Banham was born into an academic family in Norfolk. He is nephew of architectural historian Professor Reyner Banham and great nephew of 1945 Member of Parliament Edwin Gooch. He graduated in Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire and had an initial career in research & development with Royal Dutch Shell and the European Space Agency at ESRIN. At the age of 30 he moved to Hong Kong, working there for a variety of software vendors including Informix and, today is a senior executive based in Hong Kong with Oracle. He is a licensed pilot and is married with two sons and has made Hong Kong his permanent home.
Tony Banham is founder of the Hong Kong War Diary project, which studies and documents the 1941 defence of Hong Kong, the defenders, their families, and the fates of all until liberation. His published books are considered to be examples of some of the best research on the Hong Kong experience during the Second World War. Mr. Banham is also very active in the "human side" of historical research relating to the era and often speaks at various symposia on the subject and carries on an active dialogue with survivors of the conflict and their families. He also maintains a close association with various diplomatic services, government agencies, and other official parties associated with providing care and services to those involved in the conflict. He serves, at the request on the Government of the Hong Kong SAR, on a special government panel which reviews and grants the payment of pensions to veterans (or their survivors) who served Hong Kong during the period.