Meet the Team
Each of our guides has a different approach to guiding and area of expertise. They have been chosen for their knowledge, enthusiasm and commitment to provide you with the tour you deserve. Whether you have chosen one of our scheduled walking tours, you are a bespoke small group or part of a larger tour, you can be guaranteed a quality experience.
Quality Guides Ensuring a Quality Experience
Clive Harris MA
Director and Joint OwnerClive served in the Royal Signals and with Hertfordshire Constabulary before embarking on a career in military history in 1998. In addition to the publication of “Walking the London Blitz”, ” Wander through Wartime London” and “The Greater Game” he has contributed to Time Team, Time Watch, Blitz Spirit and CBS’s Legacy of War. His specialist battlefield subjects are The Retreat of 1914, The Ypres Salient, 1918, The London Blitz and the Italian Campaign of 1943/44. Clive is the holder of badge number 33 within the Guild of Battlefield Guides and has recently been elected onto the prestigious British Commission for Military History.
Director and Joint OwnerJulian leads a number of our bespoke groups and has spent a lot of time in Normandy researching 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.
Kimberley joined us in October 2016 in the demanding role of office manager, working alongside Carly she handles your day to day enquiries and processes your bookings in addition to the clerical, admin and logistical support required to efficiently run Battle Honours and Staffride. Kimberley joined us from the bustling London property market and as well as speaking German, Kimberley studied history at school and is widely travelled.
Carly joined the Battle Honours and Staffride team in July 2016 and will work in the office helping provide admin and logistical planning support to both companies. Carly comes from a background of starting up and running two of her own businesses in retail and security. Her interest and knowledge in military history is gathering pace at a rapid rate including a recent day shooting period weapons at Bisley.
Having recently left the army Mike has been leading battlefield tours for more than twenty years. His service included operational experience in Northern Ireland, Macedonia, Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq & Afghanistan. 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 a specialist in leading Australian and New Zealand groups over the ANZAC battlefields of the Western Front. He also regularly leads tours visiting the Landing Zones of Sicily, Normandy, Arnhem & the Rhine Crossing.
Mike is also a published author – he wrote ‘Glider Pilots at Arnhem’ – a book on the exploits of The Glider Pilot Regiment during Operation Market Garden. He has also worked as a presenter with Battlefield History TV, being involved in films on Pegasus Bridge, The Glider Pilot Regiment, Operation Market Garden, the Waterloo campaign and The Hundred Years War. His latest book, ‘Glider Pilots in Sicily’received excellent reviews.
Mike was awarded his guild badge by the late Richard Holmes in November 2005, and was Vice Chairman of the guild from 2010-2011. Mike was appointed Guild Chairman in late 2011 and he retains the post.
Stephen ChambersBased in the south-east of England, he is one of the leading military historians on the Gallipoli campaign. Even though this is his prime passion, he also has comprehensive knowledge of British military campaigns from the Zulu War to the Second World War. His first book Gallipoli – Gully Ravine (Pen & Sword 2002) has been highly recommended, along with its follow-on volumes; Anzac The Landing (Pen & Sword 2008) and Suvla: August Offensive (Pen & Sword 2011). British and Commonwealth military history has continued to be a successful theme with Uniforms & Equipment of the British Army in World War One (Schiffer Books, 2005), the first serious work on the subject. Stephen is currently writing further Gallipoli works in the Pen & Sword series and researching new material for Great War centenary projects.
When not writing, Stephen is on the Battlefield, continuing his research or guiding groups. The best way to study a campaign is to walk in the footsteps of those involved, whether through the grasslands of Zululand, the mud of Flanders or the beaches of Gallipoli. Stephen is a member of the Guild of Battlefield Guides, Gallipoli Association, Western Front Association and Orders and Medals Research Society.
Internationally known for his books on the German Army, Jack, a retired officer in the Queens Lancashire Regiment has been studying military history for over 30 years. A member of the British Commission for Military History, Jack assists in guiding with our Western Front Association tour programme and his insight into life across the wire makes for a fascinating and unique experience.
Jack Sheldon PhD
Andrew RobertshawAn English military historian, curator, author and educator, Andrew is best known for his television appearances in programmes such as Two Men in a Trench and Time Team. In addition he was a military advisor on the film War Horse. He is currently the Curator/Manager of the Royal Logistic Corps Museum in Deepcut and previously worked at the National Army Museum in London, where he was Head of Education. Andrew assists with the WFA Archaeology Tour, an area in which he is a recognised authority. Andrew also guides private groups for Battle Honours.
Rory Stephens MAFrom a teaching background, Rory’s passion for the Great War has led to his chosen career path of guiding on the battlefields. He is currently studying for his MA at the Centre for First World War Studies at Birmingham University and is an associate member of both the Western Front Association & the Guild of Battlefield Guides. Rory is also an independent Great War researcher and specialises in the Welsh units in conflict alongside those of his adopted county, Norfolk.
John Greenacre PhD MA MCGIJohn Greenacre spent twenty four years in the British Army before retiring in 2011. John attended Welbeck College and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst before being commissioned into the Royal Corps of Transport in 1988. He successfully completed the Army Pilot’s Course in 1995 and transferred to the Army Air Corps, employed as a Gazelle helicopter pilot and commander. His military experiences include tours of Iraq, Kuwait, Bosnia, Northern Ireland and Kenya. He has led numerous military & civilian groups across Europe. John is a graduate of the Joint Services Advanced Command and Staff Course and as such is ideally qualified to lead detailed Staff Rides and has done so for headquarters from one to three star in Normandy and on the Rhine. In 2009 John graduated from the University of Leeds with a PhD in History. His thesis, ‘The Capability Development of British Airborne Forces during the Second World War’ has, unsurprisingly, given him an intimate insight into British airborne operations from the early raids of 1941 and 1942, across the Mediterranean from 1942 to 1944 and from Normandy to the Rhine in 1944 and 1945. He has lectured on this subject at the Imperial War Museum, the National Army Museum, the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and at the Royal United Services Institute representing the International Guild of Battlefield Guides. His book on the same subject, ‘Churchill’s Spearhead’, was published in 2010 to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the formation of British Airborne Forces. Apart from British airborne operations John has other particular areas of interest in battlefield history. Since 1991 he has been a regular visitor to Malta. He has built up a wealth of knowledge on Malta and can guide tours covering a broad scope of the islands’ history.
Mike St Maur SheilMike St Maur Sheil is a career long photographer who has worked in over 60 countries around the world for for variety of media, corporate and industrial client. In 2006 he began working with the late Prof Richard Holmes and together they created the unique open air exhibition Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace 14-18 which was opened by HRH the Duke of Kent in St James’s Park in August 2014. The exhibition has already been seen by over five million people in six countries and, in April 2017, two especial American exhibitions entitled Fields of Battle: The Doughboy Experience 1917-18 will start extensive tours in both the U.S. and the U.K.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission entrusted him to create their centenary book For the Fallen which led to widespread global coverage and even an appearance on the BBC’s Country-File doing press-ups in a muddy beet field!
It is this work which has led to his becoming a battlefield guide with an almost un-rivalled knowledge of the terrain of the entire Western Front: indeed, the only WW1 theatre of war which he has not visited is Iraq so he has an extra-ordinary range of experience giving him a unique perspective of the ‘battle-scapes’ of that conflict.
He is a member of the British Commission for Military History and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
Frank ToogoodFor over to two and a half decades Frank has had a successful career within the creative industry as a Creative Director within the Y&R Advertising Group. 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 18. Frank has been battlefield guiding since 2006, specialising in Waterloo, the Great War and WW2. In 2011, Frank received the Richard Holmes’ Award for services to the Guild.
Terry WebbTerry served for over 25 years in the British Army, retiring as a captain in 1992. Terry has since researched extensively and conducted over 80 tours of the battlefields, including WWI Western Front British Sector, Verdun, the American WWI Battlefields, WWI in Italy, The Maginot Line, France and Flanders 1940, The Defence of Great Britain 1940, Dieppe, Normandy and Arnhem. Although Normandy is Terry’s favourite battlefield because of the sheer complexity of the operation and its many facets, he feels equally at home on any battlefield tour. He can also be found putting to use the logistical skills acquired during his military service in the Battle Honours HQ & office.
Kirk DrewKirk is just coming to the end of his military career, having served with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry and latterly the Essex & Kent Scottish Regiment where he was commissioned. Having seen active service around the globe during a varied military career, he has a deep passion for military history, especially the war of 1812 and the US Civil War alongside Canada’s experiences in both world wars. Kirk, a regular guide to the battlefields, has just achieved his badge within the Guild of Battlefield Guides.
Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Sweeney (Ret'd)Peter is an Australian based battlefield guide with a passion for ANZAC involvement in the Great War and a particular interest in the Gallipoli Campaign and Western Front. Serving for thirty years as an infantry officer in the Austalian Army, he was awarded the Reserve Force Decoration for his service. He is currently studying a Master's Degree in Military History through the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra. Peter is a member of the Western Front Association, Gallipoli Association and is currently undertaking validation for "Badged" Status of the Guild of Battlefield Guides.
Dan HillDan is the newest addition to our guiding team for 2015. He is a passionate student of Military history and considers himself incredibly fortunate to work full time in the field. He is a founder member of the Herts at War Project and works full-time in that role as the organisation project officer. Having previously worked as a full time military researcher on documentaries and bespoke commissions, he is well versed in historical research and especially the wartime history of his home county of Hertfordshire. Dan is a member of the Western Front Association and is currently undertaking validation for the Guild of Battlefield Guides.
Vivien WhelptonViv is a writer and retired secondary school teacher with an M.A. in War Studies from King’s College, London. She is an active member of the Western Front Association. She specialises in the literary aspects of the First World War and is currently guiding our centenary literary tours of the Western Front which we offer in partnership with the W.F.A. She is an active member of the Siegfried Sassoon Fellowship and the Wilfred Owen Association and the author of a biography of the poet and novelist Richard Aldington. Vivien believes passionately that the best way to understand the poetry of the First World War is to walk the ground where the poets served and, in some cases, gave their lives. Guiding member of the Guild of Battlefield Guides no. 72
Jo HookJo’s father served during WWII with the Royal Engineers as a cartographer (he drew very fine maps of the Western Desert – something which had never properly been mapped before) . Jo’s grandfather served during WW1 and she therefore grew up avidly listening to her father’s tales of the Second World War and thus a passion in military history was born.
In 1986 Jo spent 3 years working with the Ministry of Defence in Hong Kong which allowed her to widen her interest in military history. In 1994 she joined the Territorial Army (Royal Signals) and it was here that Jo had the opportunity to arrange battlefield tours. In 1995 she spent time on Operations in Bosnia. A subsequent move to Germany allowed Jo to concentrate on guiding German based British Military Groups specifically to study Operation Market Garden. At the same time Jo also returned to the UK to accompany UK based groups to both WW1 and WWII battlefields.
Jo has also worked closely with the Normandy Veterans Association accompanying many of the veterans back to Normandy for the 6 June commemoration weekends as well as returning with Arnhem Veterans back to the battlefields of Holland.
Jo joined the Guild of Battlefield Guides in 2006 and attained badged status (Badge Number 48) in October 2010 and in 2013 took over the role as membership secretary for the Guild. When time permits she also undertakes book reviews for Soldier Magazine and has been involved in typing up memoirs for the Paradata Archive.
Having served on operations Jo understands the perspective of soldiers on the battlefield and the viewpoint of families at home as well as gaining an insight to the comparison between latter day soldiers and the life of the soldier on the modern day battlefield. Her main passion in life is ensuring that the story of the soldier and the sacrifices made by those who fought throughout history should not be forgotten.
Gareth Davies MA
Gareth spent 28 years in the British Army before retiring in 2015. He served as a tank and reconnaissance troop leader commander, CBRN squadron commander, staff officer, and instructor. He has taught at Sandhurst, at the Land Warfare School, and at the Joint Services Command and Staff College; he served twice in the Ministry of Defence, in the Operations area and the Equipment Capability area; and his last job in the Army was as a doctrine writer. He has served on operations in the Balkans and the Middle East. He is a graduate of Advanced Command and Staff Course and he has a Master’s Degree in Defence Studies from Kings College London.
Gareth is a keen student of twentieth century warfare and he regularly speaks to groups and leads tours. 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 2018. He starts the Guild of Battlefield Guides official accreditation process this year.