All our tours are only ever led by the D-Day author and academically trained historian Stuart Robertson.
Born and raised in the north of England, Stuart is a former employee of the British Ministry of Defence and is the Grandson of H.A. 'Jock' Brownbridge; a WW2 veteran who fought in France, North Africa, Sicily and Italy. In July 1944, during the Italian campaign, 'Jock' earned a Mention in Despatches for valour as he, although wounded, evacuated a colonel to safety whilst under fire. Stuart's paternal family includes Colonel Donald Robertson who commanded the 7th Battalion of the Seaforth Highlanders before being killed at Mont Pincon in Normandy on the 6th August 1944. Although Stuart grew up listening to war stories which are a huge part of his own family history, having first visited the battlefields as a 13 year old in 1989, it is the subsequent experience of meeting and touring the battlefields with hundreds of Normandy veterans which inspired him to tell their story during his tours and within his books.
There are a huge number of guides who offer tours of the D-Day beaches, many of whom in self-proclaiming themselves as historians would have you believe that their credentials are far greater than what they actually are. Of all the D-Day guides with English as a first language, only Stuart is both a history graduate and has been published on the subject of D-Day. Holding diplomas from both Manchester Metropolitan University (CertHE History) and the University of Leeds (BA Hons History), in May 2016, Stuart was elected to the membership of The Royal Historical Society. Whilst being a bonafide historian isn't everything when it comes to being a D-Day guide, Stuart possesses not only the rarity of the academic background, but also a naturally engaging personality born from a true passion and enthusiasm for the subject; something which is so often commented upon by those who tour with him.
Stuart's expertise has led to him being acknowledged within the works of many fellow historians. In 2013, Stuart was commissioned to write the historical script for the 'D-Day Box' audio guide - an innovative project endorsed by both the Normandy Office of Tourism and the WW2 Foundation of America. In 2014, Stuart became published in his own right as the lead author of the greatly acclaimed 'Following in the Footsteps of Heroes'. A second book 'The D-Day Beaches' followed in 2015, whilst Stuart's third book entitled 'Command and Valour' is scheduled for publication in early 2019 and has already received the following reviews from some of the very best historians who specialise on the Battle of Normandy...
"Stuart Robertson’s deep knowledge of his subject oozes off every page. This is not just a gripping account of individual heroism it is also a book that contains plenty of fresh perspectives, fascinating insights and lots of very sound historical judgement. 'Command and Valour' is a fine book that puts right a lot of historical injustices". James Holland - Historian, author, broadcaster and Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
"Stuart Robertson is a doyen of the Battlefield Guide Community, renowned for combining meticulous research, understanding and a rare ability to communicate. In ‘Command and Valour’, Robertson confronts issues which have previously generated much ill-informed discussion before presenting his own considered perspectives. Also included are the stories of those who were awarded their nation’s highest awards for bravery, actions which often unlock a chain reaction which determines the outcome of military engagements. Whilst some may find this book challenging, ‘Command and Valour’ offers a powerful account which, no-matter your pre-conceptions, is a significant addition to our understanding of what happened in Normandy in June 1944. This book deserves to be read." Major General Graham Hollands - Royal Artillery.
"‘Command and Valour’ is a lively and accessible narrative of the 1944 Normandy campaign. Stuart Robertson makes an articulate, powerful and timely plea for renewed scholarly engagement with the complexities of Allied campaign planning and execution. A particular strength of the book is the way in which it bridges the gap between the tactical and strategic levels of war through its description of acts of astonishing gallantry that led to the award of no fewer than 21 Medals of Honor and Victoria Crosses to Allied military personnel. This book helps readers understand not only how choices at the highest command levels affected the course of the campaign, but also how individuals’ courage and self-sacrifice was so often needed to translate the generals’ plans for victory into military success on the ground. Highly recommended." Dr Simon Trew - Department of War Studies, The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.
"Stuart Robertson’s Command and Valour is not only a succinct depiction of the Normandy Campaign, but, more importantly, it masterfully dispels numerous myths which have become entrenched within the popular perception of the battle. A welcome breath of fresh air". Mark Zuehlke - Best-selling author of the Canadian Battle Series.
Since 2004, Stuart has guided hundreds of tours for thousands of visitors to the region. From young families to history professors from some of the world's best universities, Stuart's skills have also been called upon by past and present military personnel, from Army recruits going through basic training to Three Star Generals, security services from across the globe, currently serving and retired politicians from government delegations to presidential candidates, staff from the White House and the Pentagon, along with a multitude of other military and civilian groups all of whom have travelled from all over the world to tour the Normandy battlefields specifically with Stuart.
Stuart's reputation for ensuring the integrity of history alongside his passion for the presentation has placed him amongst the foremost historians specialising in the Battle for Normandy. With fifteen years experience working as a full time guide in Normandy, Stuart offers the flexibility only an independent guide can provide in fulfilling an unforgettable and unrivalled experience for visitors to the region. Of all his activities working alongside the World's premier universities, professional historians and the media, Stuart is most proud of his association and friendships with those Normandy Veterans who made the World a better place during those dark days.
It is to the veterans whom we dedicate our tours in the hope that their struggle will never be forgotten.
Stuart with Buck Compton of HBO's miniseries 'Band of Brothers'. Being a central character in such a successful TV production, reluctantly Buck became a Hollywood star. A modest man and a true hero, Buck died in February 2012.
Stuart with Bob Murphy (505 PIR Pathfinder). As the first American veteran Stuart met, Bob became a great friend, a D-Day veteran who passed away in October 2008 he is sadly missed by all who knew him.
Stuart with Pat Thomas (Royal Navy). Pat's ship was sunk in late June 1944. Pat lost not just his ship but also his best friend. His heartbreaking story is told in 'No Roses on a Sailor's Grave' - a documentary Stuart is working on due for release in 2019.
Stuart with Don Malarkey from HBO's Band of Brothers. A hero of the battle for Brecourt Manor, it was a privilege for Stuart to walk the D-Day battlefields with such a man. Sadly, Don passed away on the 30th September 2017.
Stuart pictured with Antony Beevor - author of this century's best selling book on D-Day. Stuart and Antony were both guests of the BBC during broadcasts transmitted over the 70th anniversary of D-Day in 2014.
Stuart with first wave Omaha Beach veteran Hal Baumgarten (pictured June 6th 2006), sadly Harold passed away on December 25th 2016. The anniversary of D-Day at Omaha Beach will never be the same without him.
Stuart with Len Smith who landed on Juno Beach on D-Day. Len, who landed in support of the first wave of the Juno Beach assault, was one of nine brothers who all served during the war.
Stuart with Number 4 Commando Veteran Pat Churchill. Pat was the radioman for Captain Keiffer of the Free French forces, 177 of which landed on Sword Beach on D-Day.
Stuart pictured after a lecture given by Dr Simon Trew - Head of History at Sandhurst. Simon is one of the World's foremost historians on D-Day.
Stuart on Sword Beach with first wave veteran John Roberts and HMS Swift Veteran Harry Card. In 2007, Stuart and his wife Jenny had the privilege of having Harry and John stay with them as their guests at 1 Le Port.
Stuart with 82nd Airborne Veteran Bill Sullivan. 'Sully' remains one of the last in the line of the many characters from the 82nd Airborne who Stuart has met over the years at the famous Stop Bar in Ste Mere Eglise.
Stuart with 90th Inf Div D-Day Veteran Milton Staley. Aged 98, Milton revisited Normandy for the 73rd anniversary of D-Day in June, 2017.
Stuart with 101st Airborne Division Veteran Robert Wright who received the silver star for treating the wounded in a makeshift field hospital established in the church at Angoville au Plain.
Stuart with Pat Turner who took part in the very first action on D-Day at Pegasus Bridge. Here Stuart is welcoming Pat back to Pegasus Bridge on the occasion of Pat's very first visit to the bridge since 1944. Sadly Pat passed away in 2017.
Stuart (pictured in 2005 during his very first 'veteran's tour') with Harry Card (HMS Swift) and George Batts (former National Secretary of the Normandy Veterans Association).
Stuart with the BBC broadcast crew and 100 year old D-Day Veteran Bill Price. Bill was one of the veterans interviewed live from Arromanches in the morning of June 6th 2014 as Stuart was the main guest on the BBC Five Live Breakfast Show.