Join Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell as they take on the challenge of uniting families in the penultimate episode in this season of Long Lost Family.
John Farrell is a 46-year old catering manager and Army reservist. His childhood was marked by feelings of inadequacy and he never felt as though he belonged. When he turned thirteen he found out that the man he was raised to believe was his father was not his biological father. His mother offered to tell him about his father but he didn’t want to know. He now regrets not asking about his father at that time.
Having three children has changed his outlook. John is determined to be the best father he could for his children. He often thinks of his own father and the connection he wishes they had. Twenty years ago John started to search for his father. His mother told him that he was a former soldier called Cyrill Smith. Cyrill was married to another woman when John was born.
Sharing the background of military service, John served in Afghanistan and feels a great sense of pride. When he returned home he was met with handshakes and the admiration of well-wishers. For John, the only person he wanted to be proud of him was his father. When Long Lost Family took on the search they were able to track down John’s two half-siblings from his father’s marriage. John was moved to tears to know his siblings want to meet him.
Patricia grew up in small community where everybody knew everybody and there were no secrets. In 1954, when Patricia was just 17, she signed up for three years in the Women’s Royal Army Corps. She embraced her freedom and was excited to see the world beyond her small community. She met a man and began a relationship while stationed in Hampshire. Eight months into the relationship Patricia’s time in the army came to an end and she returned home to Yorkshire. It was then that she discovered she was pregnant.
With no support from her boyfriend, Patricia told her parents. She knew that they would support her, but felt she could not put them through the shame. She decided that she would give her baby up for adoption, a decision which has haunted her every day since. In March 1959, Patricia gave birth to a baby girl she called Christine and they spent six precious weeks together.
Now 75, Patricia is a great-grandmother and lives in South Yorkshire surrounded by her close-knit family. Her only fear is that she will die before she has a chance to meet the daughter that she gave away all those years ago. The Long Lost Family team tracks down Patricia’s daughter and the reunion is not to be missed.
About Brian Gallagher
Brian is the International Social Media Specialist for Ancestry, working closely with our United Kingdom, Sweden, German and Australian teams.