Alison gained a BA degree in English and French at the University of Strathclyde where she also started her military career in the Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities’ Officers Training Corps, as an enthusiastic member of the Royal Artillery sub-unit.
Alison was commissioned into the Regular Army in 1974. She served with the Women’s Royal Army Corps, the then Royal Army Educational Corps and subsequently in the Adjutant General’s Corps.
During her Army service, she held a variety of appointments, regimental and staff, both single- and tri-Service, served in UK, Northern Ireland and Hong Kong. It was whilst serving in Hong Kong that Alison’s interest in battlefield touring was sparked through a tour to mark VJ Day 1984, attended by Veterans from both Britain and Canada.
Early retirement in the rank of Colonel in 2002 gave Alison the opportunity at last to indulge her interest in military history and she completed a part-time MA degree in conjunction with the University of Liverpool. In 2004 she started working as a freelance battlefield tour guide and has taken a variety of successful tours to the Western Front and Normandy with Sixth Form, Military, Veteran and Special Interest groups.
As well as being familiar with the battlefields and the stories of the men who fought there, Alison has an extensive knowledge of the poetry of the First World War which her military background enables her to put into context. Similarly, her military experience in the personnel world and MOD enables her to talk not only about operational aspects and the conditions under which soldiers lived and fought but also the political and organisational aspects of the times.
Alison is a Badged Guide of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides, having completed Validation in 2007, and was the first female to gain this award. She is also a member of the Western Front Association, the Battlefields Trust and the Centre for First World War Studies, based at Birmingham University, where she is studying part-time for a PhD.
|Areas of expertise (conducted tours to):
||1st World War
Western Front - including Ypres, the Somme,
British Expeditionary Force in 1914;Mons
Cambrai and Breaking the Hindenburg Line.
Poetry and Prose
|2nd World War
|Interests||1st World War generally
Second World War – Far East History
Battlefield sites of the English/Welsh Marches
Genealogy/family history research
| Guild of Battlefield Guides
||Member and Badged guide number 36|
| Criminal Record Bureau Checked:
(cleared to work with all age groups)
|Available for:||Group and personal tours for all age groups|