Who do you think you are? Left viewers are all emotional when they see tonight’s episode of David Waliams jumping deeper into his grandfather’s ‘scary’ past.
The The British wind talent star who researched his father’s grandfather, John George Burman, who sought refuge in Shell Shock after World War I, has taken on a new dominance over the comedian we know and love.
In 1916 the hero left his wife and their three children to fight in the Battle of Som.
However, after a year of disappearance, he finally arrived at Napsbury Military Hospital – where he admitted to hearing the noise.
That’s when he was taken to Cain Hill Hospital. He lived there for the rest of his life before dying of a heart attack.
David met with historian Alice Brumby to find out what his grandfather had spent 43 years in the hospital.
She explained: ‘All aspects of his life would be regimented. At this time there would be breakfast, he would eat this food, he would go to work.
‘So, your grandmother would have been a hero in a military hospital during World War I, and it would have turned into a mad shelter. But you can see they tried to make life a little more fun here. ‘
David listed a ‘general weekly entertainment program’ that included a quiz, a day at the cinema, and a radio listening session.
But what set David apart was the art class, and Alice actually had to pass on some of her grandfather’s works.
‘This is a very sad story,’ said the children’s writer as he looked at John’s picture before the children’s war. ‘He’s proud, he’s smiling, he does not know what terror he is going to face.’
“There’s a good part to the story, and that’s the paintings, because the paintings make me think his life would not be terrible,” he added.
‘He had a creative outlet and something he cared about.
‘I have gone through nothing in my life like him, but I am grateful for his creativity in times of frustration. I’m glad he got the paintings, and I’m glad I got them. ‘
Fans were saddened by this story and went on Twitter. Someone revealed that she wanted to hug David.
When someone else wrote: ‘Your #wdytya was totally emotional, I was in tears thinking about how I treated our heroes.
‘One of the best episodes I’ve ever seen. David, thank you for sharing your family story with us. Ind Mind Charity was really needed then. ‘
Others felt the same way: ‘David Waliams #WDYTYA, incredible testimonials from WW1 and beyond. Scary. ‘
Who do you think you are? Broadcast on BBC One.
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