Why I do what I do
As a military historian specialising in twentieth-century conflict, I am incredibly fortunate to say that my job is my passion. Whether I'm conducting historical research for organisations or individuals, guiding groups or families across Europe's battlefields or providing historical advice for any number of local and national initiatives, I can honestly say that I put 100% into everything I do - because what I am fortunate enough to do, truly matters to me.
For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated by military history, a subject which since has become my full-time occupation. In truth, calling it an 'occupation' does not do it justice - I love what I do and feel incredibly privileged to wake up each morning and work in a field that is also my passion.
There are lots of things that I could write here about how important history is to me and why I do what I do, but I will mention just one for the time being.
When I was 8 years old I was taken by family friends to visit the battlefields of the Western Front for the very first time. I learned a huge amount about a war that to an eight-year-old was just too big to understand. On the final day of the trip, I was taken to Etaples Military Cemetery on the French coast, which itself boasts a staggering 11,500 military graves. I was taken to just one - the grave of Private Andrew Allison, my great-great grandfather. Killed in action more than 60 years before my birth; visiting the grave of a man I never knew, and who never knew I would one day exist, I realised that this huge war I had been learning about directly affected me, it was part of my history. I promised myself as an eight-year-old that I would once more stand by his grave, this time on 18th April 2017, 100 years to the day that he died - something I am proud to say that I achieved.
From that first visit to this day, I have been fascinated by military history, particularly the First and Second World Wars, and have strived to study, learn and share my passion for this subject, and remember those men and women, who in many cases are long gone, but not forgotten.
Today, I am very proud to be able to work full-time as a freelance military historian. I hold a Masters Degree in British Military History from the University of Wolverhampton and spend much of my working time leading groups as a battlefield guide across Europe, acting as a historical consultant for a number of organisations and conducting research for some of the United Kingdom's leading military charities, broadcasters and commemorative organisations.
"On behalf of the adults and cadets who attended the tour, I would just like to convey our thanks for bringing the Battle of the Somme to life. Facebook has been buzzing with positive comments regarding the trip and it reflects the considerable impact that you made"
Lieutenant-Colonel Ian Cassidy
"Dan is a remarkably knowledgeable and attractive presenter of military history and its specific battlefield sites. He speaks with great enthusiasm and genuine feeling for his subject and the people fighting on all sides. He is very approachable and excellent company and I cannot name a better guide to the great battlefields of history."