Andrew is an author and historian who writes children’s fiction, military history & local heritage non-fiction books. He is the editor of a children’s magazine and has appeared on television and radio.
Andrew grew up in the Cornish town of Saltash and spent all of his childhood there. With Brunel’s historic Royal Albert Bridge, the centuries old Trematon Castle and close links to the city of Plymouth, which was bombed extensively during the Second World War (a subject he is passionate about), it is hardly surprising that he had an interest in history from an early age. Andrew enjoyed school, in particular the subjects of History, Geography, PE and topic work, and later attended the University of Plymouth, leaving with a BA(Hons) degree. During this time he also became a qualified football coach, working for Plymouth Argyle Football in the Community, as well as meeting his future wife.
Andrew trained as a primary school teacher and taught for a number of years in West Sussex, before embracing his love of travelling, adventure and exploring by moving abroad with his wife to teach in the middle east country of Qatar. Living in a different country was a fantastic experience and allowed them to visit a number of incredible places!
They moved to Somerset in 2012 and after the birth of their first son in 2015, Andrew suddenly had the urge to try something he had never done before – writing. Inspired by the vast number of children’s books he had read as a teacher, his first children’s picture book, James and the Dragon, gained interest from a publisher that summer. You don’t have to guess the name of his child! This was the spark his writing needed, and he then set about writing his first military non-fiction book, The West Country’s Last Line of Defence: Taunton Stop Line. Taking 18 months of research, the book looked at a series of Second World War defences across the South-West of England and saw Andrew spend untold hours researching and walking the entire length of the 50 mile stop line! Both of these titles were published in 2017.
By 2018, Andrew was balancing his day job as a Primary school teacher, researching and writing more books, as well as welcoming his second child to the world! His next adult non-fiction book Somerset’s Military Heritage and children’s fiction book James and the Ogre were released, along with his first radio appearance on BBC Radio Bristol and later on BBC Radio Somerset. In 2019 he had two more non-fiction books published: 50 Gems of Somerset and Historic England: Somerset and a children’s poetry book: A World of Colour.
In September 2019, Andrew decided to take a break from full time teaching to be able to put more time and effort into his writing. He was able to visit schools and libraries with his books, holding talks and workshops with those that attended. Then along came Covid and, like everyone else in the world, all plans were paused! School visits were cancelled and book releases were pushed back, although his latest children’s book Alfie’s Adventures in Ancient Rome was published in November 2020 with a really successful virtual book tour. However, he made the most of lockdown by doing a lot of planning and even more writing, as well as becoming the children’s editor of the First World War focused ‘Over the Top’ magazine with the newly created Great War Group. It was also during that first lockdown that Andrew created his own YouTube channel, featuring a number of videos explaining some of the significant moments of the Second World War. The 75th anniversary of VE Day saw a number of schools use his VE Day explained video and free resources as part of their online learning, and it was viewed over 50,000 times by the end of May 2020.
May 2021 saw Andrew appear on Yesterday TV’s new eight part series The Buildings That Fought Hitler. Filmed in late 2020, the third episode focused on the Taunton Stop Line, with Andrew leading the research, detailing locations to visit as well as presenting to camera.
Andrew is an avid football fan and also enjoys athletics and most other sports! He loves travelling and exploring places, both old and new. Andrew has a passion for history and has a fascination with all aspects of the Second World War. He lives in Somerset with his wife and two young sons.