It is with the most profound sorrow that we have to announce the sudden death of founder of, and guide, Andy Thompson which has come as a great shock. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and two children, of whom he was immensely proud.
For many years Andy was a teacher and Headteacher who led tours for his students. On his retirement, he founded Eyewitness Tours and continued to travel to the battlefields of Europe, leading tours for groups large and small over many years. He was with a group on the battlefields of Normandy shortly before his death. His tours with the Western Front Association and the War Poets Association were a highlight of each year.
Andy was a member of the Guild of Battlefield Guides and had been awarded the inaugural ‘Old Bill Award’ for his enthusiasm and cheerfulness in times of difficulty, a thoroughly deserved accolade for the many hours of selfless time he had given to the Guild. He organised the yearly Christmas Dinner, helped overseas members travel to the AGM and gave selflessly to anyone who asked.
Andy is greatly missed and I am sure he will enjoy leading groups across new battlefields.
Mr A June 2012 – Normandy D-Day Tour
Mrs M. August 2012 – Family Pilgrimage, Western Front
Mr & Mrs B Oct 2012 – Western Front
Mr & Mrs W and Family May 2013 – Family Pilgrimage, Western Front
Mr P and Ms S July 2013 – NZ on Western Front
Mrs N. Feb 2014 – Western Front
Mrs W May 14 – UK Tour
Mrs S May 14 – UK Tour
Mrs W May 14 – UK Tour
Mr G (Swale Borough Council) Nov 14 – Armistice Day
Mrs S – Family Pilgrimage WW1 & WW2, Sept 2016
Mr T, September 2016 – Normandy Family History Tour
Miss F, September 2016 – Normandy Family History Tour
Mr M and Ms N – October 2016, Australian battlefields and Private Family Pilgrimage
Ms S – ANZAC Day Tour April 2017
I felt as though I got a lot out of the tour. I am inspired to learn a lot more about World War One now. Your side of organisation was excellent. The food stops (pizza and breakfast) were great choices as it was an efficient use of time for a big group. It was great having such passionate guides who were excellent at telling the various stories and history of the area. I also really appreciated the interest and assistance from Andy to locate the names of some of my ancestors at the various memorials.
Mr K – ANZAC Day Tour April 2017
Mr M – May 2017
And have wonderful memories of our time with you. I don't have the words to completely describe the pleasure that you gave us in those couple of days. the descriptions, the stories and your company ... truly marvellous.
Mr L – Group Tour Surrey WFA Sept 2017
It is always moving to visit the memorials and cemeteries but it was a very thoughtful touch for each of us to be given a soldier to research and lay a poppy cross beneath each name at the Ring of Remembrance Notre Dame de Lorette.
Mr & Mrs G – Australian Family History Tour Oct 2017
Mrs B – October 2017
You bound our group together so effortlessly, from 5 year olds to 80; from easy characters to others so precise; you found us convenient and comfortable hotels where we had no bills nor extras for us to pay, that gave us wholesome breakfasts; you kept the young engaged, made them feel special especially laying a wreath, placing a cross, answering your questions and never too busy to answer any of theirs - and for me a delight to watch - thank you so much for entering into the spirit and mores of the whole family. The children were delighted with the shrapnel and chocolate which was so thoughtful of you.