Find My Past, new and exclusive to Yesterday
Tuesdays at 9pm from 8th January
Chris Hollins is back for a brand new and exclusive second series of the award-winning genealogy show, Find My Past. Each week ordinary British people take an extraordinary journey through the past which links them with some of the country’s key historical events.
This series features The Great Escape, Charles Dickens, Abdication Crisis and the Battle of Trafalgar. Every episode unearths emotional stories, shocking details and facts only a genealogy series can, and reveals how easily anyone can trace their family members back through history.
THE GREAT ESCAPE – Tuesday 8th January
Tanya Millard, a paper conservationist from London, wants to find out more about her relative Squadron Leader Roger Bushell, known as Big X, who proposed one of the most audacious escape plans of any war. His aim was to save a staggering 200 prisoner of war from a Nazi camp situated deep in Eastern Germany.
He worked with seventeen year old student Rebecca Goodchild’s great uncle Ley Kenyon, who played a key role by using his artistic skills to create forgeries of German documents.
Gill Owen’s Uncle Dennis Cochran, was one of the prisoner who attempted to escape from the camp. Both Gill and Tanya will learn how their relatives paid the ultimate price for escaping in March 1944 and how their story inspired a book and Hollywood film.
DICKENS’ DOUBLE LIFE – Tuesday 14th January
This episode of Find My Past goes back in time to the Victorian Era to tell the true story of Charles Dickens. During the nineteenth century Dickens was an international celebrity with journalists camped at his house and fans desperately trying to give him locks of their hair.
Ollie Dickens, the author’s great, great, great grandson discovers that his infamous ancestor had a dark secret that was almost exposed by a fatal rail crash in Staplehurst Kent in June 1865.
Travelling with him was Nelly Ternan, a little known actress. Her relative Marcus Allen will discover that she was his mistress and their secret affair could have destroyed Dickens’ reputation and the sale of his books.
Joy Hillday uncovers her relative Henry Benge’s role in the disaster. Benge was in charge of the team of workmen maintaining the track that fateful day. An official inquiry reveals the tragic consequences of the crash.
THE BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR – Tuesday 22nd January
The Battle of Trafalgar in October 1805 is one of the best known sea battles as the victory ensured Britain’s mastery of the seas for the next hundred years over the French and the Spanish. Three people will find out how they are related to the brave people who aided Admiral Nelson in his defeat of Napoleon’s fleet at Trafalgar.
Alan Abraham discovers that he is descended from Thomas Hardy was the captain of the HMS Victory and implemented Nelson’s infamous battle plan. Bridget Tompsett’s four times great grandfather is Master Gunner William Rivers, who was responsible for ensuring the training of the gun crews.
Jennifer Marriott’s ancestor William Beatty was the surgery that dealt with the appalling wonders without the luxuries of modern operating theatres. Bridget also discovers that she had two other relatives on board Victory during the battle, her William River’s seventeen year old son Rivers Jnr who was saved by having his leg amputated by William Beatty.
SCOTT OF THE ANTARCTIC – Tuesday 29th January
Robert Falcon Scott is Britain’s most famous and celebrated explorer – his tragic-heroic status was cemented by his death in March 1912 in the icy wastes of Antarctic having failed to become the first man to reach the South Pole. This controversial figure’s reputation has recently been undergoing re-assessment and in this timely film, Find My Past looks at his legacy and that of the men who followed him.
This film takes Lucy Scott, the explorer’s great, granddaughter, back to his early days of exploration and brings to life the appalling conditions he would have faced in the Antarctic in one of the coldest winters on record.
Bryony King, the great, great niece of the Chief Scientist, Edward Wilson, uncovers the deep friendship between her relative and Captain Scott that led to Wilson sacrificing his life to stay with his beloved leader to the bitter end.
Through Caroline Oates, the great, great niece of Lawrence Oates we see the huge challenges that faced him and celebrate the ultimate sacrifice Oates made in walking to his death in an attempt to save his comrades.
Don’t miss the exciting discoveries in Yesterday’s exclusive new genealogy series, Find My Past, when the series begins on Tuesday 8th January at 9pm.