Allan (Chippy) Wood
Allan (Chippy) Wood is the proud holder of Badge Number 65 of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides. He is a member of the Western Front Association, Queens Royal Lancers Regimental Association and Dorset Yeomanry Association. Allan is part of the Weymouth schools History group created to help local schools tell the story of the First World War with an emphasis on the local impact of the War.
He served for 22 years as an armoured soldier in the Regular Army with the 17th/21st Lancers and latterly the Queens Royal Lancers serving in Germany, Northern Ireland, Canada and the UK. He ended his Regular Army career as an instructor at the Royal Armoured Corps Gunnery School, Lulworth.
Allan was later commissioned into the Army Reserve and served for a further 9 years with the Dorset Yeomanry in Bovington which was the Armoured Replacement Regiment. In 1999 this became "A" Squadron of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry and it was here that his passion for guiding on battlefield tours began; it was 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. He taught History at in Poole before being appointed the Headteacher of the Compass, an Alternative Provision school in Weymouth, a post from which he has recently retired.
Allan’s interest in the First World War began when his Grandfather, a Royal Engineer signaller, talked about his experiences at The Second Ypres in 1915 and later 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 numerous cap badges. Allan’s father also helped the research for his first tour through asking friends who were Normandy Veterans for anecdotes for the tour guiding the Royal Wessex Yeomanry to Normandy in 1999. Allan’s experience as a History Teacher helps a great deal in assisting others discover the military stories of family members.
In the last 15 years Allan has guided on many battlefield tours for both Regular Army and Army Reserve 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, many of them being from an armoured perspective.
One very special itinerary focusses on the actions of the New Zealand Division in France and Belgium during the First World War. His future portfolio is planned to include battlefields in Italy, particularly the campaign of the 17th/21st Lancers as well as Crete and other locations and eras, particularly places where his wife can catch the sun!