Tomorrow: Meet the Step-Grandson of “Monty”

Tom Carver: Book JacketWhere 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
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


1940s Society: WW2 Posters

The 1940s Society, 25th June, 1999

The planning, design and reception of British Home Front Propaganda Posters of the Second World War

Ian, of the 1940s Society, discovered my site, and asked if I would give a talk to his group in Kent. So, in June 1999, I went to present a paper regarding my project. I discussed why I had first become interested in the subject (after seeing the Home Front display at the Imperial War Musuem in London), and why I have considered it worthwhile of study (largely because there has been no definitive study).

We briefly considered what ‘propaganda’ and ‘poster’ meant, the inter-war development of market research techniques/social surveys, including Mass-Observation, and use that Government made of it. We considered the organisation that produced many of the posters, the Ministry of Information.

We then had a heavily illustrated selection of case studies, covering:

  • The first posters produced by the MOI
  • International influences upon posters
  • The direct appeal in posters
  • Images for, and of, women in posters

This was then followed by more illustrations demonstrating some of my efforts to date posters, and some of the reasons for, and techniques of propaganda. This was then followd by questions and a discussion.


“In June, Rebecca Lewis spoke to us on the subject of British Homefront Posters of WW2. Rebecca is very knowledgeable about her subject and spoke not only on the design of the posters but also on the political motivations behind them. The talk was illustrated by a large number of slides and we certainly came away with a better understanding of the subject.”

Ian Bayley, The 1940s Society