Neil Barber

Neil Barber has been interviewing veterans and studying the actions of the 6thAirborne Division in Normandy for almost 30 years.  In that time he has written two definitive books, worked as an advisor on both TV films and documentaries and as a proof reader for other authors writing about the Division. He is a Committee Member of the 9thParachute Battalion Reunion Club and a former member of the Anglo-French Merville Battery Museum Committee.

Neil’s two major publications are ‘The Pegasus and Orne Bridges – Their Capture, Defence and Relief on D-Day’ (which has been updated and expanded, and will be published in May 2024 as ‘Pegasus Bridge’) and ‘The Day the Devils Dropped In’ (The 9th Parachute Battalion in Normandy – D-Day to D+6 – The Merville Battery to the Chateau St Come). Each took five years of research and are therefore detailed accounts of the events, related in the words of the men who were actually there.  Every avenue of information has been followed, be it the interviewing of survivors, locating testimony by those who have passed away (both audio and written), walking the battlefields, plus analysis of photographic and film evidence. Consequently, the books go into their subjects in unprecedented detail and are unique in their ability to put the reader ‘on the ground’ with the men themselves.

Photo courtesy of Robin Savage

He has also produced two Pocket Guide books for Pegasus Bridge and the Merville Battery.  These have been specifically written as short walking tours, and are intended to enhance visits by providing a picture of what happened and where.  They feature many ‘Then and Now’ photographs for on the spot comparison.

Photo courtesy of Robin Savage

Neil has also put together three biographies for veterans, these being:
Fighting with the Commandos (Stan Scott No 3 Commando).
Parachute Doctor (David Tibbs, 225 Field (Para) Ambulance and 13th Parachute Battalion)
Fighting Hitler from Dunkirk to D-Day (Jeff Haward MM, 1/7th Middlesex Battalion).

See the relevant book pages for further information.

In-depth guided Battlefield Tours of the 6th Airborne Division area in Normandy are conducted by Neil, through the Army Group 1944 Battlefield Tours Company. For further information, see the respective page.

5 thoughts on “Neil Barber

  1. Mr Barber. My late Father Alan George Masterson, was in the 6th Airborne division. I am very confused as to why there so many other division, but very little of the 6th Airborne, can you tell me if they all came under one battalion or division. At the moment I can’t find anything about my Father on the Ancestry site. I have his wings and his military number and medals.

    1. Hello Janet, thanks very much for the message.
      Before I do anything, you’ll need to confirm a few things. You need to contact the following address to obtain a copy of your father’s Service Record. They do charge for it, but if you email them, they’ll let you know how much it is now. Once you have the Record it will make things much clearer and we can then start adding detail. Address is:
      Ministry of Defence,
      Army Personnel Centre,
      Historic Disclosures, Mailpoint 400,
      Kentigern House, 65 Brown Street,
      Glasgow, G2 8EX,
      tel: 0141-224-2023 and 0141-224-3303
      e-mail: disc4.civsec@apc.army.mod.uk

      Best wishes, Neil.

  2. Hi Neil,

    I’m making a new documentary, which features the Merville Battery. I filmed there in December. I gather you are the best person to speak to about the events.

    I have a couple of questions – the layout of the Battery, the exact route taken by Otway’s Battalion on D-Day. Would it be possible for me to give you a call? (apologies for contacting you on this page. The contact page of your website wouldn’t load for me).

  3. Hello Mr Barber.
    Following a facebook post we have been speaking with Mr Steven Oldrid and family as Reg Charles is coming up 100. In doing so we have information from 1944 and a newspaper article regarding our uncle Fred Shorey spr who was killed later on the 26th Dec 1944 whilst taking part in the battle of the bulge. We are still seeking records as we believe he was killed by friendly fire from Americans when their truck was blown up. He survived the explosion but died from injuries in Charleroi hospital.
    I write however, as we believe he was to have been in the 2nd Horsa glider as per Sgt Wallworks info and the commemoration stones at Ranville but following the info from his letter home he was actually in the first Horsa Glider. All his info in the article even meets with the Longest day and the piper arriving with Lord Lovetts arrival and relieve at Pegasus.
    Could you contact us to discuss and or point us to any information so we can continue our search to his last moments that are missing from our families records?
    We appreciate your response in advance.

    Kind Regards

    Gerard and Carole Stewart (Nee Shorey)

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