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.
Viking battles in YorkshireEdward I’s conquest of North WalesFulfordStanford BridgeWWIWWIICold War
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