Paying respect for those that fought for our freedom

I am local to Portsmouth and would like to give to the City a record of all the Portsmouth citizens who served during the Great War, not only those who paid the ultimate sacrifice but all those that served in one capacity or another. Several years ago I embarked on a project to produce a database containing the details of as many of these people as I could find. At the time of writing, it records information of over 12700 men and women and it continues to grow. It includes as much information as I have been able to find including, date of birth, marriage and death, census records, service records etc.

I also think it’s important to visit the graves of those who fell and pay my respects, which means I visit the battlefields regularly throughout the year. When I am on the battlefields I feel that it’s important to also pay my respects to all nationalities who fell in the war. I regularly take tours over to France and Belgium and if anyone is thinking of visiting the battlefields please look at the tour page or contact me and we can talk through your needs for a battlefields visit.
You can follow my progress through the website, twitter @alanlaishley, Facebook, Portsmouth WW1 Research or Instagram alanlaishley. I can also be contacted directly via the contact page.

I will be updating the website as often as possible, so please check back regularly.

I met Alan on my first trip to the Somme in 2017 and did my first walk with him there. Since then we have done it three times and I will keep coming back for more. Alan’s knowledge about the Great War is second to none and the way he tells the personal stories while walking the battlefields is beyond anything I have ever experienced. As an ex-serviceman this is something I can really appreciate together with the understanding of the terrain. Walking the Somme with Alan comes with my highest recommendation, so get off the coach and get your boots on the ground.

Karsten Lund, Lance Corporal - Royal Danish Army - Retd

You can be sure that Alan will take you to battlefield areas that other tours will not! Nothing is too much trouble for him and his focus on bringing the battlefields to life in his own inimitable style, by delivering history through the personal stories of those who took part is very moving. Take part in one of his tours and I guarantee it will be an experience you will never forget.

Gareth Lewis, Chairman
 - Pompey Pals Charity

There surely cannot be anyone else as well qualified to speak about the brave men and women of Portsmouth as Alan, and I would highly recommend to anyone who wants to hear real stories rather than a generic summary of what happened, to make sure he is the guide on their tour.

Elly Newman

Your dedication and passion for WW1 research is second to none. To finish off at the Menin gate memorial was very educational as well as emotional, I would recommend a visit to this particular monument to all, very moving indeed. Please accept my sincere thanks and hopefully I will be able to join you again on other tours!

Colin Harman

I’ve been fortunate enough to have been on a few trips guided by Alan both on The Somme Salient and around the Ypres Sector. I would highly recommend going on one of his tours as his unique delivery ensures that you not only find out about the history of the conflicts but also the personal stories of those involved. Each trip has been specifically tailored for the area visited. As a long time researcher on The Great War I can honestly say that Alan knows his stuff and I look forward to being able to go out with him again soon.

Barry Glanfield

Alan’s in-depth knowledge of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemeteries and memorials mean that those wishing to be taken to a location in order to pay respects to a family member are always catered for.

I would highly recommend Alan Laishley for any visit to the Western Front battlefields.

Bob Beech