Who we are
We are a business with a passion to make sure we do not forget the sacrifice and pain that everyone concerned goes through in all conflicts.
Barbed Wire Tours have taken many groups on tour including local councils, schools, youth groups, and even the Army.
Peter Whapshott - Founder
We are also in a privileged position where we are honoured and delighted to be able to offer our clients the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme.
The award is for young people aged 14 to 25 and we are now able to offer package deals at bronze and silver levels at competitive prices on the Somme Battlefield.
For more information on this please contact Chris Hills.
BARBED WIRE TOURS WAS BORN OUT OF A TRIP SOME 20 YEARS AGO
I was asked if I would like to go on a battlefield tour with some friends from the Metropolitan Police. As a first timer I did not know what to expect so I read a book or two and went along. Our guide was a Policeman who had been doing the trips for a while.
“I can say now that the trip changed my life.”
To go and see, touch the iconic places that I had grown up hearing about was incredible. When I came home I did not stop talking about the trip at which point my wife said I should go back. Armed with pictures and details of my Granddad, I went again and again. Then friends started to ask if I would take them over to the battlefields, which I have done over many years, learning something new every time I go.
The biggest honour is taking people over to find a relation. To stand and tell the story behind the person and why they were here, holding the last letter they wrote. We try to make that small part of history come to life. What started as a hobby soon became my passion and that has never left me.
Meet the tour guide team...
Mark Smith MA
Mark has been interested in military history all his life. He has been visiting the battlefields since 1986 and has led tours for over 20 years. For 14 years he was the curator of the Royal Artillery museum in London and now directs the medals department of AH Baldwins and sins Auctioniers located in the Strand, London.
He is one of the medals and militaria experts on the BBC’s long running programme the Antiques Roadshow and has appeared on many other programmes; Who do you think you are, Bargain Hunt, Deep Wreck Mysteries, Family at War, lnside out London to name a few. He also broadcasts on radio and television with British Forces Broadcasting.
He has written five books on ww1 and genealogical military research and appears in many associated magazines.
He has been a member for over 25 years of the Orders and Medals Research Society and the Western Front Association. He is an Associate Member of the Guild of Battlefield Guides.
He graduated from University College London with a Master’s Degree in Museum Studies.
Peter has worked as the oral historian at the Imperial War Museum since 1981. He is the author of several books on the Great War, including Gallipoli, The Somme, Aces Falling, Jutland, 1916 and most recently Voices from the Front.
Peter has appeared in a number of TV and radio documentaries and is a well-regarded speaker for The Western Front Association. He regularly leads battlefield tours to Gallipoli.
Steve is a Military Historian and Battlefield Guide who specialises in the First World War. He served in the British Army for twelve years and twenty three years in the Police. He holds a Masters Degree in British First World War Studies and is an associate member of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides.
Steve has been researching the Great War for nearly thirty years and has provided research for a number of television productions over the years. He was one of a panel of experts on the BBC World War One Roadshow in 2014 and has also appeared as an expert in a number of family history programmes. In this respect he regularly lectures to a variety of groups on subjects relating to the First World War.
As a battlefield guide, Steve has been leading groups to the Western Front for over twenty five years. These groups include small family pilgrimages, school groups, specialist adult tours based on specific themes and Military groups focusing on the specialist role of their antecedent units.
He has co-authored two books on the period and for twenty years has been involved in archaeological projects on the Western Front. In this capacity he has appeared in a number of television programmes on the subject. In addition to on site excavations he leads on pre and post excavation research where required.
“Hello Peter, We all thoroughly enjoyed the trip and your passion for the subject made us enjoy it even more. You imparted to us such enthusiasm and knowledge that it made the trip so much more interesting than if we had gone on our own. You knew where to go, what to see and the order in which to see things. The trip was unforgettable and very thought provoking. In fact we all came away knowing so much more and having a thirst for further knowledge. As you so rightly pointed out what we saw and learned was only the tip of the iceberg. If you are thinking of doing any further trips please let us know.”
PETER & MARY (AND, OF COURSE, NOT FORGETTING JIM & JOYCE)