Rudolf Hess: A Most Curious Life & Death

Talk on the career of Hitler's deputy, his flight to Scotland and 40 year incarceration in Spandau prison

When: to May  2016
Where:Officers’ Mess, Exeter University Officer Training Corps, Wyvern Barracks, Exeter.
Who:Major General Peter Williams CMG OBE

A talk and Curry Lunch in aid of ABF, The Soldiers’ Charity, The National Charity of the British Army

Sunday 15 May from midday at the Officers’ Mess, Exeter University Officer Training Corps, Wyvern Barracks, Exeter.

For more information please telephone 01392 496412 or email

This talk covers the strange saga of the career of Hitler's Deputy, his flight to Scotland 75 years ago, his 40-year incarceration in Spandau Prison and is based, in part, on Peter’s role as an interpreter at the gaol in Hess' final years in Berlin.

Major General Peter Williams is an exciting and dynamic speaker with an entertaining and humorous manner.  His fascinating life has been full of espionage and intelligence with an insightful knowledge of the human aspects of history from his time as an operational commander and military diplomat during and after the Cold War.

 After studying History at Cambridge University, Peter Williams spent over 30 years in the Coldstream Guards and enjoyed an unusually varied career.  During the Cold War he specialised in intelligence, serving first in Berlin from 1973 to 1975 as a Regimental Intelligence Officer.  He then studied Russian and German before spending more than four years in the 1980s in Berlin and East Germany as an officer in the British Commanders'-in-Chief Mission to the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany (known as BRIXMIS), in effect working as a military spy.   In 1983 he was awarded an MBE for his success as an intelligence collector and analyst.

From 1993 to 1994 he commanded his Coldstream Guards armoured infantry battalion group in central Bosnia on UN peacekeeping operations during the civil war there, for which he received an OBE.  His final posting was from 2002 to 2005 in Moscow, where he started up and led NATO's Military Liaison Mission to the Russian Federation, working on military cooperation projects, including defence reform and peacekeeping issues, with the Russian armed forces.  On leaving Moscow he was made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George.  He retired from the Army in December 2005.

He now enjoys giving talks on cruise ships, to military academies, schools and summer schools and to charity audiences about the Cold War and other current and historical issues; these include talks under the Government-sponsored pro bono 'Speakers for Schools' scheme.  He also helps to train British military diplomats. He is the Chairman of the BRIXMIS Association, a member of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides, the Patron of the British Ex-Services Association of Western Australia and a Governor of Rendcomb College near Cirencester.