On 6 April 1943, Ian Reid was captured by the Germans and sent to an Italian prisoner-of-war camp. Five months later, he escaped. So began a life or death game of hide and seek in the Italian countryside. Nearly 60 years later, Howard Reid followed in his father's footsteps and was inspired to write this memoir.
On 6 April 1943, Ian Reid, an officer in the Black Watch, was wounded and captured in Tunisia and sent off to an Italian prisoner-of-war camp. Five months later, when the Germans took over the camp as the Italians pulled out of the war, he escaped. So began a life-or-death game of hide and seek in the heart of the beautiful Italian countryside, living in barns, sleeping in ditches and desperate scavenging for food. He was recaptured - though heroically he was to escape from the Germans a total of five times. Nearly sixty years later, Howard Reid quite literally followed in his father's footsteps and made the same journey across Italy - though in a rather more relaxed fashion. Starting near Modena, he travelled to Florence and through Chianti, Siena and Orvieto to Rome and beyond, painting an intimate portrait of his extraordinary father and getting closer to the truth of his amazing escapades, which were the subject of a bestselling book in the 1950s. Along the way, as we are shown the real, modern Italy, Howard mused on father - son relationships, and the deep but invisible scars left by two world wars on each of our personal histories. This poignant and engrossing book is a must for everyone who has ever asked (or wanted, too late, to ask) the question 'What did you do in the war, Dad?'