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Apr 21, 2021

Gerald Hough to talk about his father's SAS experience

Gerald Hough’s father Tony fought against Rommel in the Libyan desert for two years, first with the Rifle Brigade and then with the SAS. He was captured but in a classic escape and evasion story he managed to cross Allied lines in Italy in deepest winter. 

Like many brave men of his generation, Tony did not talk much about his experiences and Gerald’s book about his father, Desert Raids with the SAS, took time and painstaking research to piece together. Also, ‘It has given me a much deeper understanding of him’ says Gerald.

‘The first part of the book about his time in the Rifle Brigade was from a combination of research, conversations my father had had with his wife and his children over the years and letters he wrote home from Libya and Italy.’

‘His joining the SAS, the raid resulting in his capture and his escape are sourced from a diary we found after his death in 2000. The final chapters of the book are based on my journeys to Italy where I met with two of the surviving children of the family that sheltered him in their home and then took food to him in a cave. I gained much insight during these visits.  I also visited the POW camp where he escaped from.’

Gerald Hough will be talking about his father’s experiences at the Guernsey Literary Festival at the Guille Alles Library on 6 May at 6pm. His talk is sponsored by Rawlinson & Hunter and tickets are free but must be booked through the Festival website guernseyliteraryfestival.com

Did Gerald’s research change his view of his father?

‘Very much so. He was a taciturn man very absent from family life, especially when we were growing up. I have learnt a great deal about him and realise the extent of the post traumatic stress the war must have inflicted and how hard it must have been for him to cope at times. However he was always pleasant to be around in his own way. It has brought him much closer to me.’ 

 

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