Meet the Team
Throughout the world of military history, there are a great number of experts who are able and willing to share the powerful stories of battles past, and to communicate the importance of those times with those wanting to visit historic sites of such importance. The guides and tour managers we have selected to lead our virtual tours do exactly that. Whether they are academic or professional historians, specialist tour guides or, more usually, both, they all have one thing in common – passion.
We pride ourselves in being able to embrace new technology, but not forget the reason for doing what we do. Our teams work in pairs, with each tour led by a Tour Manager and Battlefield Guide; allowing you as the client to ask questions, engage with our staff live, and for us to deliver the most professional service possible.
Our guide team are an international mix with a wide range of specialities, each chosen to bring an enthusiastic, dynamic and passionate approach to Battle Guide Virtual Tours.
CEO & Tour Manager
Dan is incredibly proud to have worked for over a decade as both a professional military historian and battlefield guide across Europe. Having led thousands of battlefield tourists on trips across battlefields, he understands just how powerful the experience can be. It was this understanding, along with a desire to share that experience far and wide using the latest technology, which led to the creation of Battle Guide Virtual Tours. Dan holds a Masters degree in the History of Britain in the First World War and has worked as a consultant in the media and on a number of national and international military history projects. He enjoys boxing and cycling, neither with particular skill.
Jesse Alexander is a public historian and the host of the YouTube channel The Great War, and the World War Two documentary series 16 Days in Berlin. He holds an MA in History from the University of Vienna, where he specialized in visual propaganda and Austria-Hungary in World War One. Jesse has 20 years’ experience in public history in battlefield guiding, public speaking, museums, and research. He has worked with the Vimy Memorial, the Juno Beach Centre, the Canadian War Museum, Canada’s Cold War Museum, and the Canadian Museum of Civilization. He hails from Canada, but now splits his time between Vienna and Berlin, and can take your questions in English, French or German.
Tour Manager and Battlefield Guide
Ben is a battlefield guide and military historian and is currently undertaking a Masters degree in Second World War Studies. He has always been fascinated by military history and first visited the battlefields of Europe on the 60th anniversary of D-Day in 2004. Now, many years later, he guides professionally with Leger Battlefield Tours as well as conducting his own private research. He considers himself very fortunate to have spent time travelling the battlefields with veterans and has dedicated many hours of work researching the service of Alan King of the 1st East Riding Yeomanry. He says his career highlight was returning to Normandy with Alan in order to follow his 1944 tank tracks.
Dr Spencer Jones
Spencer is an award-winning historian and author. He is a Senior Lecturer in Armed Forces and War Studies at the University of Wolverhampton and is the President of the Guild of Battlefield Guides. He also serves as the Regimental Historian of the Royal Regiment of Artillery.
Dr John Greenacre
Dr John Greenacre is a military historian with a particular interest in the development of conflict during the twentieth century. John spent over twenty years in the British Army as a helicopter pilot before completing his PhD at Leeds University. He is a part-time lecturer at the University of Suffolk and also works as a tour guide across Europe and supports current military professional development activity.
Prof Matthias Strohn
Prof. Strohn is a specialist in the history of war in the 20th century, with special interest in the World Wars, the inter-war period, command and leadership and the application of military history in the current military context. He has published widely in these fields (including writing and editing 17 books and numerous articles) and his works were chosen as the core readings for Operation Reflect, the British Army’s commemoration of the First World War. He is a keen battlefield studies guide and has led military and civilian tours in Europe from Madrid to Stalingrad. He has also worked on television and radio as both historical adviser and interviewee.
Battlefield Guide and Tour Manager
Alexander Owen, having studied Archaeology at university, went from digging in the ruins of a Latvian crusader castle to digging shell scrapes under fire in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. A decade marching and riding with the Household Cavalry saw him complete two operational deployments to Afghanistan as well as leading mounted troops in London as part of the Sovereign’s mounted bodyguard. On leaving the Army Alex worked at The Royal British Legion, the largest Armed Forces charity in the UK, where he was charged with keeping Remembrance alive for the next generation. This work led to him talking to veterans on national media channels. He now works for the UK’s Ministry of Defence. In his spare time he is completing a History Masters and is a director at the Household Cavalry Museum on Horse Guards in London.
Tour Manager and Battlefield Guide
Steve is a leading military historian on the Gallipoli campaign and has a comprehensive knowledge of British military history from the Zulu War to the Second World War. He is an author, researcher and battlefield guide, he has written six Gallipoli books in the Pen & Sword Battleground Europe series, a tome on Uniforms & Equipment of the British Army in World War One (Schiffer Books), and during the centenary co-authored Gallipoli: The Dardanelles Disaster in Soldiers’ Words and Photographs (Bloomsbury). He is a Trustee of the Gallipoli Association, a badged member of the Guild of Battlefield Guides and director of Great War Digital.
Clive 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 was elected onto the prestigious British Commission for Military History in 2010. He has a Masters degree in Great War Studies and is a member of the Guild of Battlefield Guides.
Dr. Robert Lyman
Dr Robert Lyman FRHistS is a leading writer and military historian. After finishing a twenty year career in the British Army in 2001 he has published widely on the Second World War in Europe, North Africa and Asia.He is Field Marshal Bill Slim’s military biographer. His presentation of the case for Slim won a National Army Museum debate in 2011 for Britain’s Greatest General and his case for Kohima/Imphal won a National Army Museum debate in 2013 for Britain’s Greatest Battle. He was the BBC’s historical adviser for the VJ commemorations in 2015 and 2020 and is a regular contributor to documentary films on aspects of the war. He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and has been a trustee of the Kohima Educational Trust since 2004, and Chairman between 2008-2016.
Rob is a former British Army infantry officer and humanitarian with a lifelong interest in military history and the evolution of warfare. He guides widely on battlefields across Europe for military and civilian groups, and has a particular focus on the Italian battlefields of both world wars. A graduate of the Italian Joint Forces Higher Command and Staff College, he has a Masters Degree in Military Strategic Studies and is an accredited member of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides.
Tour Manager and Battlefield Guide
Paul has had a life-long interest in military history and graduated in 2019 from the University of Wolverhampton with a Masters degree in the History of Britain and the First World War. He has a particular interest in the Western Front and works for Back Roads Touring specialising in small group tours focusing on the actions of the ANZAC’s and Galloway Travel working with school groups to meet curriculum requirements. Paul is a member of the Guild of Battlefield Guides and is working towards accreditation. He is also a member of the Western Front Association and the Hawthorn Ridge Crater Association.
‘Rocky’ Salmon served for 35 years in the Royal Navy, primarily flying Sea King Helicopters from Aircraft Carriers and as an instructor, whilst also completing numerous exchange tours with the Royal Air Force and United States Navy. He retired as a Captain in 2019, but his passion for the history of the First World War pre-dates his naval career, triggered when he completed a general studies project on the Battle of the Somme at college in 1982; he has continued to read and research widely on the subject ever since, spending much time on the battlefields delivering guided tours for friends and military colleagues. He has a Masters degree in First World War Studies
Gareth Edwards is a historical writer and journalist. His general areas of study and interest are strategy and logistics in First and Second World Wars, but he has a particular interest in highlighting and explaining the ‘forgotten factors’ that often get left out of popular narratives or histories to audiences with a general interest in history. This has included writing about a wide variety of subjects, from the vital role played by weather forecasters in the D-Day landings, to the forgotten airforce of the Knights Hospitaller, which was critical to preserving Italy’s military power in the early Cold War. Gareth is also a video game streamer and commentator, with a particular focus on grand strategy and history games.
From 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.
Romain Bréget is a professional tour guide in Normandy. He has had a particular interest in military history since his childhood, spending time around ruined medieval castles and WW2 German bunkers. He has studied History, Art History and Archaelogy. He has been a certified tour guide in France for over 10 years, including since 2014 in Normandy, taking many tourists on the landing beaches. While passionate about the Normandy landings, in his spare time, he is studying French military history, including the Hundred Years War and the Franco-Prussian War.
Simon is a historian and educator who has long held an interest in military history and the battlefields. He first visited as a child on family holidays and soon developed a fascination which continues to this day. Simon began leading battlefield tours while still at university. For 14 years, as a teacher, he led annual school tours to the Western Front and from 2014 led the Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme as part of the UK government’s First World War Centenary activity. During that period, he personally led many of the tours which saw more than 8,500 teachers and students visit the former battlefields in France and Belgium. He is an accredited battlefield guide and was elected to the British Commission for Military History in 2015.
Gareth has been a student of 20th Century warfare for many years. His expertise, developed during his 25 years as a tank commander, staff officer, and Sandhurst and Staff College instructor, includes the development of combined arms warfare, command, learning, and technology; the Great War in France & Flanders, Italy and Palestine; Second World War combined arms actions; and tanks – because a day without a tank is a day wasted! He has a Masters Degree in Defence Studies from KCL and he is a fully accredited (badged) member of the Guild of Battlefield Guides. His first book, on tanks in 1917, will be published in 2022.
Olivia Smith is a public historian who has worked with a variety of historical organisations, a Commonwealth War Graves Commission Centenary Intern, filmed segments for the BBC and ITV, Women of London guide, Khaki Malarkey podcast host, researcher on Second World War documentaries for Sky History. Olivia is also a part of Hawthorn Ridge Crater Association, a conservation project on the Somme and Herstory Club, an organisation that brings female historians from all backgrounds together. Olivia is striving towards her career goal of “the positive promotion of historical education for everyone”.
Shane is a military history aficionado whose interest stretches from the earliest recorded warfare between Mesopotamian city-states right through to recent conflicts in the Middle East. His passion on the subject has seen him travel the world visiting battlefields and related sites. He has worked on Dan Snow and James Hollands WarGen project, is the lead military content producer for Hidden History and runs esteemed Battle of Britain author Dilip Sarkar’s YouTube channel. An avid YouTuber and Social Media user himself Shane approaches the subject from a non-academic viewpoint and really stresses that history belongs too and should be enjoyed by everyone.
The daughter of a Second World War Soldier, Jo first became interested in military history when listening to her father talk of his wartime experiences in North Africa. Jo joined the International Guild of Battlefield Guides in 2004. She gained accreditation status and was awarded her GBG Badge by the late Professor Richard Holmes in 2010. Having served as a Royal Signals soldier on operations in Bosnia in 1995, she feels she has the ability to empathise with the men and women who fought during both world wars. It is the combination of her own personal experiences on operations, and her enthusiastic study of military history and battlefields that allow Jo to empathise with the soldiers of the past. Equally at home touring the Western Front and Gallipoli, she also regularly leads tours over the WW2 battlefields of NW Europe. In 2017 Jo achieved a Masters Degree in military history from the University of Wolverhampton.
After a brief stint as a Science Officer with the British MOD, Paul is now a software engineer specializing in Mixed Reality. Since joining a First World War battlefield of Ypres tour he became passionate about ensuring the stories and lessons of the World War periods are not forgotten.
Joe Castle is an aerodynamics engineer by profession but his first love has always been history. Growing up visiting museums with his parents and grandparents, the Great War became his main focus after learning of a number of family members who served in the conflict. A frequent visitor to the Western Front in recent years, he loves to share his passion for the history of the people and places with anyone who will listen and is looking forward to the chance to do so in a new and innovative way with Battle Guide.
Bryan is a Pacific War and Indochina Wars battlefield historian, and the founder of War Historian Battlefield Expeditions. His grandfather was a US Army combat infantry veteran of the Pacific War. He first visited the battlefields of the Pacific War in 2010 when he traveled to Okinawa for the 65th anniversary of the battle to follow in the footsteps of his then recently deceased grandfather. On this trip he accompanied a group of Battle of Okinawa veterans.
Bryan is a firm believer that the best way to understand and study a battle is to understand the ground and he considers himself fortunate to have walked these far-flung battlefields with veterans of the battles. Even though the Pacific War and Indochina Wars are the focus of his guiding, his military history expertise and interests are broad. For well over a decade, he has worked as a historical producer, historical consultant, and re-enactment coordinator for film and media projects for major museums and television.
When not on the battlefields or on a film set, Bryan is in archives researching, interviewing veterans, or reading and writing about military history.
Dr Robert Owen
Robert Owen is an aviation historian, author and the Official Historian of the No. 617 Squadron Association and a former Chairman and Trustee of the Barnes Wallis Foundation.
After a career in international advertising and marketing Robert spent four years as a post-graduate student to complete doctoral research examining the determinants of policy for No. 617 Squadron’s use 1943-45 and their relationship to the overall Bomber Offensive.
Biographer of Sqn Ldr Henry Maudslay, one of the pilots lost on the Dams Raid, he has contributed chapters to “Dambusters-Failed to return” and “V-Weapons- failed to return” and produced critical narratives for recent editions of W/Cdr Gibson’s “Enemy Coast Ahead” and Leonard Cheshire’s “Bomber Pilot”.
He has worked with the authors of numerous authoritative books on the Dams Raid together with numerous TV documentaries. He has also written articles for a range of magazines including “Aeroplane” and acted as a historical consultant for the RAF and RAF Museum.
Ryan Schwartz is a museum interpretive specialist and public historian based on the eastern seaboard of the United States. He has over ten years’ experience in that field and has employed his time with institutions like the Wisconsin Historical Society and the Museum of the American Revolution, where he was a member of their inaugural education team. Currently, he serves as Interpretive Programs Manager for First State Heritage Park, coordinating a cohort of historic sites in Dover, the capital of the State of Delaware.
With a particular focus on the conflicts that shaped the early American republic, he is dedicated to sharing the stories of common people and making their historical experiences intelligible and relevant to people’s lives today.
Ethan’s interest with military history began at a young age, watching documentaries and coloring American Civil War coloring books. This love for military history has only grown over the years. When not playing with his band Citrus Sunday, or competing in Rocket League Esports, Ethan can be found learning about military history through books, games and more.
Ethan graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in History and a Museum Studies Certificate and aspires to entertain and inform the public about the fascinating world of military history.
Prof John Buckley
John Buckley is Professor of Military History in the Department of History, Politics and War Studies at the University of Wolverhampton, UK.
He is the author of a number of books on the interwar years and the Second World War, including Monty’s Men: The British Army and the Liberation of Europe 1944-5 (Yale, 2013), British Armour in the Normandy Campaign 1944 (Cass, 2004) and (as editor) The Normandy Campaign 1944: Sixty Years On (2006). He has also published widely on aspects of air power in the Second World War. He has led battlefield study tours to Normandy since the late 1990s and has focused on the Anglo-Canadian battles with the Germans in and around Caen such as EPSOM, GOODWOOD and TOTALIZE.
Website & Marketing
Linus is a tech geek and digital all-rounder. He is responsible for the website and marketing at BGVT, has a university degree in media productions & digital business and a lot of experience in different fields of digital technologies.
Born and based in the west of Germany near the Dutch border, many battlefields of recent history are right on his doorstep. For him, virtual-battlefield-tours are the perfect combination of modern technology and fascinating history events. Bringing together technologies and stories that have to be told is one of the biggest goals in this project for him.
Community & Bookings
Professionally, Jonty was a civil engineer working in the water and rail industries. His main interest is in the Great War and is a member of the Western Front Association.
He is one of project managers leading the Herts at War Project which is researching and commemorating all the men and women with a connection to Hertfordshire who died in the Great War and is the Roll of Honour Research Coordinator for the project and leads a team undertaking the research.
Social Media Manager
Amélie is currently studying for her B.A. in Military History at the University of Kent. She has a particular interest in the impact of conflicts on states and societies, notably the influence on media and gender. Away from her studies, Amélie volunteers as a Room Guide and Collection Store Tour Guide at an English Heritage property local to her.