Allan served for 22 years in the Regular Army as an armoured soldier in the 17th/21st Lancers, serving in Germany, Northern Ireland, Canada and the UK until amalgamation in 1993 ending his career as a Queens Royal Lancer at the Royal Armoured Corps Gunnery School, Lulworth. Allan was later commissioned into the TA serving for a further 9 years with the Dorset Yeomanry in Bovington where guiding on battlefield tours began simply as 'a good idea for a weekend...' by the Training Major!
Allan attended the Duke of York's Royal Military School, graduated through the Open University whilst in the Army and later trained as a teacher at the University of Bath. After teaching History in a secondary school in Poole he was appointed to be the Headteacher of the Compass, an Alternative Provision school in Weymouth, where he lives.
Allan's interest in the First World War began when his Grandfather, a RE signaller talked about his experiences at The Second Ypres in 1915 and later in Salonika. Allan's father, a proud Sapper was a dedicated cap badge collector which further extended his interest in military history through the stories of the many cap badges in his collection. Allan's father also helped the research for his first tour through his friends who were Normandy Veterans providing several personal anecdotes for tours to the Normandy area for the Royal Wessex Yeomanry. Allan's experience as a History teacher helps enormously on school tours. Allan also enjoys helping discover the military stories of families who had relatives serving in either World War.
In the last 17 years Allan has guided on many battlefield tours for both Regular and Territorial Army units both as a guide or the historical advisor to Staff Rides. The latter has included an extended period of guiding Royal Armoured Corps Troop Leaders on their battlefield tour to the Western Front and NW Europe. This was a regular feature of their course at Bovington for six years between 2005 and 2011. Allan has guided many parties of adults and school parties to the Western Front and Normandy. Allan particularly enjoys military tours that have had an armoured or mounted warfare angle to them. One very special itinerary focussed on the actions of the New Zealand Division in France and Belgium during the First World War. Allan has now retired from teaching to allow himself the time to pursue his passion for battlefield guiding. His future portfolio is still planned to include battlefields in Italy, particularly the campaign of the 17th/21st Lancers as well as Crete and other locations and eras, especially places where his wife Angela can catch some sun whilst he studies the battlefields!
Allan is a Badged Member of and proud holder of Badge Number 66 of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides. He is also a member of the Western Front Association, Royal Lancers Regimental Association and a trustee of Dorset Yeomanry Association. Allan is a member of the Wessex Military History Group created to help local people hear military about wider military history. Allan has lectured to this group and other local groups and organisations.