Randal Gaulke has been studying WW1 and its battlefields for almost four decades. His interest began in 1980 with the purchase of the role-playing game “Fight in the Skies.” His love of the battlefields began in 1986 when he took his first battlefield tour with Lt. Col. Graham Parker, OBE, of Flanders Tours; and his preoccupation with the Meuse-Argonne battlefield began in 1994 when he participated in a work weekend with the Deutsches Erinnerungskommittee Argonnerwald. Since 1986 he has visited the battlefields, especially the Meuse-Argonne, more than twenty times; and he enjoys guiding groups and individuals on the battlefields.
In 2017 he quit his job as a financial analyst in order to work and live in France for six months as a freelance tour guide to the American battlefields. During those months he led numerous individual and small-group tours. (Feedback from his 2017 customers can be found elsewhere on this website.) Being on the ground for six months allowed him to make connections and understand the terrain to a degree that is not possible during a short vacation.
Randal had another very successful tour season in 2018; leading thirty days of tours (ten small group and twenty personal hire) during his two-month stay. (His very, very supportive wife did not want another six-month stay.) He particularly enjoyed the six-day Small Group Tour offered jointly with German historian, Markus Klauer, as well as a four-day Lost Battalion / I Corps Small Group Tour offered jointly with Robert J. Laplander.
With the Centennial behind him, Randal will be returning to the workforce in 2019, but his goal is to find a position with the flexibility to spend one month in France as tour guide.
When not guiding tours, Randal continues to be busy with other WW1 activities; including: maintaining his travel-oriented website, http://meuse-Argonne.com, and Facebook group with the same name; writing and preparing historical presentations; and taking an active role in historical associations such as the World War 1 Historical Association, where he serves as a director.
Randal has written two chapters in Ed Lengel’s book, “A Companion to the Meuse-Argonne Campaign,” (Wiley-Blackwell, May 2014) that describe the Meuse-Argonne Offensive from the viewpoint of two German regiments. His assistance and scholarship has also been acknowledged in several books, including Mitch Yockelson’s “Forty-Seven Days…” and Stephen Skinner’s “Frank Luke: The Stand…” A detailed CV can be found on the link below.
Randal is fluent in German and he is gaining proficiency in French. His time as a freelance tour guide in France in 2017 and as a Fulbright Scholar in Hamburg, Germany in 1985-86 helps him to travel between cultures.
He can be contacted at [email protected].
A copy of Randal’s WW1 CV can be found at the following link: WW1 CV for Randal S Gaulke Version November 2017