Where The Hell Have You Been?
In November 1942, two nights after the Battle of El Alamein, a young British army officer was captured by German forces. As the Nazis deliberated about what to do with him and his peers, Richard Carver had particular reason to be afraid: unknown to anyone else, he was the stepson of Lt-Gen Bernard Montgomery, who had just inflicted the first serious land defeat on the Third Reich…
This enthralling wartime story tells of Richard’s internment in a POW camp in northern Italy – the same made famous by Eric Newby – and of his subsequent escape. Having decided on the high-risk strategy of making his way back to Allied HQ in the south, he embarked on a gruelling 500-mile journey through German-occupied territory, evading capture again and again and ultimately being saved by a family of brave Italian peasants who jeopardised not just their own lives but those of an entire village to hide him.
In the winter of 1943, a year after he had disappeared, Carver staggered back into army HQ, gaunt and exhausted – to be greeted by a delighted but characteristically gruff Monty with the now infamous words: Where the hell have you been?
This is a tale of great adventure and derring-do. It is also an account of the relationship between a strong-willed father and his diffident son – told by the grandson, who displays some characteristics of both of them.
Tom Carver was a longtime foreign correspondent with the BBC. He lived with the mujihadeen during the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, walked with the Kurds over the mountains of Iraq and reported on the Rwandan genocide and the Bosnian war. He was latterly the BBC’s Washington Correspondent and continues to live in Washington working as a writer and consultant. He is the step-grandson of Field Marshal Montgomery
Tom Carver visits Winchester on 16 October 2009 Tickets from P&G Wells, College St tel 01962 852016
Mass Communications Academic, @MMUBS. British Home Front Propaganda posters as researched for a PhD completed 2004. In 1997, unwittingly wrote the first history of the Keep Calm and Carry On poster, which she now follows with interest.