History, General Interest
£75 - £150
A highly accomplished, professional presenter, Tony Ferguson honed his presentation skills in the technology industry, working for Burroughs, Unisys and Accenture.
He has headlined major conferences in UK, USA, Malaysia and across EMEA.
Retiring in 2019, he has conducted extensive research in the Battle of the Somme, the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War, culminating in his book which tells the quite incredible story of his grandfather in "Andy Symington: Tyrone's Most Wanted Man".
Andy Symington: Tyrone's Most Wanted Man
Andy Symington volunteered to join the Royal Irish Fusiliers in 1916. Over the next seven years, he participated in the Battle of the Somme, the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War, a trilogy of military service experienced by fewer than sixty men, as estimated by Daniel Mulhall, the eminent Irish historian and diplomat.
Honourably discharged due to wounds and shellshock, he returned to Ireland and fought against the British for the nascent IRA, becoming the most wanted man in Tyrone in 1921. In 1922, he became a lieutenant in the Free State army and fought against the IRA in the Civil War.
It uncovers a previously suppressed story of mutiny and officer murder in the trenches and reveals how the press covered it up. It also exposes a cover up in the War Diaries, as Army High Command sought to distance itself from an ill-conceived attack which cost the lives of 385 men, many killed by their own shells.
There is a poignant human-interest undercurrent, from his early days in a family of ten in Fermanagh to the post war impact of alcoholism and shellshock (today equating to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD) on a tortured family life. Over a century after the Somme, a remarkable twist of fate unfolds...
The Battle of the Somme (especially what it was like to serve in a trench)
The Irish War of Independence (particularly focussed on activities in rural Ulster)
The Irish Civil War (looking at the Border area with the newly created Northern Ireland)
17th Century Graffiti in English Churches (interpreting the signs)
Probate in UK- how to avoid being ripped off by solicitors and banks