VIRTUAL BATTLEFIELD TOURS
Battle Guide Virtual Tours was born from a collaboration between historians and battlefield guides across the globe who have a passion for military history and a joint desire to share that knowledge and enthusiasm with a worldwide audience. Traditionally the experience of visiting battlefields has been one which has not been available to all. A great number of limitations, be they geographical, occupational or financial have always existed, and for that reason, many people find themselves unable to make a journey to physically visit a historic site (a journey we would certainly recommend). Our goal is to change that; to make the inaccessible, accessible – but not to compromise on the highest standards which have been set for many years. Our team of dedicated professionals blend the many new methods of delivering history with the very best of traditional battlefield guiding, and lead fully customised, immersive tours which virtually take you to those incredible sites, and in a way that has simply never been done before; all from the comfort of your own home and at at a fraction of the cost.
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.
Director and Tour Manager
First and foremost a history geek, 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 on a number of national and international military history projects. He enjoys boxing and cycling, neither with particular skill.
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.
Tour Manager and Battlefield Guide
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.
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.
Tour Manager and Battlefield Guide
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. Now working at The Royal British Legion, the largest Armed Forces charity in the UK, Alex is charged with keeping Remembrance alive for the next generation. This work has led to him talking to veterans on national media channels. In his spare time he is studying for a History Masters degree.
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.
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.
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”.
Tour Manager and Battlefield Guide
Lucy Betteridge-Dyson is a military historian and MA student (History of Britain and the First World War) at the University of Wolverhampton. An occasional blogger and founder of the all-female networking group Herstory Club, she has a particular interest in the Great War along with the South-East Asian theatre of the Second World War, notably the Third Arakan Campaign. A lifelong horse lover, her current research focuses on the use of equines in 20th century warfare and the story of the real war horse in the First World War. An enthusiastic public speaker, she is passionate about engaging a wider audience with the history of the First and Second World Wars.
‘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.
Julian is an experienced professional battlefield guide with a particular focus on 20th century British military history. He particularly 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.
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.
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.
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.
Simon is an educator and 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.
Linus is a tech geek and digital all-rounder. He has a university degree in media productions and a lot of experience in different fields of digital technologies. Currently, he is working together with the team of Real Time History, which creates the YouTube channel The Great War on breathtaking history documentaries. One of his topics is the coloration and upscaling of old photo and video material with the use of AI.
Military history has always been his passion. Born and based in the west of Germany near the Dutch boarder, 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.
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.
James Taub is a military historian based out of Washington D.C who primarily focuses on the First World War. Originally from Michigan, James received his MA from the University of Glasgow and his BA from Dickinson College. He has worked as the Education Coordinator for the United States World War One Centennial Commission, Fort Ticonderoga, The American Battlefields Trust, and volunteered at several regimental museums in and around Glasgow. His interests lie within the British, French, and American experience of the Great War and particularly the average soldier and civilian. In the United States, he focuses his interpretation on the British Army during the American Revolution.
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.