Galina Battlefield Guides

To cater for our varied clientele, Galina Battlefield Guides are drawn from a broad spectrum of experience including education, business and local government as well as military backgrounds.  They all have in common a passion for military history, a fund of knowledge and experience of the locations you will visit and a “people-friendly” approach.  Most importantly, they are good communicators who understand their audience and can tailor their delivery accordingly.


Dr Barry Matthews, BA (Hons), PGCE, MA, PhD

Barry was an English teacher, Head of Department & Head of Faculty before leaving the profession and establishing Galina in 1989.  He is the company’s current Chairman.  After more than 25 years’ leading battlefield tours, he is one of Galina’s most experienced guides.

Qualifications: Degree in English & History, PGCE University of Bath (Distinction in Teaching Practice), MA in Military History from the University of Liverpool.  Barry also recently completed a PhD on the service career, poetry & legacy of Wilfred Owen at the Centre for First World War Studies, Birmingham University.

Interests: The Western Front, Gallipoli, Normandy, El Alamein, Sicily, Monte Cassino, Anzio, Arnhem & Rhine Crossing, Waterloo.  Special interests: The poetry of the First World War; the Battle of Arnhem.


Ian Matthews, BA (Hons) Oxon, PGCE, MA

Ian joined the company in 1992 after working as a history teacher, examiner and Head of Department in Liverpool for 12 years.  He now has more than 20 years’ experience of leading battlefield tours as well as being Galina’s current Managing Director.

Qualifications:  Degree in Modern History, Merton College, Oxford, PGCE, University of Bath and MA in Military History (Distinction) from the University of Liverpool.

Interests: The Western Front, Gallipoli, Monte Cassino, Anzio, Normandy, Arnhem & Rhine Crossing, Berlin & Auschwitz, Agincourt, Waterloo.  Special interests: The Gallipoli Campaign; infantry tactics on the Western Front.


Colonel (retd) Chris Best

Chris worked his way up through the ranks beginning his military career as a junior soldier in the RAMC in 1962 and retiring as a Colonel and Deputy Commander of the newly-created Medical Group in 2001. He has served with both 19 Field Ambulance and 5 Field Ambulance RAMC, serving in the Balkans with the latter.  He was also one of the representatives of the Army Medical Services during the Strategic Defence Review in 1997.

Interests: Waterloo, Arnhem, Normandy, Western Front.  Special interest:  Medical Services on the Western Front


Major (retd) Duncan Byrne

Duncan was commissioned into the Royal Corps of Transport in 1977 and during his career he has seen service in Germany, Northern Ireland and is a veteran of the Falklands Conflict.  During his time as a NATO staff officer in Turkey, he led a number of battlefield tours to the Gallipoli Peninsula as well as diving several wrecks around the coastline.  Before he retired, Duncan also served in London with 151 Regiment, RLC(V), with Liverpool UOTC and as SO2 Logistics Support Services at HQ 5 Division in Shrewsbury.  Now retired, he remains a keen diver and sailor.

Qualifications:  MA in Military History from the University of Liverpool.

Interests: Gallipoli, Monte Cassino, Western Front, Normandy.  Special interest: The Gallipoli Campaign   


Trevor Boag, BA (Hons), PGCE

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATrevor has 35 years’ experience as a teacher & AQA Examiner of English Language & Literature.  He was a Deputy Head for 16 years & Acting Head for two years of a North Yorkshire Secondary School prior to retiring. Given his background, not surprisingly, Trevor makes an ideal guide for both student and adult groups on our poetry tours to the Western Front.

Qualifications:  Degree in English and Modern History, PGCE

Interests: The Western Front.  Special interest: The literature of the First World War (poetry, prose & drama)


Steve Clarke, BA (Hons), PGCE

Steve ClarkeSteve has 30 years’ teaching experience in secondary schools in Hull and was Head of a Humanities faculty prior to retiring as a Deputy Head.  A keen sportsman, Steve was captain of his local cricket club & is a member of Yorkshire County Cricket Club. After many years taking school parties to the battlefields of the Western Front, Steve brings a considerable knowledge and insight to the tours he leads.

Qualifications:  Degree in History & PGCE from Hull University.

Interests: The Western Front, Holocaust


Paul Grimley

P GrimleyPaul is a retired Prison Officer of 23 years. Prior to this, he served in an RAF Regiment for 13 years. Since 1986, Paul also served 13 years as a Squadron Warrant Officer in the ATC. He is currently the Chairman of his local ATC units’ civilian committee.


Paul is currently researching the AIF battles of WWI, with particular reference to Fromelles, Poziers, Peronne & Villers-Bretoneux

Interests: Operation Market Garden, Mons, Waterloo & Ypres. 


Bruce Hubbard, BA (Hons), PGCE, DASE

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABruce has taught in secondary education for over 30 years in Liverpool & is a former Head of Humanities.  He is also a local councillor & former Mayor of Maghull in Liverpool.  A member of Western Front Association (Merseyside Branch) & Great War Forum, Bruce has a long-standing interest in the First World War and has worked for Galina since 2007.

Qualifications:  Degree in Modern History, PGCE and Diploma in the Advanced Study of Education.

Interests: The Western Front, Holocaust.  Special interest: The Liverpool (Scottish) on the Western Front


Ian Riley, TD, BSc (Hons), MA, FSA Scot.

Ian is a former TA Officer with 24 (Airmobile) Brigade HQ as well as Head of a Mathematics Department in a large secondary school.  As well as visiting the Western Front, his other interests include working with the Liverpool Scottish Regimental Museum and he is a member of the King’s Regiment Museum Advisory Committee.  Ian is also a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, a member of the Royal United Service Institute & the Mathematics Association.  He is currently working on a PhD at Birmingham University.

Qualifications: Degree in Physics from the University of Liverpool & MA (Distinction) in First World War Studies from the University of Birmingham.

Interests: The Western Front. Tactics & logistics in the First World War; poetry of the First World War


Robin Stewart, BEd, DSME, Cert Ed.

Robin StewartRobin has over 30 years’ experience as a teacher & lecturer and has taught English Language, Literature & Drama in both secondary & higher education. He led numerous residential experiences for students including theatrical productions, sports & battlefield tours during his teaching career. Robin has been a guide with Galina since January 2008, leading tours to France, Belgium & the Netherlands.

Qualifications: Degree in Education, DSME & Certificate in Education.

Interests: The Western Front, Arnhem, Normandy. Special interest in the Western Front & Literature of the Great War (August/September 1914) 


Major (retd) Ian Taylor, TD

Ian TaylorA former 2-i-C, 1st Battalion, Wessex Regiment, Ian’s career with the TA spanned more than 35 years and included tours of duty in Germany, Bosnia and Croatia.  In civilian life, alongside his military duties, he worked for Barclays Bank.  Ian has been associated with Galina for more than 14 years and brings an infantry officer’s perspective and appreciation of terrain and tactics as well as a wealth of detailed knowledge to the tours he guides for us. He is a museum volunteer at the Royal Hampshire Regiment Museum in Winchester and has recently published a book ‘War History of 7th Battalion, The Hampshire Regiment, 1939-1946’.

Interests: Normandy, Arnhem, Western Front


Alison Hine, BA, PGCE, MA

Alison served as a TA Officer & subsequently in the Regular Army for 30 years & is currently researching manning & casualty replacement in the First World War for a PhD at the University of Birmingham. This research is focused on the Infantry Regiments of the Marches.

Qualifications:  Bachelor of Arts degree in English & French from the University of Strathclyde, a PGCE from Jordanhill College & an MA in Military History from the University of Liverpool.

Interests: Great War Poetry & History tours, Realities of War tours, Normandy & Dunkirk. Western Front


Leonard Trim, BA (Hons), PGCE

Len TrimLen has had a number of careers including membership of the 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment, North Sea oil rig worker & teacher of History. As a paratrooper, he took part in the jump scenes during the filming of ‘A Bridge Too Far’. Experience in the armed forces & his wide historical knowledge led to Len leading numerous battlefield tours, particularly to the Western Front.

Qualifications:  Bachelor of Arts degree from the Open University & a PGCE from Moray House, University of Edinburgh. Honours level courses in both medieval & modern History from the University of Dundee.

Interests: Western Front. Tactics in the First World War; poetry of the First World War; the role of Airborne Forces in the Second World War


Julian Maslin, BSc, MSc, PGCE

DSCN1661Julian worked in education for more than 30 years lecturing at tertiary level & has been a Faculty Manager & Senior Lecturer for the last ten years. He has carried out extensive research into the service records of RAF pilots in the Second World War, with particular reference to 617 Squadron (more widely known as the Dambusters). Julian is also a guide at the museum at RAF Scampton, where 617 Squadron were based.

Qualifications:  Bachelor of Science degree in Geography & Geology from the University of London, MSc in Geomorphology from Sheffield University & a PGCE (Distinction) from University of London.

Interests: Western Front, Normandy, Arnhem & the Rhine Crossing.  Special interests:  the RAF in the Second World War with particular focus on 617 Squadron (the Dambusters).


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