Navy commander is leading from the front

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RECOUNTING the bravery of troops during the world wars has become the day job of a retired sailor from Waterlooville.

Commander Tim Stoneman, who served in the Royal Navy for 35 years, has become a battlefield tour guide.

Mr Stoneman has taken up a post with Spirit of Remembrance, a tour operator offering visits to historic sites.

While preferring to focus on 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.

Mr Stoneman said: ‘The coming years are going to be years of remembrance.

‘I find that some prefer to focus their remembrance nearer to home.

‘I have been leading students, civilians and servicemen recently, not only to battlefields abroad, but also to memorials, museums and historic sites in the UK.

‘To remember what our forebears did for posterity is important.’

Mr Stoneman has previously conducted tours around historic sites in Portsmouth.

Nikki Archer-Waring, managing director of Spirit of Remembrance, said: ‘Battlefield tourism and remembrance will be a significant feature of the 2014 to 2018 period.

‘With the 70th Anniversary of D-Day in 2014, as well as the First World War centenary and the 65th Anniversary in 2018 of the Korean War, we are going to be very busy.’