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, not just the combatants but those back home or in the countries where the campaigns and battles were fought.

As well as general tours of the Western Front battlefields I also have a particular interest and knowledge 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 as well as in the UK where they trained.

I also particularly enjoy taking small groups on family pilgrimages and undertaking the research that is involved in developing these tours. In particular, I have led a number of American groups and families to the Normandy battlefields of World War II. This led to the development of tours around particular American units including the 29th Division in the drive from the Normandy beachhead to St Lo and the Division’s battle to capture Brest in Brittany. In the UK I have also researched and developed tours around the US forces in the West Country in the run up to D Day including the Slapton Sands disaster and the development of the Woolacombe Infantry Training Centre in Devon.

I have significant experience of working with school groups and  was recently part of the guide team that delivered the Government initiative to take two students and a teacher from every English state school to the battlefields of France and Belgium between 2014 and 2019. I am currently a volunteer speaker for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and also help to clean and maintain CWGC headstones in local churchyards.

“Once again you’ve made our battlefields trip and amazing experience. Thank you for all the extra special investigations you do. We can’t imagine these trips without you!”
Teacher – School group

“Our trip has been the trip of a lifetime experience – your part made it absolutely awesome!”
Guest – Canadian Adult group


ArdennesArnhemBastogneBattle of the BulgeBattle of the SommeCambraiCharleroiCornwall in the Civil WarD-DayDelville WoodDieppeDunkirkEindhoven & NijmegenFall of FranceLiberation of the NetherlandsMessinesMonsNapoleonNormandy LandingsNormandy Preparations in UKOperation MichelOperation OverlordPasschendaeleQuatre BrasScheldt Estuary - Breskens Pocket & WalcherenSt Nazaire & DieppeVillers-BretonneuxVimyVimy RidgeWWIWWIIWaterlooWaterloo CampaignWavreYpres


BelgiumEuropeFranceGermanyNetherlandsUnited KingdomWestern Europe

Caters For

Adult Coach GroupsBattlefield WalksClubs and SocietiesEvening PresentationsFamiliesIndividualsSchool 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
  • Canada’s 100 Days


Second World War:


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

Other specialisms:

  • Researching individual ancestors