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.
Adult Coach Groups