Tony Smith

Accredited Guide Number: 57

I come from a family that saw service in both the World Wars. My mother’s father was in France during the First World War and her two brothers fought in the Second War – one in the Royal Air Force, successfully evading capture at Dunkirk in 1940, and another with the Royal Navy in the Atlantic. On my father’s side of the family, my grandfather saw service in the Royal Army Medical Corps in the First War and later became an Air Raid Warden in Burton on Trent in World War II, whilst his brother was with the Royal Air Force in the Far East.

Talking to them sparked my own interest in military history which then developed to reading about battles and military campaigns – it was the part of the history lessons at school I liked most! When I had some pocket money I would buy books about battles and would always be scouring ‘junk shops’ for military cap badges, medals and the like.

Medal collecting led to me undertaking research into the lives of the individuals that had won them and in turn to research the battles in which they had fought. The next logical step was visiting some of those battlefields. Initially alone but later with friends and family, the visits developed into small guided tours with an emphasis on the human side of war and its effect on the people involved.

As well as general tours of the Western Front battlefields I also have a particular interest in the involvement of the Canadian and Australian forces in both World Wars and have led a number of tours to the European battlefields where they fought. I also particularly enjoy taking small groups on family pilgrimages and undertaking the research that is involved in developing these tours.

Battles

CharleroiVimy RidgeVillers-BretonneuxWWINormandy Preparations in UKWaterlooNapoleonBastogneQuatre BrasWavreWaterloo CampaignBattle of the SommeCambraiArdennesDellville WoodArnhemBattle of the BulgeMessinesD-DayDieppeOperation MichelEindhoven & NijmegenPasschendaeleYpresNormandy LandingsVimyOperation OVERLORDSt Nazaire & DieppeScheldt Estuary - Breskens Pocket & Walcheren

Countries

BelgiumWestern EuropeEuropeFrance

Caters For

Adult Coach GroupsIndividualsSchool GroupsSmall Groups

Areas of Expertise

Wars covered:

  • First world War
  • Second World War

 

Tour specialisms/campaigns:

The Battle of Waterloo 1815

 

First World War:

 

  • Battle of the Somme – 1916
  • Ypres – 1914 – 1918
  • Canadian and Australian involvement in WW1

 

Second World War:

 

  • Dieppe and the Canadian assault 1942
  • Normandy Landings – 1944
  • US Normandy landings and the drive inland
  • Battle of the Bulge 1944
  • The Battle for Arnhem 1944
  • Canadian involvement in WW2

Other specialisms:

  • Researching individual ancestors