Trevor Booker: The History Tour Guide Bringing the Past to Life

Last updated: Oct 30th, 2023


If you want your students engaged and connected by hearing someone bring home the realities of history – then a History Tour Guide will play a vital part of your tour.

One of our standout History Tour Guides, Trevor Booker with his wealth of knowledge and experience is most certainly valued by the many many schools who have travelled with him.

Working with Rayburn Tours for numerous years and bringing our history tours to life for students like no other, we got the chance to sit down with him and learn even more about the fascinating man he, and his absolutely incredible history, are.

This is a snapshot of his story, which allows him to bring the past to life for your students …

 


‘I began as a Battlefield Guide in 2000, and since then I’ve taken 100’s of both adults and students on tours.’

Trevor Booker, History Tour Guide

 


Student dresses in WW1 clothing and carries a rifle

But first, what is a History Tour Guide?

Ever been to a WW1 memorial, Second World War Museum, or even a place of Cold War significance and needed to feel the raw emotion through the lens of the people who lived it, all the while with the epic historical forces in the background giving real world context?

 

‘We get the students together and engage them.’

Trevor Booker, History Tour Guide

 

Then you need a History Tour Guide (HTG). They’re history specialists, bolstering your tour to engage students with insightful and emotional stories that give a focus on the history of individuals as well as bringing context to the fore and aligning it with the curriculum.

They know the sites, the local people, the best ways round, how to get the most out of the tour for you and your students, and bring an absolute wealth of unrivalled knowledge, historical information, detail and context which has been gathered over the course of many years!

Discover more…

And that’s Trevor Booker in a nutshell.

The History Behind the History Tour Guide

Known as Trev, to say he’s lived through the many strands of history wouldn’t do justice to the experiences, the stories, the snapshots, the raw feeling, and the connections to so many people, places and moments in time he has.

 


’37 and half years in the RAF and wherever I was stationed I always took an interest in the historical sites there.’

Trevor Booker, History Tour Guide

 


 

With a focus on the events of WW1, WW2 and the Cold War (he lived and worked in the German capital before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall) his knowledge database and recall of poignant moments and shocking acts in those historical areas is second to none.

A member of the international Guild of Battlefield Guides since 2002, he’s toured extensively for the past 20 years for a variety of tour operators (one being Rayburn) as well to constantly update and refine his historical knowledge.

 

How it all started…

With such a tremendous amount to dive into, it’s best to start at the beginning, where his passion for history is clearly and visually so apparent. 

Joining the RAF in 1961, he’d go on to serve for a HUGE 37 years, seeing sites and battlefields across the world. But it was when he served in the Middle East in the 60’s that he began developing his researching skills and honed his history toolkit by visiting battlefields and historical sites – which he continued throughout his career, the places he visited and the areas he was stationed. 

Meaning for a large part of his career, he was developing his talents in absorbing moments in history to be able to tell the next generation, so they can be educated and engaged and ultimately, learn lessons from the mistakes of the past. 

Trevor Booker, History Tour Guide, with pupils at Hooge Crater Museum, Ypres

WW1 & Trev’s Poignant Stories

Spending a good chunk of time in Germany, Trev got to grips with the horrors and atrocities of many wars, one being the First World War. 

He’s been touring the well-known sites of Ypres and the Somme since the turn of the 21st century, challenging students perceptions and engaging them with emotional pulls to the past. 

One such pull is asking students to find their buried ancestor, leaving them to chat with the headstone alone, whilst the rest of the class explore other areas of the site. It’s moments like this that give real lifetime, heartfelt attachments to a tour and a part of history for the student and the class.

 


 ‘I leave the student with the grave for 5 minutes to get a connection with their relative.’

Trevor Booker, History Tour Guide


Another is taking them to the grave of known sportsmen or writers of the time, or the influences behind famous works of literature, like the grave of the soldier who inspired Peter Pan. One more is breaking down perceptions of German burials to British graveyards, really opening whole new lanes of thinking of entire classes. 

Trev brings the past to life by showing the past is largely made up of individuals the students can connect with.  

Trevor Booker, History Tour Guide, chats with students

Bringing The Second World War to Life

Being in Berlin for a period of time meant Trev was well placed to educate and engage students on the stories, context, facts and numbers of the Second World War too.

He has a rich background in touring sites outside of Germany connected to WW2, like the horrific concentration camps. Here he tells brutal, atrocious stories to really highlight the horrors and bring home the reality of that period of time.


‘Sachsenhausen in Berlin and when your visit with students they realise what man did to man – it links in with a visit to the Wannsee Conference too.’

Trevor Booker, History Tour Guide

 


A real poignant and standout site tour with Trev is the Memorial to the Murdered Jews. Here, at a huge place with uneven flooring and a variety of massively shaped concrete blocks, he asks students to walk around the site for 10 minutes and reflect.

Knowing the memorial is symbolic, students come back with thoughtful and searching answers on the atrocities and people represented in the site.

It gets the students engaged, talking with Trev and each other, and learning and feeling something that no classroom textbook ever could.

 

 

The Cold War & Trev’s Time in Berlin

The vast pool of military historical knowledge doesn’t stop there though as Trev’s real hands-on experience with moments from the past can be fully realised with his stays in the German capital before and after the fall of the war – so for a part of the Cold War. 

One of his last posts as Command Medical Administration Officer saw him in Germany and Berlin, where he crossed the Wall, meaning his visits were recorded and documented (after the fall of the wall he discovered there’s a file storied on him). 

 


‘Definitely history matters. You can’t alter it – it’s happened. What you’ve got to do is learn from it.’

Trevor Booker, History Tour Guide

 


This gives him a special place to fully immerse students in a time full of spies and shadowy tactics – a time of espionage and state monitoring. Not only retelling history and bringing it back to life, but a part of history too. 

 

Bringing History to Life 

We’ve been expertly planning history tours for the past 60 plus years, but a History Tour Guide like Trevor Booker brings to the fore a deep well of knowledge – on a particular area – that we couldn’t possibly emulate. 

So if you’re looking to add an extra slice of impact and poignancy, with moments that will resonate a lifetime for your students, think about adding a History Tour Guide to your tour.  


‘A benefit of having a History Tour Guide is the sharing of our knowledge and personal stories– we have articles and letters from people that were there. We keep alive some of the lesser known stories of our past.’

Trevor Booker, History Tour Guide


Get in Touch

Related Articles

History Tour Guide and students hold map of Western Front with Thiepval Memorial

Brilliant Things You Can Do to Enhance Your WW1 & WW2 History Tour

With a helping hand from 2 talented History Tour Guides, we've come up with brilliant things you can do to enhance your WW1 & WW2…

History guide and pupils at Hooge Crater Museum, Ypres

Bringing History to Life: The Tools and Techniques Behind Our Successful Trips 

History is not just about the past, it’s also vital in understanding our present and forging our future! That’s why we offer immersive history trips…

Exploring Berlin History on foot and using public transport!

We recently travelled on a History Tour to Berlin with the students of Holy Cross School, accompanied by their History Tour Guide Trevor, to embark…