Tim Stoneman started life in the West Country and the area's maritime heritage obviously got into his bloodstream. He entered the Royal Navy in 1972 as a Seaman Officer and served at sea in a variety of ships from aircraft carriers to minesweepers (but not in submarines – at six foot five tall, he doesn't fit!) as a Fighter Controller and then as a Warfare Officer. Ashore, he completed tours on operational RN and multinational staffs, including operational service in the 1991 Gulf War, and in the Ministry of Defence. He was also a member of the teaching staff at various naval and defence training establishments. His service on tri-Service staffs and at staff colleges, during which he was awarded a Master of Arts degree in Defence Studies, gave him several opportunities to broaden his long-term interest in naval history to encompass multi-Service and combined operations. He has published and lectured on the Norwegian campaign of 1940.
Tim left the Service in 2007 and became a Ministry of Defence Civil Servant for 10 years. Retiring in 2017, he returned home to his Devonshire roots. He has been leading tours of battlefields and remembrance sites since 2008, taking groups of veterans, school parties, Army recruits and the general public to widen their understanding of the meaning and realities of conflict, in both present-day and historical contexts. Before this, whilst serving in the Royal Navy, he took part in several staff rides for senior military officers, as the maritime expert. These helped broaden his life-long interest in naval history to encompass land and air campaigns of the 20th century. Whilst preferring to look at battlefields with a nautical or amphibious flavour, such as Gallipoli, Dunkirk or Normandy, he is equally at home guiding on the Somme, in Flanders, or other land-locked regions. Tim has also led students, civilians and servicemen on visits to memorials, museums and historic sites in the UK, such as those in London and Portsmouth, for those who prefer to focus their remembrance nearer to home.
He has led tours to the sites of historic battles ranging from northern Norway to Turkey – although taking people to visit the site of his preferred naval battles might be a challenge unless they were keen swimmers!
Tim is an Accredited Member of the Guild of Battlefield Guides, holding Badge Number 65, and is currently the Guild Secretary, having spent several years as the secretary of the Guild's validation organisation.
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