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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 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.

Battle

Simon Burgess

Accredited Guide Number: 108

Simon is a serving Army officer and qualified as a badged guide in May 2020.

He originally served in the Royal Air Force before leaving to pursue a career in the oil industry, and also serving as a reserve officer. Rather to his surprise he ended up joining the Regular Army 7 years ago.

Simon has served on operations in Gulf War 1, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Iraq (where he ran Basrah Fire Brigade) and twice as an aviation planner in Afghanistan (including with the US Marine Corps).

He has served as the Operations Officer in the Attack Helicopter Force HQ and is currently the aviation specialist in the Collective Training Group at the Land Warfare Centre. He delivers training to brigade and division HQs particularly in the use of aviation and air land integration.

Simon has been visiting the battlefields for several years and has led a number of small group tours.

He is particularly interested in Normandy in WW2 and in all aspects of air power in WW2 and WW1.

He is also passionate about the American Civil War particularly Gettysburg and the Eastern theatre battles.

 

Normandy CampaignWWINormandy Preparations in UK...WWIIAmerican Civil WarBattle of the SommeYpresNormandy LandingsOperation OVERLORD

United States of AmericaBelgiumFrance...United Kingdom

Battlefield StudiesStaff RidesBespoke Group...Clubs and SocietiesFamiliesIndividualsMilitary & VeteranSchool GroupsSmall Groups

Gareth Davies

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.

Alison Hine

Accredited Guide Number: 36

Alison initially came to military history by way a grandfather who had served in the First World War and through studying the War poets. 

 

Although she did not set out to have a military career, Alison joined the Officers Training Corps whilst at university studying English and French.  She subsequently joined the Regular Army and served for 28 years, retiring in the rank of Colonel. She served in various places in UK, including Northern Ireland, and also spent over two years in Hong Kong.  She held a variety of appointments, both Regimental and on the Staff, including four Staff appointments to the Ministry of Defence. 

 

Whilst in Hong Kong, in 1985 she took part in a Battlefield Tour commemorating the fortieth anniversary of VJ Day which sparked her interest in Battlefield Touring.  On leaving the Army, she completed a part-time MA Course in Military Studies and began working as a freelance Battlefield Guide for Galina, based in Chester, guiding a variety of clients on coach tours: school, military, veterans’ and adult groups.  She subsequently moved companies, joining Poppy Travel, which was then the Battlefield Tour arm of the Royal British Legion, and guiding “Realities of War’ tours for soldiers under training to Belgium, France and Normandy.

 

She joined the Guild of Battlefield Guides in 2005 and gained Accreditation in 2007, the first female guide to do so.  She then took on the role of Validation Secretary for eight years.

 

Alison decided to continue her studies and has since completed a PhD at the University of Birmingham on the replacement of casualties during the First World War.  This led to the publication of her first book ‘Refilling Haig’s Armies’, which was awarded third place in the Society for Army Historical Research competition for the best first book published in 2018.  She is continuing to research divisions in the Hundred Days, with a view to publication.

 

Alison now limits her guiding activities to her local Western Front Association but is happy to advise and carry out research for anyone who cares to contact her.

 

WWIWWII

BelgiumFrance

Adult Coach 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

Ian Langworthy

Accredited Guide Number: 101

I have had a lifelong interest in history generally and military history in particular. During a 40 year career as a solicitor I organised and led, with my brother, many tours for friends and family to the battlefields of Western Europe.

As I came up to retirement I decided that I wanted to continue guiding on a formal basis. I obtained an MA in military history from the University of Buckingham, joined the Guild of Battlefield Guides and having completed the Guilds’ course for Accreditation am now the proud holder of Badge 101.

I am a freelance guide and have experience in researching for and guiding a variety of groups to western European battlefields of various eras. I also have a keen interest in Romano-British history, British history generally and the Wars of the Roses and the English Civil War in particular.

WWICullodenWWII...NapoleonWaterloo CampaignBattle of the SommeArnhemVerdunYpresNormandy Landings

EnglandWalesBelgium...ScotlandFranceGermany

Adult Coach GroupsBespoke GroupClubs and Societies...College GroupsFamiliesIndividualsSchool GroupsSmall Groups

Mike McCarthy

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.

WWIWWIINapoleon...The 100 Years War

BelgiumTurkeyFrance...Italy

Battlefield StudiesStaff RidesAdult Coach Groups...Bespoke GroupCollege GroupsFamiliesIndividualsMilitary & VeteranSchool 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

Brian Shaw

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
chosen period.

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.

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