A new family history TV programme is running on Tuesday nights at 8pm on Channel 5. War Hero in my Family puts a new spin on the idea of celebrities tracing their trees, as famous names discover the emotive stories of their relatives in World War II.
TV host Chris Tarrant, politician Ann Widdecombe and cricketer David Gower are among the stars discovering their fearless forebears over the next six weeks. The heroes in their stories range from Military Cross winners and Prisoners of War to Jewish spies. Here’s a rundown of who you can expect to see every week:
May 1st: Chris Tarrant & Lisa Faulkner
May 8th: Ann Widdecombe & Quentin Wilson
May 15th: Paddy Ashdown & Helen Lederer
May 22nd: David Gower & Sara Cox
May 29th: Dom Littlewood & Pamela Stephenson
June 5th: Robert Llewellyn & Angela Rippon
As you watch each episode, see if you can pick up any tips to help you discover the heroes in your own family. We have military records from the Napoleonic Wars right up to WWII revealing our military ancestors – the WWI service records and medal records are the most comprehensive.
But heroes don’t have to have served in the Armed Forces. You might have relatives who fought their way out of poverty, travelled the high seas, or pioneered the Industrial Revolution. You can learn more about them in census, immigration, occupation and parish records.
Once you’ve uncovered your family’s heroes, pay tribute to them in our Hall of Heroes on Facebook. We’re collecting together your stories as a permanent reminder of our most courageous ancestors.