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Local Author Literary Lunch

Source: Carolinda Witt
Archived 5 Aug 2018 - Posted: 6 Jun 2018
Carolinda Witt
Double Agent Celery: MI5’s Crooked Hero – Pen & Sword Books – Jan 2018 By Carolinda Witt. You never know what you will find when you go looking for relatives but imagine Carolinda Witt’s surprise when her mystery grandfather turned out to be Walter Dicketts, MI5's double agent 'Celery.'

Walter Dicketts was an ex RNAS officer, come confidence trickster with twenty-three fake names, who volunteered to infiltrate the German Secret Service to bring back crucial secrets about Nazi invasion plans for Britain. Traveling undercover as a traitor, Dicketts managed to outwit his Nazi interrogators in Hamburg and Berlin before returning to Britain, as in the Nazis’ eyes, a German spy.

Dicketts was an odd mixture of hero and crook: handsome, worldly, charming, and plausible. He married four times, had two mistresses and six children, yet Carolinda’s mother never even knew his name!

It took Carolinda seven years to track down and uncover most of her grandfather’s incredible secrets, and in the process, rewrote history and reunited a family spread across the world, all of whom knew nothing about the existence of the others.

  • Carolinda has recently been a guest on ABC Conversations with Richard Fidler & Sarah Kanowski.
  • Among other Author Talks & Literary Lunches, Carolinda is giving a talk at the State Library of NSW on July 18th at 12.30pm.
  • ABC News Online recently featured Carolinda’s story which was in the top 5 most popular articles nationally on the day of publication.
  • Double Agent Celery has recently been favourably reviewed by the CIA’s Library for the Study of Intelligence.
  • See 3-minute video regarding Double Agent Celery with bestselling authors and intelligence experts, Nigel West, Michael Smith and Dr Helen Fry.


“An incredible story, a tangled family history and a gripping insight into the murky world of the double agent.” - Dr Nick Barratt, TV Presenter and historian, author of The Forgotten Spy.

“A fascinating journey into the past to uncover one of the most colourful rogues who spied for Britain.” - Michael Smith, bestselling author The Anatomy of a Traitor and The Secrets of Station X.

"Powerful feel for the period and a sure touch generally on the techniques of spycraft. Without the Double Cross system Britain would probably have lost the Second World War." - Professor Paul Moorcraft, former UK Ministry of Defence and prolific author on security issues.

“As gripping and immersive as any spy novel. This tells the real story of agent Celery.”
- Dr Helen Fry, historian, author of The M Room and Spymaster.

"A classic recipe of wartime espionage with romance, perfidy and tragedy as added ingredients." - Nigel West, bestselling author and intelligence expert. Voted 'The Experts' Expert' by a panel of other spy writers in The Observer in November 1989.

“ An important and engrossing espionage history of the flawed but brave double agent Dicketts.” - John Lewes, bestselling author Jock Lewes Co-founder of the SAS and A Spy After All.

“The wartime double agent is one of the most indelible figures in all of literature. But there are few characters as bizarre and intriguing as the rascal who was codenamed Celery by MI5. In telling the story of her grandfather’s adventures, Carolinda Witt has added a rollicking chapter to our understanding of World War II. And here's the incredible part: It’s all true.” - Peter Duffy, bestselling author Double Agent and The Bielski Brothers.

The Book

This is the true story of Walter Dicketts, an MI5 Double Agent in World War II, superbly researched and written by his granddaughter, Carolinda Witt.

With Britain braced for a German invasion, MI5 recruited the former Royal Navy officer as a double agent. Codenamed Celery, Dicketts was sent to neutral Lisbon with the seemingly impossible mission of persuading the Germans he was a traitor and to extract crucial secrets. Spirited to Germany by the Nazis and with his life on the line, Dicketts managed to outwit his interrogators before returning to Britain as, in the Nazis’ eyes, a German spy. He was part of the British double cross team at M15 that succeeded in duping the Nazis that the Allied D-Day Landings would take place in Calais, not Normandy. This remains one of history’s greatest military deceptions and countless more lives would have been lost during those operations without the efforts of these spies.

A mixture of hero and crook, Dicketts was worldly and intelligent, charming and charismatic. Sometimes rich and sometimes poor, his private life was a web of complexity and deception with four wives, two mistresses and six children. Using family and official records, police records, newspaper articles and memories, the author unravels the tangled story of Double Agent Celery.

The Author

Carolinda grew up in Africa, she has sailed around the Caribbean, skied throughout the Alps, scuba-dived in the Pacific and, at the age of twenty-one, became one of the first female hot-air balloon pilots in Britain. In 1988 she flew the Virgin Jumbo Jet shaped balloon across Australia in the Trans-Australia balloon race. She lives in Mona Vale, Australia.

Read Carolinda's biography

Literary Lunch with Carolinda Witt

Join author Carolinda Witt as she discusses her biographical release Double Agent Celery: MI5's Crooked Hero. You never know what you will find when you researching your ancestry...

Wednesday 25 July 2018

12.00 PM - 1.30 PM

Warringah Mall Library, Shop 650, 145 Old Pittwater Road, Brookvale


  • Bookings essential - includes a light lunch
  • $10 / $8 Concession
  • Bookings available from 4 July

This article archived 5 Aug 2018

Carolinda Witt, Double Agent Celery
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