We are delighted to introduce Michael Thompson, someone who is a staunch supporter of War Horse Memorial and a true friend. Michael regularly fundraises for us, attends our events and is our benefactor, supporting the upkeep and maintenance of our Area of Reflection across from Poppy our War Horse, in Ascot. This is his story… “My early working life was with the public sector in Newcastle where I worked for HM Customs and Excise in various roles before moving to Heathrow where I arrived in late 1976. Initially the plan was to stay in the south for three years, but 44 years on I’m still here.
On retirement from public service, where I had photo taken with Princess Diana and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, I indulged my interested in history, enjoying concerts in the Dungeon of the Curfew Tower in aid of the Friends of St George’s Chapel, which I duly joined. Also, I visited Frogmore open days to enjoy the gardens and house, plus the Royal Mausoleum and Burial Ground; areas to which I would become more familiar as years progressed.
Not wishing to be fully employed as a Castle Warden I joined the fellowship of the Volunteer Stewards of St George’s Chapel. Our prime responsibility is to meet and welcome visitors to this place of worship of historical interest. In addition, and to answer questions I developed a role of purveyor of relevant history books among my fellow Stewards, with all proceeds going to the Friends of St George’s.
Being part of the Windsor Castle community has been a most beneficial experience in developing new relationships, with memorable visits to Ypres and Normandy in conjunction with the Not Forgotten Association and Balmoral, with the Royal Household Caledonian Society.
With no real family military experience, apart from my grandfather, who was a POW in WW1, and an uncle who was with RAF ground crew during WW2 in the Far East, I’ve taken an active interest in supporting our armed forces. For two decades I’ve been principle Assistant Poppy Area Organiser to West Drayton branch of RBL. With my Department colleagues this has led me to be a steward at the annual service of Remembrance on Horse Guards and for Merchant Seaman on Tower Hill.
Interest led me to Holy Trinity Garrison Church, in Windsor, where I am now a Friend and Benefactor. It was here that I learnt of the War Horse Memorial project and subsequently became an active supporter and fundraiser. I am honoured to have the title Ambassador for Windsor, and was delighted to support the Area of Reflection, across from Poppy the War Horse, in Ascot, which explains the important role horses, mules and donkeys have played in war. I am pictured here with Biff my wonderful dog and companion.
My other interests include being a committee member of Fine Art Windsor; U3A member with particular interest in singing for fun and last, but least, an avid supporter of the Toon Army, aka Newcastle United FC.”