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 after 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.
I was an early supporter of the Guild of battlefield Guides and been part of the validation team, responsible for assessing guides’ competence, since 2008. I instruct on courses teaching battlefield guides and a Guide Co-ordinator for the Liberation Route Europe. My clients include include small and large groups, businesses as well as educational and of all sizes
In 2012 I was elected to the British Commission for Military History. My published work includes chapters in British Army Guide to the Western Front, and articles in military history journals. I write a military history blog www.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.
I am writing the official history of the Normandy campaign for the Royal Regiment of Artillery and have battlefield guides to Artillery on the D Day beaches and 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
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 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: 43
Although from a family with a record of distinguished RAF and RAAF service I have pursued a career in finance and law. I live in Suffolk and own and manage Barnes Insight, a company providing expert witness, dispute resolution, and professional training services. All of these activities, like battlefield guiding, require the ability to express complex ideas and events lucidly and engagingly.
My interest in military history and fortification began as a biology undergraduate at UEA; whilst walking the Ypres Salient during the 1974 summer vacation I met my future wife. In the ensuing years I developed a passion for history and completed an MA in Modern History in 2000 under the supervision of Professor Gary Sheffield, then at RMA Sandhurst. My dissertation evaluated the impact of the Great War on West Flanders.
I began guiding small groups to European battlefields and fortifications in 1999, progressing to school, university, military and other groups from 2007. As well as tours to Ypres, the Somme, Arras and 1918 battlefields, I guide tours to selected World War 2 and Cold War sites including Dunkirk, Sedan, Berlin, Munich, Warsaw, Krakow and concentration camps. I have a parallel interest in fortification in France, Belgium, Germany, Scandinavia and the Far East.
My tours also consider the non-combatant’s perspective, and the wider impact of conflict. They usually contain insights into the natural history of battlefields!
I continue to research aspects of warfare, and to visit sites of fortification, whenever and wherever practicable. I assist in tracing military ancestry. My wife and I are regular visitors to West Flanders. I am also a member of the Western Front Association, and of the Fortress Study Group.
Accredited Guide Number: 104
Simon has been interested in military history since he was a child. He first visited the battlefields on family holidays and soon became fascinated with D Day and the Normandy campaign. In his teens he developed an interest in the First World War and led his first guided tours to the former battlefields of the Western Front while still at university. After graduating with a history degree, he went on to train as a teacher and for 15 years ran annual school tours to the Western Front.
From 2014, Simon ran the prestigious and multi award-winning First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme – a UK government funded initiative which saw 8,500 students and teachers visit the former battlefields of the Western Front. Simon led more than 90 of these tours and as the programme’s lead for on-site education became an internationally recognised expert in leading students and teachers on the battlefields. He has also led tours for adult organisations including universities. Simon also has a passion for historical research and is able to bring the battlefields to life with personal stories, while also placing these stories in the immediate and wider historical context.
Simon is a member of the British Commission for Military History and the Western Front Association.
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 father 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.
Accredited Guide Number: 116
Simon was an infantry officer for over 30 years. A member of the Royal Anglian Regiment, he served on operations in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in History, Master’s Degree in Military Studies and is a Graduate of the Advanced Command and Staff Course.
His fascination with touring battlefields began in 1977, when living in Germany he went to see the film a Bridge Too Far. Then persuaded his father, a Royal Air Force officer, to take him to Arnhem to try and bring to life what he had just seen. This interest further developed as student, studying for a History Degree at Portsmouth Polytechnic, where he organised his first Battlefield Tour, a trip with student friends to Normandy. He was very lucky in that his military career really allowed him to indulge this passion, taking him on numerous Battlefield Tours and Staff Rides, In Europe, America, and as far afield as Vietnam and the Falkland Islands.
Currently Simon focuses on three main campaigns; the Blitzkrieg of 1940, D-Day and the Normandy Campaign and the Ardennes Offensive, the ‘Battle of the Bulge’.
Accredited Guide Number: 83
Richard has worked covertly at national and international level within the intelligence community and on covert serious and organised crime investigation and disruption. He is a former source handler and anti and counter surveillance operative (nationally accredited).
In 2017 Richard was honoured by Prime Minister May having been nominated for the National Police Bravery Award. He was regional winner for his action in saving the life of a Jewish male while in Israel.
He is qualified in Christian Studies through Chelmsford Cathedral (graded exceptional) and is currently examining his Christian calling. At some point, he hopes to become an ordained Church of England vicar.
Richard frequently engages in group talks and lectures, after dinner speeches and sermons. Enjoyment is gained from ethics and ‘faith’ based tours to all locations of study. These tend to focus on moral and theological issues. Poetry and personal accounts as well as witness records are used to augment the learning experience.
Holocaust tours are client focused according to requirement with the objective of providing balanced understanding of ‘The Jewish Question’. They are also used to focus minds on policies that underpinned the Nazi regime – surely a must for anyone with an interest in progressing learning in world war military history?
Richard welcomes business and is happy to tailor bespoke field trips, faith and non-faith pilgrimages on an individual client basis. He has a wide experience working with Adult groups, schools, disadvantaged young people and individuals with special needs.
Client safety and security is paramount, and Richard’s years of field experience always present a well-guided and safe learning environment.
Accredited Guide Number: 108
Simon is a serving Army officer, due to retire in November 2022, and qualified as a badged guide (Badge 108) 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 9 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) and has worked at battlegroup, brigade and divisional level .
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 recently guided tours to Normandy, Sicily and the Western Front battlefields of World War 1.
He is particularly interested in Normandy in WW2 (particularly the British 6th Airborne Division) and in all aspects of air power in WW1 and WW2.
He is also passionate about the American Civil War, particularly Gettysburg and the Eastern theatre battles.
Accredited Guide Number: 78
I have always been passionate about history, archaeology, geography and travel. So naturally, being a battlefield guide is absolutely my ideal job. I began guiding whilst I was studying archaeology in the 1980s, conducting tours around various British archaeological sites of all periods. In 2009, I progressed onto guided town walks, fundraising for charity. Since 2012, I have operated Robin’s Red Ramble Tours. I now specialise in leading battlefield tours in Normandy.
I firmly believe that a guide must only conduct tours in areas for which they have a deep local knowledge of the history, archaeology and topography. For this reason I spend a considerable amount of my time investigating the archives, studying the primary sources and researching all of my tours. This may involve translating documents and carrying out additional archaeological fieldwork myself. I thoroughly enjoy the thrill of uncovering new or forgotten pieces of the jigsaw, especially if there is a new or interesting personal story to tell. I have been specifically researching the Battle of Normandy and the ‘Atlantic Wall’ fortifications since 1999. I have now accumulated a wealth of material both published and unpublished which has now filled my home!
As I am constantly researching new material, all of my tours are unique. I endeavour to make my tours as personal and tailored to the individual clients as possible. Whilst this can be a challenge at times, I do believe the individual’s personal story must be told. It is always worth the extra effort to tell ‘His Story’ both accurately and completely, fitting it into the overall context of the battle or campaign.
I hold a full UK class D coach driving licence. I have experience with groups both large and small. I actually enjoy driving minibuses, coaches and double-deck buses. I try to ensure my passengers have the best possible experience on their journey. I like to give them the smoothest and most enjoyable ride that I can and I always go that extra mile.
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: 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: 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: 113
Accredited Guide Number: 7
Graeme has been battlefield guiding since 1995. He operates ‘Cooper’s Waterloo Tours’, a family run Essex based business specialising in tailored tours to the Napoleonic Campaign battlefields of the Peninsular War and Waterloo. A Fellow of the International Napoleonic Society (FINS), Graeme qualified as a Waterloo Campaign Guide with Les Guides 1815 in 1998.
Graeme’s interest in the Napoleonic Campaigns was sparked during his time as a cadet at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst by his tutors, the late and renowned military historians and authors, Professor Richard Holmes and Dr David Chandler. His Great Great grandfather John Cooper fought at Waterloo in the 7th Hussars. In WW2 Graeme’s father Johnny Cooper was David Stirling’s navigator in ‘L’ Detachment SAS.
Graeme was the driving force behind the creation of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides in November 2002. Since his original idea, the Guild has grown to International status and has set the benchmark for many who have passed its quality validation programme. Graeme was the Guild Secretary until November 2009 when he became the first member to be elected to the Guild’s Roll of Honour for his services to the Guild and the craft. He is currently the Guild’s historian and organizes the Guild’s annual ‘Badged Guides Dinner’ and ‘Annual Guild Golf Championships’.
In May 2006 he established Corporate Battlefields Ltd, a leadership training company for corporate management and has since delivered to senior global management teams from eBay, Boeing UK, London Fire Brigade, Lilly, Brother UK, HSBC, Parliamentarians, the NATO Secretary General and others on the battlefields of Waterloo, Salamanca, Isandlwana, Normandy D-Day Beaches and Naseby.
Graeme is a recognised Great War and WW2 Guide, member of the Battlefields Trust and former Chairman of the British Army of the Rhine Branch of the Western Front Association. He and his wife live in Essex and have a son and daughter who both commissioned through Sandhurst. Graeme enjoys golf, photography, chess and telemark skiing.
Graeme’s testimonials declare his standards.
“Graeme Cooper is the master story-teller. You stand with him in a green field, but when he speaks you see a battlefield before you.” – Adam Holloway MP
Accredited Guide Number: 10
John Cotterill is a self employed battlefield guide for military groups, veterans, civilian clubs, families, individuals and schools. He was a founder member of the Guild of Battlefield Guides in 2003, was badged in 2004 (Badge 10) and was a Guild validator for 15 years. John served as a regular officer in the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment and their successors the Mercian Regiment for 37 years. He saw active service in Ulster, the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan and inactive service on four continents. He lives in Nottingham and is an active member of the Western Front Association, the Soldiers,Sailors and Airmans Families Association (SSAFA) and his Regimental Association. John’s particular speciality is writing and delivering problem solving exercises that allow participants to “re-fight” battles of the past. He has guided groups on battlefields from Tanzania to Tunisia and from Stalingrad to Singapore
Accredited Guide Number: 20
Anthony Coutts-Britton had the good fortune to have been tutored by some of the famous names in military history, most notably, David Chandler, Anthony Brett-James and John Keegan. His specialities are the European battlefields of the World Wars and the Napoleonic period. Tony served in the British Army and later had a second career with NATO in Belgium. Far East tours of duty were in Hong Kong and then in Korea with the UN. He served in Germany, Northern Ireland and twice in Berlin. He is an Independent Battlefield Guide. He is also a speaker, presenting to audiences on military, political and social history. Since 2010, he has been a cruise ship speaker.
He graduated in History at the University of Maryland. He is an accredited Badged Guide of the Guild of Battlefield Guides of which he is a Past Chairman and a senior examiner. In November 2014, he was elected a Fellow of the Guild of Battlefield Guides.
Accredited Guide Number: 29
I have been guiding on the battlefields of the world for some 20 years. After military service with the Parachute Regiment I followed this with over 6 years spent in the service of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos of Oman. My military experience included service during Op Corporate, the recovery of the Falkland Islands with 3 rd Bn The Parachute Regiment as well as service in Northern Ireland. After retiring from a successful Financial Services company in 2005 I have pursued a further career as a Battlefield Guide/Historian.
My guiding experience has taken me on tours to Italy including Sicily, Crete, Germany, France, Belgium India, Singapore, Oman and the Falkland Islands. I have worked with and toured at Higher Command level with the British Army as well as leading and writing Battle Studies and Tours for Junior Staff.
I have worked with a number of companies on tour for schools looking at European History in places like Berlin and Krakow as well as more traditional tours to France and Belgium to see the Battlefields of both World Wars.
I also carry out public speaking engagements and arrange subject matter/venues for a number of Clubs
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: 80
Originally commissioned into The Gordon Highlanders, I served for twenty years as an infantry officer in the British Army. This included tours at regimental duty as a rifle platoon and close reconnaissance platoon commander, adjutant and company commander. I have also served as an aide de-camp, infantry tactics adviser to the Kuwaiti Army, close reconnaissance instructor at the Land Warfare Centre and a staff officer at brigade and divisional levels.
As a civilian, I have worked in West Africa as a security sector reform consultant to the UN; then as a humanitarian programme manager and operations director reducing the negative impacts of rogue ex-combatant groups small arms, ammunition and unexploded ordnance in conflict-prone communities.
My military service, including operational tours in Northern Ireland, Iraq, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and my time working in Africa has given me a solid grounding in the theory and conduct of military operations and the impact of war. I have a Masters degree in Military Strategic Studies and I am a graduate of the Italian Joint Forces Higher Command and Staff College. I bring this experience with a lifelong interest in military history to my battlefield tours, offering clients a coherent strategic, operational and tactical perspective. I work hard to ensure that the memory of those who fought is properly honoured and respected.
I am a fluent Italian speaker and can get by at colloquial level in German which helps considerably with tour management.
I am accredited with the International Guild of Battlefield Guides and work as a freelance guide for a number of companies, including Staffride, Albatross Tours, Galloway Travel and Battle Honours. This means that I work with adult groups, schools and military units. I also work privately for individuals, families and groups to deliver bespoke tours in Italy, France, Belgium and Berlin.
Accredited Guide Number: 95
I have been interested in the stories of the Second World War since I was a child. This interest continued during my career as an officer in the Royal Netherlands Army; I was especially interested in comparing the military actions of now and then. Living in an area where, in September 1944, one of the largest airborne operations took place and where, in February of 1945, the largest land operation started on Dutch soil, I started to study these operations.
By giving battlefield tours from 2014 around the Rhineland I introduced people to a relatively unknown battle (Operations Veritable, Blockbuster, Plunder and Varsity) which was the beginning of the Allied advance over the River Rhine and the further advance to the northern Netherlands and towards Berlin.
On special request of individual family members of mostly deceased veterans, I provide a special tour where their relative spent their time during the battle for the Rhineland.
I also provide tours for specific military units.
I also give presentations to schools about the Second World War in general, special presentations about specific battles, and presentations about my efforts in crisis areas during my military career.
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: 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: 79
My family lived in Rotterdam when the war started. They had to hide from the bombs and this story and of course the story about the ‘Hunger winter’ of 1944/45 were often recounted during family get togethers.
In 2008 we moved to Groesbeek and my interest in the actions in Groesbeek was stimulated. I wanted to know everything about the Operation Market Garden and especially the military exploits of the Americans under command of General James Gavin.
I started as a Guide in the Liberation Museum and learned more about the background of the Second World War and the destruction on both side of the borders.
In 2013 I started Liberation Tour. With my DODGE WC51 military vehicle manufactured in the US 1944, I give guests a total battlefield experience combining the smell and the movement of a military vehicle of the period, audio stories, video, maps, pictures and my own storytelling about the battles.
Operation Market Garden in Arnhem is one of my tours. The stories of the British are totally different from the stories of the Americans but they have one thing in common – the fact that they all fought their hearts out to liberate the Dutch.
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 Wing Commander 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 Group Captain, 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 role of the Royal Artillery in the Imjin River Battle of 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 (now Accreditation Director) in 2017. He was elected the fourth Fellow of the Guild at the 2020 Annual Conference.
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.
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: 44
John Greenacre spent twenty four years in the British Army before as a logistician, helicopter pilot and staff officer. John is a graduate of the Advanced Command and Staff Course (ACSC) and retired from the Army in 2011. John received his PhD in history from the University of Leeds. His thesis on the development of British airborne forces during the Second World War was published in 2010 and he has subsequently written and lectured extensively on the subject.
John has been battlefield guiding since 2001. His unique experience across a diverse array of military disciplines and environments, coupled with his academic record allows him to comment with authority on battlefield subjects from logistics to air support. He works frequently with military groups from battalion and regiment level up to 3 Star headquarters across a wide range of campaigns and theatres. John received his Guiding Badge from the Patron of the Guild, Professor Richard Holmes, at Woolwich on Saturday 28th November 2009.
When not guiding John is employed as a lecturer in history at the University of Suffolk in Ipswich.
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: 59
I am a retired Army Quartermaster (Logistics) and have been guiding professionally since 2009.
My interest in battlefields began as a boy when I caused uproar in his father’s garden by digging trenches and having battles with model soldiers in my father’s flower/vegetable beds. I joined the Army, aged 15 as a Junior Leader in 1961. Since then, my Regular Army career has been with many different Regiments and Corps (Middlesex, Queens, Royal Army Medical Corps and the Intelligence Corps), spanned 47 years, with operational experience in Northern Ireland and The Former Republic of Yugoslavia. In June 2002 I was awarded an MBE for my service.
I have had an extensive career serving across the globe. my infantry experience, both tactical and administrative gives me a soldier’s eye for ground with its impact on various weapon systems and the logistic support needed to maintain armies in the field.
I have an interest in medieval battles such as the Battle of Lewes and Wolverhampton, as well as the English Civil War. I have researched and led a Tour of the Battle of Waterloo in the past and have added this to my list of tours. Another area I am researching is the various Battles of the Hundred Years War with France and anticipate being qualified to take Tours in these battles.
I am also well qualified to lead tours on many of the battlefields of both World Wars.
Accredited Guide Number: 39
Raised in Hertfordshire, Clive spent much of his childhood speaking to veterans of the Great War who encouraged him to join the Army. Clive served in the Royal Signals in BAOR, Cyprus and France before taking up a permanent staff post at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. On leaving the army he joined his local Constabulary as a specialist communications officer and control room manager, in his spare time he became a trustee of the Western Front Association and joined the Committee of the Gallipoli Association.
In 1998 he began working as a speaker, writer, researcher and battlefield guide and since then has guided groups the length of the Western Front, Gallipoli, Salonika, Palestine & Italy for the Great War, alongside Normandy, Arnhem, The Italian Campaign and the London Blitz for the 1939/45 war.
Clive, who completed an MA in Great War Studies is a member of the British Commission for Military History and a co-owner of both Battle Honours & Staffride Ltd, leading specialist battlefield tour operators.
He has written three books, “Walking the London Blitz”, “A Wander Through Wartime
London” & “The Greater Game – Sportsman who Fell in the Great war” alongside
contributing to a number of edited works on military history.
Accredited Guide Number: 82
John has been interested in military history since childhood. He comes from an extended military family and his early hobbies – modelmaking, wargaming and re-enacting – all allowed him to pursue his interest.
His involvement in re-enacting has taken him to battlefields across the UK, western Europe and the USA, and he has spoken to audiences of varying types, numbering up to 10,000 in one instance, about all aspects of conflict.
After a full-time career in Royal Mail, John took early retirement in 2012. His role as a senior manager with commercial and financial responsibilities gave him a keen awareness of the importance of customer satisfaction and ideas of value for money, concepts that are a key part of his touring offerings.
He has a BA (with First-Class Honours) in War Studies, completed part-time at the University of Birmingham and then the University of Kent while he was working.
Battlefield tour guiding has long been an ambition and John joined the Guild in 2015. He undertook training on the theory and practise of all aspects of guiding – the tour management side as well as engaging audiences in historic locations. He is proud to be a member of the Guild and to have been awarded Badge Number 82 in June 2017. In progressing towards the Badge, John was delighted to receive the Guild’s David Chandler Award for work he did on sources relating to the engagements of Lexington and Concord at the start of the American War of Independence.
John is a freelance guide and a keen motorbike rider. He specialises in set and bespoke motorbike tours of First World War and Second World War sites, the former including Ypres and the Somme, the latter relating to the May 1940 campaign, Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge. He is equally happy to guide those who prefer to travel on more than two wheels.
As well as the World Wars, John has a keen interest in eighteenth- and early nineteenth- century warfare, particularly during the Seven Years’ War, American War of Independence and Waterloo campaigns.
Accredited Guide Number: 103
David Harrison is an independent battlefield tour guide who specialises in the Italian campaigns of the First and Second World War. He organises bespoke tours to the First World War campaign in the north of Italy which include the Battle of Caporetto 1917, the fighting on the Asiago Plateau, along the River Piave and the final Battle of Vittorio Veneto 1918. He also specialises in the Allied Second World campaign on Sicily in 1943, at Salerno/Monte Cassino/Anzio 1943-44, and along the east coast against the Gothic Line 1944-45. His 30 years of service in the British Army from platoon to corps level allow him to interpret the battles for the visitor today, whilst his NATO assignments enable him to provide insights from the other main participants (Canada, Germany, Italy, Poland and USA). He has studied in detail the Battle of Ortona 1943, the role of Anders’s Polish II Corps and has a particular interest in the impact of the war on Italian society. He is educated at Masters level and has had campaign book reviews published. He received his accreditation (Badge 103) from the Guild in January 2020. He lives in Edinburgh and the Le Marche region of Italy.
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: 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.
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: 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.
Accredited Guide Number: 52
My interest in military history started many years ago and, by the age of 12, I KNEW that I was going to join the RAF. I served with the RAF for over 28 years, including 17 years on the Boeing Sentry AWACS, with operational flying in the Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts.
I left the RAF in 2009 to become a full-time Battlefield Guide, and have now completed 129 tours (it should have been a lot more but COVID-19 got in the way!).
I take groups to the Western Front and, having travelling widely in India, have a major interest in the story of the Indian Corps on the Western Front. I also lead Second World War tours and have been privileged to take veterans to Normandy and Monte Cassino. What an honour! I should have taken a group to Imphal in August 2020 to commemorate VJ Day but, sadly, this was cancelled due to COVID.
Having spent so long in the air environment, I also lead tours to sites related to the Great War in the air, the Combined Bomber Offensive and the German secret weapons programme. This naturally leads to the subject of National Socialist Germany and I have explored a number of aspects of Hitler’s Germany, from the concentration camp and forced labour systems through to the Final Solution. It is a difficult but important subject.
And Germany, of course, leads to an interest in Berlin. I never served in Berlin – but I am an old Cold Warrior!
I joined the Guild of Battlefield Guides in 2008 and completed validation in November 2011.
Accredited Guide Number: 45
Malcolm Jones BA (Hons)
Malcolm is a British Military Historian, who specializes in the campaigns and battles of Wellington in Spain during the Peninsular War. He is a member of the ‘Society for Army Historical Research’ and a Badged member of the Guild since 2009.
Malcolm has always been interested in History and the military, which developed from an early age. His main love and focus has always been the Second World War, the Indian Mutiny, and the British colonial army of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. His passion for the Peninsular War campaigns and its Battlefields began some 35 years ago.
After serving in the Army, and obtaining his history degree, he worked in business management in Britain and the Middle East. Over the years he has travelled extensively throughout Portugal and Spain, much of it following in the footsteps of Wellington’s men. During this time, he fell in love with the Spanish landscape, history and culture.
Malcolm now lives in central Spain, close to many of the battlefield sites, which he has visited on many different occasions and therefore knows the areas he guides very well. He is an enthusiastic historian, who is happy to share his experience with anyone who is interested; be it Wellington’s Army, the local history, culture, food or wine.
As a Badged Member of the ‘Guild of Battlefield Guides’, Malcolm has led many Military Battlefield Studies over the last ten years and has experience of leading battlefield tours since 1993 in Germany, Poland, Crete and Spain. With a rich and knowledgeable background, you can be assured of an informative tour, presented in an enjoyable and interesting manner.
Accredited Guide Number: 61
Since 2005 we cater for national- and international groups under the brand DRG Battlefield Tours & Books. We guide both larger civilian/ military (in co-operation with fellow GBG-battlefield guides and tour-operators ) and bespoke individual battlefield tours in following areas:
- ‘Airwar 40-45’ Battlefieldtours around former Luftwaffe airfield ‘Deelen’ (near Arnhem) and ‘Lufwaffe radarsite ‘Tiger’ on Dutch Isle of Terschelling
- Market Garden 1944 battlefieldtours: Eindhoven area (101 US Airb.Div), Nijmegen area (82.US Airb.Div.) and Arnhem (1.British Airborne Div).
- Transportation available for groups up to 8 pers. Coaches for larger groups on request
- Accredited Guide of Liberation Route Europe, member of SGLO (Study Group Airwar )
- We are proud to have served to following clients in recent past (a.o): British Royal Marines, Dutch Royal Marines, 39 Signals Regiment UK, Martin Kaule Tours Berlin, Albatros Travel Denmark, LGB Battlefieldtours USA, Royal Navy/ HMS Kent, WW2 Museum New Orleans, LGB Tours USA/ WW2 Round Table Hist.Society, Dorenweerd College Doorwerth NL, Nat. Military Museum Soesterberg NL, Staff 11.Airmobile Brigade NL, DMO Dutch Army, Rijks Vastgoed NL, Lukkien Video Productions NL, Amstour Travel, Nat. Society of Reserve Officers NVRO, etc,
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.
Accredited Guide Number: 69
Carlo is born in the Italian town of Genoa, where he lives and works.
His interest and passion for military history and military affairs goes back to his childhood’s days, when he discovered himself as an hungry reader of them.
After his classical studies, a degree in law and a today’s job for Deutsche Bank,(where he regularly uses techniques learned by his fellow guide’s members), he concentrated his studies and researches on the long history of conflicts in the last century.
Genoa is a seaside town so, quite naturally, naval warfare is one of his expertise but, quite oddly, he is really fond of alpine warfare as well, the Dolomites being his favourite ground both for history and trekking.
Being Italian Campaigns oriented, on tour Carlo’s setting is as far as conceivable from the academic: he always try to let his audience live, more than hear to, history. The big picture of human conflicts is often mixed up with little stories of characters and human beings, without long lists of dates and names. Letters, diaries and experiences of men at war always are placed side by side and often replace old, heavy volumes of history.
On battlefield he always let his guests smell the cordite. So, quite naturally, he found the Guild’s environment his environment. After being the first Italian Member, since 2009, he finally was awarded his Badge, n. 69, at the AGM in Bromsgrove, November 2014. On the same occasion he was the recipient of the David Chandler Award for the best Assignment Six.
Carlo regularly lectures around Italy and teaches military history at the Genoa’s Free University. The most important thing, he always says, in being an Accredited Guide and Italian is to succeed in giving to other members and guides a different perspective about some conflicts and let them know better some of the most beautiful places in the Italian Peninsula!
Accredited Guide Number: 115
Graeme is a serving Army officer with a background in military logistics. He has served full time and part time for over 34 years in a range of command and staff appointments.
He has been a member of the Guild of Battlefield Guides since 2014 and became a badged guide in 2021. His interest in the military started at a young age as he learned of the service of his grandfathers in the Second World War, one as a Royal Engineer, the other as a Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineer in 79th Armoured Division.
He has led a number of military group tours to the WW2 sites of Normandy, Monte Cassino, Sicily, Arnhem and Berlin before developing an interest in the Western Front during WW1.
Graeme has designed and led the Commonwealth Soldier programme taking school and community groups from SE England to the battlefields of France and Belgium to study the contributions made by Commonwealth troops in WW1. He has also delivered a number of tours in the UK and overseas has had the opportunity to lead a tour to the Falkland Islands. In 2018 he supported the Army Cadet Armistice 100 programme to the Somme and the National Muslim Armistice commemorations at Woking’s Indian Army Muslim burial ground memorial.
He is particularly interested in the human aspects of conflict and bringing the personal stories of those who served to life. In addition to leading groups, Graeme also has an interest in research and has delivered a number of WW1 community research projects, presentations and events as well as delivering individual bespoke research projects for families wanting to know more about their relatives.
He is a volunteer speaker for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and a member of the Western Front Association.
Accredited Guide Number: 112
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 been involved 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 20th November 2010. He was heavily involved in the Guild’s support for Help for Heroes’ annual Big Battlefield Bike Ride from 2012, including leading the guiding team 2014-18.
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 sixteen books, Victoria Crosses on the Western Front. The first was published in July 2014 and the final volume is expected in late 2025.
Accredited Guide Number: 19
Mike Peters is a retired Army Air Corps Officer who has been leading battlefield tours for more than thirty years. He enlisted in the Army in 1980 at the age of 16 as a Junior Leader and progressed through a busy career to become a Regimental Sergeant Major. He was commissioned from the ranks in the year 2000. Mike finished his military career with postings as Deputy Chief of Staff of the UK Attack Helicopter Force and Ground Liaison Officer in the Headquarters of the RAF Tornado Force. Pre-pandemic, Mike ran his own training company, introducing aspirant guides to the battlefield tour industry, and was a co-Director of Staffride Ltd, specialising in Battlefield Studies for the UK military and NATO headquarters. He is now a UK MOD Civil Servant working in Communications and Heritage for the Royal Anglian Regiment.
Mike has extensive operational experience in Northern Ireland, Macedonia, Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq where he served during both Gulf wars. His last operational tour was in Afghanistan. This experience and knowledge of tactics gives him a soldier’s eye for ground and the implications of terrain on the weapon systems of your chosen period. He has a passion for military history which he combines with his own military experiences when working as a Battlefield Guide. He strives to place his audience on the field of battle with enough insight to understand the realities of battle, while helping them to imagine what the soldiers of the day saw and felt. This focus allows the listener to look at the battle from the inside out; this is of course every battlefield guide’s aim.
The campaigns of Wellington are Mike’s favourite subject area, although he is equally at home working with groups on the battlefields of the Great War. He is experienced in leading Australian and New Zealand groups over the ANZAC battlefields of the Western Front, Gallipoli and Palestine. Intimate knowledge of modern Air Assault operations also enables Mike to focus on the detail of the parachute and glider operations of World War Two. He regularly leads tours visiting the Landing Zones of Crete, Sicily, Normandy, Arnhem and the Rhine crossing.
Mike enjoys touring with both military and civilian groups and is regularly to be found on the continent leading civilian tours or military Battlefield Studies and Staff Rides. During the FWW Centenary he had a well-received weekly column in the East Anglian Daily Times and regularly contributes articles to military journals and magazines. Mike is a book reviewer for Soldier Magazine (House Magazine of the British Army) and is also a published author – he wrote ‘Glider Pilots at Arnhem’, ‘Glider Pilots in Sicily’ – both are books on the exploits of The Glider Pilot Regiment during World War Two. He has also worked as a TV presenter, featuring in programmes on The Hundred Years War, Dunkirk, Pegasus Bridge, The Glider Pilot Regiment, Operation Market Garden and the US Eighth Air Force daylight bombing campaign. He has just co-authored and published ‘Bomb Group’, the history of the 381st (H) Bomb Group USAAF, and is currently working on the Authorised Operational History of the Army Air Corps 1957-2017.
Mike is an Independent Battlefield Guide; he regularly leads tours for UK based Battle Honours Ltd, US based Experience to Lead, and Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours in Australia. He was awarded his Guild Badge by the late Professor Richard Holmes in November 2005. He was Vice Chairman of the Guild from 2010-2011, and then Chairman of the Guild from 2011 – 2022.
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.
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: 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: 109
I am a serving Army officer and qualified as a badged guide in May 2020. I have served with the Household Cavalry both operationally and as a mounted cavalryman on state ceremonial and public duties, as well as working on the staff in the wider Army. Military experience of the Middle East, Balkans and Afghanistan.
I have been visiting battlefields for many years and have led a number of small group tours, for military personnel, veterans and members of the general public. Very interested in all matters involving the cavalry where I like to think I have a unique insight, as well as armoured operations where I also have significant practical knowledge. I continue to develop and learn my craft, and I am currently studying for an MA in the History of Great Britain and the First World War.
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: 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 Commission 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.
Accredited Guide Number: 40
Mike is a member of the Guild of battlefield Guides Board, holding Accredited Guide status having earned Badge No. 40. His first tour as a guide was in the early 1980’s and he has led groups all over the world since then. Mike spent nearly thirty years in education, ending his career as a member of the Senior Leadership Team at one of the most prestigious schools for girls in the country.
Mike now works full time as a tour manager, historian, battlefield guide, consultant and researcher. He tours across the battlefields and historical locations of Western and Central Europe leading large groups and small private tours with guests from many countries. He considers his special interests to be the WW1 battlefields, Berlin and Eastern Europe during the Cold War, the Holocaust. However, having led groups in India and southern Africa he also considers this to be areas of interest and experience.
Mike is a public speaker on cruise ships and conferences across the world as well as organisations in the UK. Mike has experience as a Tour Manager for Cultural Tours across the world. He is also a published author with books on the battlefields of the Western Front.
Mike is a member of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides, the Western Front Association, the Institute of Travel and Tourism and European Tour Operators Association.
Accredited Guide Number: 53
After retiring from a varied and rewarding career policing in the Metropolis, he embarked on a part time second career as a Safety Officer in the sporting and music events industry.
Having more free time on his hands allowed Scottie to seize the opportunity to pursue his real interest and passion in life for military history and Battlefield touring. Having organised numerous trips to the Battlefields of Europe for friends and colleagues since the mid 80’s he joined the Guild of Battlefield Guides to hone his skills in this area. He achieved their ‘Badged’ accreditation in 2012 and during this process he was honoured to receive the Guilds ‘David Chandler’ Award, as recognition for the best sources presentation in 2011 from the Guild patron Professor Gary Sheffield.
He is fortunate to be very well travelled and has experience of guiding not only in the UK and Europe, but some far flung battlefields in Asia, North America, North and South Africa, his interest in the later continent has resulted in him building up an extensive knowledge of both the Anglo Zulu and Boer Wars.and a love for that country, its culture and its people .
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: 106
Robert Shaw is an accredited Battlefield tour guide and has written military history books on the SAS, SOE and the Cold War. He retired from the British Army after a career spanning over 25 years where he worked in the fields of IEDD, logistics and intelligence, working for UKSF and DIS. He subsequently managed training for the UN and NATO in Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine, Nigeria and Somalia. His battlefield tour expertise and experience includes the American Civil War, WW1, WW2 and the Cold War in UK, USA, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Sicily, Crete, the Baltic States, Ukraine, Poland and the Balkans. Robert has a Master’s degree in Global Security from Cranfield University and lectures at UCL on intelligence and defence matters and counter proliferation.
Accredited Guide Number: 38
Mike St Maur Sheil has been guiding since 2007 and specializes in the American and French battlefields of WW1. Since 2011 he has guided the annual tours for the US National WW1 Museum and Memorial as well as numerous tours and pilgrimages for American families and universities as well as the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library.
He spent his career working as a photo-journalist in over sixty countries around the world and this experience led him to create a a series of outdoor photographic exhibitions, entitled ‘Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace’. During the centennial period of 2014-18 these exhibitions were viewed by an audience of over 12 million people in numerous cities including Atlanta, Berlin, Chicago, Dublin, Edinburgh, Istanbul, London, New York, Paris and Washington.
In creating these exhibitions, Mike 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’. 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.
In 2016 he was commissioned by the US National WW1 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 WW1 and the battlefields of Belleau Wood, the Marne, Meuse-Argonne and St. Mihiel.
In 2018 Mike was awarded a Masters Degree in WW1 studies by Wolverhampton University for a dissertation on the role of aerial photography in the development of Air Power in WW1. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a member of the British Commission for Military History.
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.’
Accredited Guide Number: 57
I come from a family that saw service in both the World Wars. My mother’s father was in France during the First World War and her two brothers fought in the Second War – one in the Royal Air Force, successfully evading capture at Dunkirk in 1940, and another with the Royal Navy in the Atlantic. On my father’s side of the family, my grandfather saw service in the Royal Army Medical Corps in the First War and later became an Air Raid Warden in Burton on Trent in World War II, whilst his brother was with the Royal Air Force in the Far East.
Talking to them sparked my own interest in military history which then developed to reading about battles and military campaigns – it was the part of the history lessons at school I liked most! When I had some pocket money I would buy books about battles and would always be scouring ‘junk shops’ for military cap badges, medals and the like.
Medal collecting led to me undertaking research into the lives of the individuals that had won them and in turn to research the battles in which they had fought. The next logical step was visiting some of those battlefields. Initially alone but later with friends and family, the visits developed into small guided tours with an emphasis on the human side of war and its effect on the people involved, not just the combatants but those back home or in the countries where the campaigns and battles were fought.
As well as general tours of the Western Front battlefields I also have a particular interest and knowledge in the involvement of the Canadian and Australian forces in both World Wars and have led a number of tours to the European battlefields where they fought. I also particularly enjoy taking small groups on family pilgrimages and undertaking the research that is involved in developing these tours.
I have significant experience of working with school groups and was recently part of the guide team that delivered the Government initiative to take two students and a teacher from every English state school to the battlefields of France and Belgium between 2014 and 2019. I am currently a volunteer speaker for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and also help to clean and maintain CWGC headstones in local churchyards.
“Once again you’ve made our battlefields trip and amazing experience. Thank you for all the extra special investigations you do. We can’t imagine these trips without you!”
Teacher – School group
“Our trip has been the trip of a lifetime experience – your part made it absolutely awesome!”
Guest – Canadian Adult group
Accredited Guide Number: 24
Iain Standen is CEO of the Bletchley Park Trust, the organisation that runs Bletchley Park the historic site of secret British code breaking activities during WWII and birthplace of the modern computer.
A former Regular Army officer in the Royal Corps of Signals, he served in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Cyprus, as well as on operational deployments to Northern Ireland (where he was Mentioned in Despatches), Saudi Arabia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Iraq. He commanded at troop, squadron, unit and group level, graduated from the Army Staff College and served in a range of staff appointments. This extensive military experience allows him to provide a wide–ranging soldier’s insight on his battlefield tours.
As the son of an RAF officer and the grandson of an Army officer it could be said that the military and military history are in his blood. His interest in battlefields stretches back to his childhood, and he visited his first, Bosworth Field, over 30 years ago. Since then he has toured the battlefields of the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, and the United States, covering battles and campaigns from the Seven Years War to the Second World War. Whilst maintaining a broad interest in a range of campaigns, the American Civil War remains his favourite era. He began leading military battlefield tours with the troops under his command in 1987 and led military tours and staff rides throughout his Army career.
Iain has been working commercially for Anglia Battlefield Tours since 2001 and has guided tours for them on the battlefields of Waterloo, Ypres, Somme and Normandy.
He is a member of the American Civil War Roundtable (United Kingdom) and lectures on American Civil War subjects. He also maintains an interest in military history and battlefield preservation through membership of The Battlefields Trust, the Western Front Association and the Civil War Preservation Trust. He was an early member of the Guild of Battlefield Guides (member number 28) and completed his Validation in August 2006.
Accredited Guide Number: 65
Tim has guided tours to battlefields and Remembrance sites since 2008, leading schools parties, groups of veterans, serving military and the general public.
Before this he served in the Royal Navy for 35 years as a Gunnery and Air Defence Officer. This included service at sea in the Falklands and in the First Gulf War, as well as deployments afloat to many other parts of the world, and shore postings working with colleagues from the British Army, Royal Air Force and other nations. During his naval career, his life-long interest in naval history led him to take part in several battlefield studies, initially as the maritime expert, and subsequently broadening his interests to encompass land and air campaigns of the 20th Century.
Whilst preferring to look at battlefields with a nautical or amphibious flavour, such as Gallipoli, Dunkirk or Normandy, he is equally at home guiding on the Somme, in Flanders or other land-locked regions.
He is a Westcountryman by birth, with, perhaps not surprisingly, something of a maritime interest from an early age. After many years in Portsmouth, enjoying living near a major focus of the nation’s naval heritage, he has recently returned to his Devonshire roots. He joined the Guild in 2008, was awarded his Badge in 2014 and became the Guild’s Validation Secretary in 2015, a role he relinquished in 2020 when he joined the Management Board and was appointed as Guild Secretary.
Accredited Guide Number: 70
Joël Stoppels is a battlefield guide and founder of the Battlefield Tours in the Netherlands. He did research in different allied operations during the Second World War in the Netherlands. By means of the Battlefield Tours he shares his knowledge with other people who are interested in the Second World War. “The battle to liberate Holland was so severe and heavy, it took so many lives, that it should not be forgotten”, is Joël’s conviction. In the summer of 2012 he started with guided tours under the name ‘Battlefield Tours Groningen’.
The young historian has a mission: he believes it is very important to keep the memories of the war alive. Every year there are less people who actually experienced the war. Young people should be aware that freedom is the most important condition for individuals and for a country. It can be lost very quickly, but you do not get it back easily. In the Second World War soldiers from other countries helped us, they did fight for our freedom and many died for it. Let us never forget and be grateful that we live in freedom in this country until today.
Joël Stoppels organizes battlefield tours for military and civilian groups on Market Garden, the 1st British Airborne division, the 101st and 82nd US Airborne Divisions, the French SAS participation in Operation Amherst in April 1945 and the Canadian operations in the Netherlands and Germany (March/ April 1945).
Besides being a member of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides with badge no. 70, he is also the coordinator for the international guide network of the Liberation Route Europe.
Accredited Guide Number: 12
Piers has been guiding groups consisting of veterans, students, relatives and military groups to battlefields and war cemeteries of Europe, The Far East, The Mediterranean and North Africa for the past 35 years. He started his tour operating career with Major & Mrs. Holt’s Battlefield Tours before setting up Remembrance Travel in 1985, for the MoD/RBL, which he continued to run for 25 years. In 2011 he was appointed Chief Executive of The Not Forgotten Association, a tri-service charity for the wounded.
Piers is a qualified guide, badged no. 12, with The Guild of Battlefield Tours, qualifying on The Ypres Salient 1914-1918; The Somme 1916; The Chindit Operations of Burma 1943-44; The Battle of Hillman in Normandy 1944 and The Battle of Arnhem 1944; just some of the World War battles of which Piers is an undoubted expert.
He has taken thousands of relatives to their chosen war cemetery as part of the Government funded War Widows Grant in Aid Scheme, 1985-2010. He wrote the blueprint for the Big Lottery/MoD initiative “Heroes Return”.
Piers comes from a military background, his grandfather serving in the Great War, wounded at The Battle of Loos; and his father, having been captured a number of times in the early part of WW2, was sent to Colditz for four years. Piers himself served in both regular and territorial armies, enabling a personal military perspective to be brought to his tours.
His public speaking topics include “Escaping from Coldtiz”; “Chindit Operations of Burma 1943-44” and “War Cemeteries and Memorials Worldwide”.
Piers is one of the most experienced battlefield and remembrance guides, whose speciality is to personalise his tours to his audience and specific requests for family connections to those who fell.
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: 39
For over three decades Frank has had a successful career within the creative industry as a designer and creative director.
During that time, Frank also served 10 years in the 70 (Essex Yeomanry) Signal Squadron, part of 71st (Yeomanry) Signal Regiment (V), and had the distinction of having been the youngest qualified tradesman in the regiment by 12 months, at the age of 19.
Frank’s interest in battlefield guiding came from his father who served in BOAR and grandfathers who fought in the WW2 – one in the Royal Artillery on the Western Front and the other in the Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front.
Frank has been battlefield guiding since 2006, specialising in Waterloo, the Great War, WW2 and more recently, Berlin, where in 2019 he was licensed to guide at the Sachsenhausen Memorial.
He also played an active role within the Guild and has held several positions on Council, including Members’ Representative, Brand Manager and Guild Secretary.
In 2011 he was proud to be the first recipient of the Richard Holmes Memorial Award for Services to the Guild.
Frank is also a member of the Essex Yeomanry Association and a Life member of the Royal Signals Association.
Accredited Guide Number: 41
Terry has had a fascination for Military History since his schooldays. His grandfather was an “Old Contemptible” serving throughout the First World War on the Western Front, and his father as aircrew during the Second World War.
Terry himself served for 25 years in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, being commissioned from the ranks and retiring in 1992. His operational experience included several tours in Northern Ireland and the Falklands Conflict of 1982.
After his army career Terry worked for London Underground in the Materials Logistics function, leading a team procuring and supplying spares for trains. He left in 2005 to take up Battlefield Guiding.
Terry is one of the Accredited Guides delivering the Government funded First World War Centenary Battlefield Tour Programme for schools, and is a Remembrance Travel validated guide for schools and young persons. He is also an Official Guide at Bletchley Park – Britain’s Secret Code Breaking Centre in WW2.
Terry stresses the need to understand the strategy behind battles, technology available, the ground, tactics employed, as well as logistic support & limitations. Individual accounts of those involved are used extensively to bring the story alive.
Well travelled, Terry has set foot on every continent, and visited over 50 countries.
Accredited Guide Number: 72
Vivien gained her B.A. in English Literature at Bedford College London, and trained to become a teacher. She taught for thirty-eight years in a variety of secondary schools and colleges, heading up departments of English and of Media Studies.
It was through teaching the literature of the Great War and taking her sixth-form students to the battlefields of the Western Front that Vivien became fascinated by the history. After retiring from teaching in 2006, she undertook the M.A. course in War Studies at Kings College London. She also began a new career as a writer. She has published a two-volume literary biography of the First World War poet and novelist Richard Aldington. She lectures on the literature of the First World War and is a regular contributor of articles to journals. Vivien joined the Guild of Battlefield Guides in 2011 and became an accredited guide in February 2014. She works for the tour company ‘Battle Honours’. She has conducted, under the auspices of ‘Battle Honours’, a series of literary battlefield tours, aiming to explore the nature of the various conflicts on the Western Front in which the combatant poets took part and the roles they played, and to use this context to explore their writing. In November 2018, the hundredth anniversary of the death of Wilfred Owen, she conducted a tour of the battlefield sites where he served. She has also guided a series of literary tours for secondary school students under the government’s First World War Centenary Schools Programme and finds it particularly rewarding to introduce young people to the battlefields of the First World War.
Vivien’s knowledge of the literature of the war is extensive and she is happy to lead literary tours of the Western Front for both student and adult groups. But she also has a thorough grasp of the military history of the war and an awareness of how understanding is enhanced by visiting and walking the battlefields.
Vivien is a member of the Western Front Association, the Wilfred Owen Association and the Siegfried Sassoon Fellowship.
Accredited Guide Number: 31
Julian has had a passion for military history since his childhood and has led tours across the battlefields of the globe from Beesheva to Spion Kop. He has a particular interest in both Normandy and Arnhem having spent years researching and travelling the beach and inland battles of 1944. He enjoys leading groups to uncover lost or seldom-seen sites of battle from all wars. He has a military background, having served with the Royal Anglian Regiment as a member of the Territorial Army. A published author, he is a badged member and validator within the Guild of Battlefield Guides. Julian lectures on military history widely including in Whitehall for the Royal United Services Institute. Julian is today employed full time in military history as co-owner of both Battle Honours & Staffride Ltd, two leading specialist battlefield tour operators.
Accredited Guide Number: 37
Accredited Guide Number: 58
Ray is especially interested in the British volunteers of the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War, the Roman Invasion of Britain in 43 AD, in particular the activities of Titus Flavius Vespasianus (Vespasian), and the military career of Major General James Wolfe; he also has a broad interest in the First World War, particularly the 18th (Eastern) Division under Major General Ivor Maxse, the Second World War, the American Civil War, and the English Civil Wars. In addition to leading battlefield tours he has also led business study tours to the USA and throughout the UK facilitating best practice learning by client organisations from the Middle East, the Far East, and the UK.
He is a romantic idealist at heart and a firm believer in the power of the human spirit, with a heartfelt dislike of DIY born of much unfortunate experience, it is the actions and motivations of individuals in the context of military history and battlefields that interest him the most – and it is on those aspects that he focuses his attention. His aim as a battlefield guide is to encourage clients to consider events and situations from a fresh perspective.
Ray is the Chief Executive of East Anglia Reserve Forces and Cadets Association www.earfca.org.uk. He is also a visiting lecturer at Kingston University lecturing on Leadership, Change & Consultancy on a number of their Master’s level courses.
He is a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London (DL), a former Army Reserve Officer and having been awarded the Territorial Decoration (TD) in 1993, he was awarded the Queen’s Volunteer Reserves Medal (QVRM) in 2011.
Ray is a Council member of the Army Records Society and has a CMS, DMS and an MBA from the Open University Business School; he is a Trustee of Zetetick Housing, a Freeman of the City of London and a Liveryman of The Drapers Company.
Accredited Guide Number: 56
I served with the Army Air Corps for 24 years as a Helicopter Pilot/Instructor and Examiner and was first introduced to Military History during this time. I come from a ‘Military Family’ with a Great Grandfather who fought in the Zulu War of 1879, a Grandfather that saw active service with the Fleet Air Arm in WW2 and a Father in the RAF.
I was first introduced to the Battlefield in 1984 on an Operational Tour to the Falkland Islands. Fortunately, there were many veterans of Op Corporate on this tour and much of my spare time was spent with them on the battlefield. It was during this tour that I developed an interest in Military History, but it would take a further 20 years before I started Battlefield Guiding.
Being a Pilot meant that I was fortunate enough to see the Battlefield from an aerial perspective. I have
since conducted tours from the air, ranging from the Somme to Normandy and even Iraq! After reading a book about 9 Parachute Battalion called ‘The Day the Devils Dropped In’, I found my interest being directed towards Normandy and the D Day Landings of WW2. I have led many tours of the Normandy Landing Beaches with a particular interest in 6th Airborne Division and the 1st Battalion The Suffolk Regiment.
I have a developing interest in the SAS/SOE Operations in WW2 and have also led tours of the SAS action in Oman in 1958/9 on Jebel Akhdar. I currently live in the Middle East where I continue to fly Helicopters.
Accredited Guide Number: 81
David’s background includes 45 years of military service in both the Regular Army and Reserve. He graduated from the Royal Military College Duntroon in December 1975 into the Royal Australian Infantry Corps. He has completed a wide variety of regimental, training and staff postings, including operational tours of duty in Uganda with the Commonwealth Military Training Team (1983) and in Cambodia with the UN (1991-92). In 2006-07 he was deployed as an Operations Analyst in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2004-05 he served as the ADF Liaison Officer to the USMC-led headquarters with other international assistance forces based in Thailand during the tsunami relief operation.
His keen interest for military history is long-standing and widely varied. This includes being involved as a specialist technical adviser to the movies “Breaker Morant” and “Gallipoli” which were filmed in South Australia in the early 1980s where he was posted at the time.
While researching various aspects of family involvement in WW1, he was invited to co- author the history of the 19th Infantry Battalion AIF. It was one of the many untold stories of the Great War and “Fighting Nineteenth” was published in June 2011. As a result of this work, he has set up his own business AIF Research Services which assists families and other interested groups to track their First AIF ancestors both in Australia, as well as providing advice for potential battlefield tourists. David is regularly booked to speak to local historical societies on a variety of WW1 topics.
David’s interest in battlefield guiding was sparked by a 1981 visit to the Gallipoli area which was at that time relatively untouched since 1915. Here he fell in with a small group of fellow countrymen also making that pilgrimage. At that time he was teaching military history at the Officer Cadet School Portsea, and the role of de facto battlefield guide fell to him. Since 2006 he has regularly guided at Gallipoli and also on the Western Front where he gets to practise his French. He is also involved in the planning for some 2018 memorial events to be held in the Péronne and Mont St Quentin areas. He has recently added colonial forts of New South Wales to his portfolio of guiding locations.
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 17th/21st 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 nearly 200 battlefield tours for both Regular and Territorial Army units, schools and numerous adult groups to the Western Front, North West Europe plus other campaigns outside of the two 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 from those including very senior serving officers to local groups in the Dorset area and wider afield.
Allan is an Accredited Member of (Badge Number 66) of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides and a current Validator for candidates on the Path to their own Badge. He is a member of the Western Front Association, Royal Lancers Regimental Association and a Trustee for the Dorset Yeomanry Association.
Allan is an Alumni of the Duke of York’s Royal Military School, Dover. Whilst in the Army he studied and graduated through the Open University, later training 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, Dorset. Allan still in Weymouth with his wife Angela, who tolerates both his guiding and golf in exchange for holidays in the sun! They have two grown up children.
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!