widely read. In particular, he enjoys visiting battlefields and has dragged his long-suffering wife over many of them. (Though still happily married she now refuses to follow him anymore.) He has led tours to the Crimea, Dublin, Italy and Normandy. He is now developing his expertise in the Napoleonic era. He has a particular interest in understanding how and why decisions were made; the impact of doctrine, terrain and organisational culture; as well as trying to relate the experience of the soldiers at the time.

WWIWWIICrimean War

EuropeRussia

Adult Coach GroupsFamiliesIndividuals...Military & VeteranSchool GroupsSmall Groups

Jo Hook

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.

Vimy RidgeVillers-BretonneuxWWI...GallipoliWWIIArrasAubers RidgeBapaumeBattle of the SommeBullecourtDellville WoodArnhemFromellesD-DayDunkirkYpresVimy

BelgiumWestern EuropeTurkey...FranceNetherlands

Adult Coach GroupsBespoke GroupClubs and Societies...FamiliesIndividualsMilitary & VeteranPilgrimage GroupsSchool Groups

Chris John

Accredited Guide Number: 32

Chris comes from both an RAF ( Father AC2 to Flt Lt.) and a police ( Grandfather London PC, Uncle, Met Inspector) family. Chris undertook 40 years in Radiology in the NHS as a radiographer both in clinical practice and in management.

An active member of the Western Front Association he began guiding by organising regular trips to the Western Front for his local WFA branch. Interest in developing his guiding skills led to membership of the Guild of Battlefield Guides. Chris is proud to have been accredited with Badge 32. He is also proud to have been a member of the first GBG guiding team to accompany the initial H4H Great Battlefield Bike Ride through Northern France.

The Guild has helped to widen his areas of interest to V weapon sites within the Nord Calais area.

Chris also has lately developed an interest in historic sites around his Lichfield home from the Civil War sieges of Lichfield cathedral, WW1 encampments on Cannock Chase, with the Messines Terrain model and CWGC and German cemeteries there, to the history of Castle Bromwich airfield in both world wars, with the many local burials of WW1 aviators, and their individual histories.

Chris is a regular weekly volunteer guide at the National Memorial Arboretum both for normal weekday visits and participation in the many special events held there, Armistice Day service, New name dedications, Ride to the Wall ( 5000 motorbikes on a special day), new memorial unveilings, remembrance parades and many others.

WWIWWII

BelgiumWestern EuropeFrance

Battlefield WalksBespoke GroupClubs and Societies...Evening PresentationsFamiliesIndividualsMilitary & VeteranPilgrimage GroupsSmall Groups

Edwin Popken

Accredited Guide Number: 93

I am a Military Historian from The Netherlands, but with a master’s degree in Military History from the University of Birmingham, UK. For more than 25 years I have read, studied WW2 through archival research and site visits. Not only the military aspect, but also the experience by individuals, soldiers and civilians alike. Since the early 2000s, I have shared my knowledge with different groups of people, taking them to these locations and sharing the stories.

Professionally, I focus on World War II operations in North Western Europe between September 1944 and March 1945. My main interest are the operations aiming to get the Allies across the Rhine from the North Sea to Switzerland, and Germans measures and operations to prevent this. My main areas of expertise are Operation Market Garden, the Battle of the Scheldt, the liberation of Brabant, Hurtgen Forest, Battle of the Bulge, Operation Veritable, and the 1945 Allied Rhine crossings. A special theme I cover is the experience of Easy Company, 506 PIR, 101st Airborne from The Netherlands to Zell am See.

Since 2012, I have run my own research and guiding company, called Battlefield Discovery. Through my company I cooperate with several Dutch museums and the National World War Two Museum in New Orleans, USA, and am a partner of both Brabant Remembers and Airborne Region in The Netherlands.

Besides being a member of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides with badge no. 93, I am a member of the Liberation Route Europe Guide Network.

John Pratt

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.

Villers-BretonneuxWWIWWII...Battle of the SommeBattle of AmiensCambraiLe HamelD-DayDunkirkYpresNormandy Landings

BelgiumFranceGermany...United Kingdom

Adult Coach GroupsBespoke GroupClubs and Societies...College GroupsFamiliesIndividualsMilitary & VeteranSchool Groups

Dr. Christopher L. Scott

Accredited Guide Number: 5

Christopher Scott has been walking battlefields for over 40 years. He has guided parties around the sites of Medieval, Civil War, Marlburian and Napoleonic battles and was a trustee of the Battlefield Trust and The Guild of Battlefield Guides. He is also a member of the British Commision for Miltary History and the Royal Historical Society. He did his doctorate on the 17th century militia at Cranfield University, part of the Defence Academy, with Richard Holmes and he is well published with ten battle books to his credit; his new interpretation of Roundway Down was released in late 2018. Early in his career he worked in theatre then schools as a drama teacher. Later in Education he led departments then faculty teams, and helped set up and manage a Further Education College. As Director of Education for The Royal Armouries he designed the education and public interaction programmes for the Tower of London, Fort Nelson and Leeds Museums. Away from work he is a re-enactor who commanded the Parliamentarian Army for the Roundhead Association; he is a theatre director, wargamer and stamp collector.

Currently Chris is a trustee of the Museum of Military Medicine and writing the story for the projected new museum in Cardiff Bay. He is also a freelance battlefield guide, lecturer, consultant and writer; he is also a good storyteller and won the Cameron Mackintosh Contemporary Playwright Award.

Mike Sheil

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.

Marc Yates

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!

American War of IndependenceMiddle AgesWWI...WWIINapoleonThe 100 Years War

Channel IslandsBelgiumFrance...Spain

Adult Coach GroupsBespoke GroupFamilies...IndividualsMilitary & VeteranSchool GroupsSmall Groups