History Alive! and Jersey Military Tours, which were set up in 2016 by Marc Yates, aim to combine the traditional personal service of a tour guide with a luxury coach tour with added up to date modern technology and interactive props.
Our tours are the Rich Heritage Tour, and mix Jersey’s simply outstanding and world-class history and heritage with the Island’s stunning beauty.
Jersey’s unique and special character is as a result of its geographical location and history. In pre-history, its position at the boundary of expansion of civilisation, as well as being on the main maritime eastern Atlantic trading routes as sea levels rose, means that it has been inhabited for at least 250,000 years. Inhabitants from the Stone Ages, Bronze and Iron Ages and the Gallo-Roman period have all left their marks, and in many cases the sites and finds here are the best you might find anywhere.
We even have our share of Saints as Christianity spread across Europe in the so-called Dark Ages and later in the Medieval Period, Jersey became the European front line between the warring kingdoms of England and France for some 600 years. As a consequence, it was militarily and strategically important to defend the Island at all costs. Loyalty to the English Crown brought in return privileges, the right of the Island to enact its own laws, and a significant degree of independence.
Wars and hostility also generated castle and fortification building on key sites, and the Island has experienced invasions, battles, and sometimes occupation, ever since, the last of which was just over 75 years ago when the German occupation of Jersey subjected the Island to 5 years of Nazi rule. There is so much history that whatever the period of interest you have, there is something here for you. The tours of History Alive! and its sister brand Jersey Military Tours follow themes, periods in history as well as specific battles and events in ways that you won’t find elsewhere.
Our Tours are a combination of a coach tour and guided site visits. There are plenty of stops and at many of them, we go off and explore the site on foot. The tours will be conducted using some up to date digital media technology, modern luxury vehicles, as well as good old fashioned props to enhance the experience. Private Group Tours can also be booked by arrangement.
Marc Yates, a Jersey-man born and bred, has had a passion for the Island’s history since a young age, and after a legal career, is now on a mission to bring that history alive to young and old. Guiding runs in the family as his grandfather Josue (Joe) Dorey was Guardien at Mont Orgueil (Gorey) Castle for 25 years, including the German Occupation in WW2. Equally when it comes to military history, there’s plenty of soldiering in Marc’s family.
Grandfather Joe served with the Canadian Infantry on the Western Front in WW1 and was awarded the Military Cross on the day that the Canadians captured Passchendaele on 6th November 1917. His other grandfather George was a career soldier who served in the Royal Army Service Corps before, during and after WW2. And George’s father, Marc’s great-grandfather, also George, was also a career soldier who had been sent to the Jersey as his first posting in the Royal Garrison Artillery at the turn of the 20th century. He married a Jersey girl, served throughout the First World War, as well as being awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal, and the rest, as they say, is history!
History Alive! and Jersey Military Tours are fully insured. Our vehicles are registered and inspected as Public Service Vehicles and Marc holds a Public Service Driving Licence in compliance with the law and insurance requirements in order to carry passengers. Travelling in a guide’s vehicle who doesn’t hold a PSV licence means that the guide is driving without a licence and insurance! In order to ensure your safety and protection, consider this when booking your guide!
Marc Yates is an accredited Island Host Guide and a member of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides currently working towards his badge.