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17/10/2009

Duration:
30 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 17 October 2009

The urge to visit the scene of a family member's wartime experiences often follows the realisation of what dangers they have been through. Journalist Tom Carver's father escaped from a prison camp in Italy in 1943 and went on the run behind German lines. Tom found himself tracking down the Italian family who had helped him and exploring the cave in the Abruzzi countryside where his father had hidden out. Julie Summers's grandfather was the senior British officer building the bridge on the River Kwai, and when she went there she found the real story very different from the image given in the famous film - most notably the fact that it is still in use.

John McCartthy also talks to Diego Torres, an award-winning tour guide from Ecuador, who explains that, although his country lies firmly on the Equator, it is far from being just Equatorial. It has a dazzling variety of landscapes from jungle to mountain plains, as well as the renowned Galapagos Islands.

Chapters

1 item
  • WWII POWs

    John McCarthy hears about tracing the footsteps of WWII POWs.

  • Tom Carver

    Tom Carver is a writer and former BBC foreign correspondent who worked in a number of war zones including Rwanda, Bosnia and Somalia. He was also the correspondent in Washington. He is the step-grandson of Field Marshal Montgomery.

    Tom is the author of Where the hell have you been? which recounts the experiences of his father Captain Richard Carver who escaped from a prison camp in Italy in 1943 and went on the run behind German lines. Tom found himself tracking down the Italian family who had helped him and exploring the cave in Abruzzi where his father had hidden.


    Where The Hell Have You Been: Monty, Italy and One Man’s Incredible Escape
    Publisher: Short Books, London
    ISBN-10: 1906021538
    ISBN-13: 978-1906021535

    Find out more about Tom Carver
  • Julie Summers

    Julie Summers is a biographer, a historian and an author. Julie's grandfather was Lieutenant-Colonel Phillip Toosey of the Territorial Army captured by the Japanese during the fall of Singapore in 1942 and put to work as the senior British officer building the infamous Bridge on the River Kwai in Thailand. Julie went to Thailand where she found the real story very different from the image given in the famous film. To ensure that Phillip Toosey would not be confused with Col. Nicholson, the Alec Guinness role in the famous film, Julie wrote The Colonel of Tamarkan an account of her grandfather’s war.

    The Colonel of Tamarkan: Philip Toosey and the Bridge on the River Kwai
    Publisher: Pocket Books; New edition
    ISBN-10: 074349573X
    ISBN-13: 978-0743495738

    Audio CD: The Colonel of Tamarkan: Philip Toosey and the Bridge on the River Kwai
    Publisher: Chrome Audio; Abridged edition
    ISBN-10: 0956074014
    ISBN-13: 978-0956074010

    Find out more about Julie Summers
  • Diego Torres

    Each year the travel magazine Wanderlust gives the Paul Morrison Guide Awards to celebrate the achievements of the world’s best guides and tour leaders. This year’s ceremony took place in London earlier this week and while the bronze and silver prizes went to guides from Jordan and India, the gold was awarded to Diego Torres from Ecuador.
    Diego is from the capital of Ecuador, Quito. His interest in guiding started at the age of 12. He later got jobs as a guide in his school holidays in local museums and places of interest. At 17 he went to study tourism at Quito University.

    Find out more about Diego Torres

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