Taff

David “Taff” Simon
Founder, Dark History Tours

Originally from Wales (“Taff” being a nickname for the Welsh, after the river which flows  through Cardiff), he moved to England where he read Geography, History and Archaeology at Winchester. His B.A. thesis focused on WW2 German defensive structures in Normandy and the Channel Islands.

 © Leah Sherman-Kish

Explaining Luftwaffe tactics over a beer in the Hofbräuhaus. (Leah Sherman-Kish)

His love of history can be traced back to his childhood. When not getting war stories from his grandfather who served on the Atlantic convoys, he had his head in history books or was watching the seminal documentaries like “The World at War”.

At the age of 15 he took part in his first serious archaeological excavation – and the rest, as they say is history. He was hooked.

Taff became involved in historical living history researching and displaying periods as diverse as the early medieval period through to WW2 and often spoke to the public on these subjects. Taff built a body of knowledge in this area, often working with prestigious clients such as English Heritage, The National Trust, the Fighter Collection Duxford and Station X Bletchley Park – as seen on the recent blockbuster  “The Imitation Game”  – to name but a few.

In 2000 he moved to Berlin where he worked as an archaeologist in the Berlin area. Living there gave him fantastic opportunities to interview important eyewitnesses of WW2, both Soviet and German, soldiers and civilians alike.

After a few years he was back in the UK, working on a variety of exciting archaeological projects, such as prehistoric houses in Scotland, Hadrian’s Wall in the north of England and Medieval sites on the Welsh border. In this period he was also involved in a research project excavating WW2 aircraft wrecks, advising on, excavating and recording aircraft such as the legendary Spitfire and Lancaster to German types such as the Heinkel 111 and Junkers 88.

He relocated to Munich late in 2007 and founded Dark History Tours soon after.  Passionate about life-long learning, his aim was to make the past accessible, fascinating and above all, relevant. Aware of how objects can convey information in a way that spoken words cannot, Taff ran tours from the outset where guests were invited to examine ancient artefacts such as pottery, coins and more modern items such as original documents, money and photos.

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Recording a mid 7th century AD female burial near Augsburg. This previously unknown site, located on farmland, was due to be developed

As well as running Dark History Tours Taff  continues to be heavily involved in local archaeological excavations, working on sites as diverse as Neolithic settlements, Bronze Age barrow cemeteries, Roman villas and urban Medieval sites. He has also worked in film and theatre as a military and historical advisor as well as a background artist for institutions like the London International Film School and Channel 4 Films.

Taff is engaged and lives in suburban Munich with his better half and his killer cat, Bobby. When not touring or excavating he spends his time on new research and has an ambition to learn Swing and Jive dancing.  He also enjoys a glass of beer from time to time.

His skill set and experience make him uniquely qualified to guide you through some ‘dark history’ during your visit – whether this be in Germany charting the rise of Hitler or exploring castles with you in Wales.