Your guide, Sean Claxton.
Growing up in the heart of Norfolk, England, I have, from a very young age, been surrounded by World War Two history. For example, my childhood home had several disused airfields within a short cycle ride. My two grandfathers “did their bit” on the Home Front, one in the Auxiliary Air Force, the other in the Home Guard. Two great-grandfathers also served in the First World War, in the Dardenelles and in France. From an initial interest in the hardware- the aircraft, the tanks etc. I became further interested in how these machines were used, why, and by whom.
After spending a few years playing drums in various bands, my lifelong interest in the Second World War coincided with my working life in 1993, when I started employment with the Imperial War Museum in London, spending almost eleven years at the Cabinet War Rooms, the underground headquarters of Winston Churchill. An absolutely fascinating place-not least because of its simplicity. Working there helped engender a real appreciation for what you might call the “historical environment”. There is, for me, no better aid to understanding history than to stand where it happened, be it an underground cellar in London or a narrow lane in the bocage.
Having visited Normandy as a tourist for many years, and always having had a particular interest in D-Day and the subsequent Battle of Normandy, I started working as a Battlefield Guide in Normandy in 2004 with Battlebus before moving to Overlordtour in 2011. After ten years of working for two of the most succesful and highly rated tour operators in Normandy, I decided to work as an independent guide to allow more time for research and writing. I was one of three co-editors of “Managing and Interpreting D-Day’s Sites of Memory: Guardians of Remembrance”.
Two further projects are underway, one covering Sword Beach and another the German attempt to recapture Carentan.
I am equally interested in all aspects of the occupation and liberation of Normandy, from the Allied and German forces involved, to the effect of the events upon the local population. I am fortunate enough to have been involved in many memorial projects, including “Moulin des Rondelles 1944” and the installation of a plaque dedicated to the Calgary Highlanders in Clair-Tison. I am currently secretary of the non-profit “In The Footsteps Of ‘Bud’ Owens”.
Very few people get the chance to earn their living doing something they’re passionate about. For me, it is an absolute privilege, and I count myself very fortunate to be able to do so.