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Who do you think you are?


Seadog
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Just watched “Who do you think you are” featuring newsreader Fiona Bruce who certainly seemed to have no interest in the subject matter at all. In my opinion apart from being the most boring episode so far I was amazed to hear the wild assumptions made by both FB and a shrink with regard to the mental state of her relative killed in WW1. The proposition was made that having already suffered a period of shell-shock that when advised to duck to avoid an incoming shell he may have deliberately remained standing, for as the shrink stated “it would have been easier to die than to live”, This programme just gets worse and seems to be composed of 95% wild assumption and 5% fact. Not one of the Beebs best.

Norman

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They did drop by for some help a while back

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/i...=88131&st=0

I don't think they use any of the details given, at least not directly.

I was quite disturbed at the "leap of faith" too, especially as they had quite a lot of letters, etc. to use.

Steve.

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The letters were lovely to see - especially the one held by Christ school (can't remember the whole name of it, sorry).

Major Crouch was buried at Bedford House Cemetery.

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Ahh but it makes a good story for the series. This leap of faith has been seen a few times on the programme and one of the reasons that I, for one, do not watch it anymore.

Andy

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Here I go again for final time (honest). Another aspect that annoyed me was the assumption again made by FB about the official letter regarding the death of the soldier which included the phrase " he was hit and the fragment went from his front to his back, he was unconscious and would not have suffered greatly” (as I remember the words), to which FB made the timeworn statement that "yes well they would say that wouldn’t they" implying that this was a lie, it may have been but nobody knows the truth. Pretty poor effort all round.

Norman

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Well, they were hardly likely to write to a relative that he died in excrutiating pain that lasted for many hours, were they?

Has anyone seen any letters other than the "not much pain" variety?

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I've seen a newspaper article (supported by the platoon officer letters) were a man was reported as having the top of his head blown off.

Quote: "One day a "Jack Johnson" burst right right over the top of our trench. I saw one Kettering lad, Pte. E. {my censorship - his name is given}, go down; the shell blew the top of his head clean off."

No sugar coating there....

Steve.

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I certainly did not get the impression that Fiona had no interest at all in the subject - complete opposite in fact as she was obviously extremely proud of her father and where he had come from. I do agree that the hypothesis on why he did not duck was extremely thin - it was a possibility but only one of several.

Neil

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I'm sure I heard the presenter say that, at some point, 40% of all casualties were shell-shock. Did I mishear? And surely that can't be true

John

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No John, you didn't mishear (or if you did then we both need a hearing aid). And I can't believe that figure either.

Steve.

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I heard it without my hearing aid and a raging infection in both ears.

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What TV program have you ever watched that has been a tower of correctness or accuracy?

On a positive note, (as there are not many here today), it is a prime time TV slot.

The subject of the Great War, and the ability to search family history and involvement was very much a focal part of the program.

That is a good thing, as most people are not experts, and are suckers for a good story.

All this must add up to a positive effect on GW interest and rememberance in general.

Isn't that what we all want?

If it prompts even 1% of viewers to go and get out grandad's medals or letters, then three cheers for the BBC.

:D

Guy

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I watched it as well and, apart from the obviously staged 'meeting's (they mostly are aren't they?), I did think that she was affected by what she 'learned'.

It was also nice to see her without her 'warpaint' as the real person was there for all to see.

Martin

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I seem to have watched the same programme as Guy and Martin. :D I shared Ms Bruce's fascination with her less-than-100%-upright photographer ancestor. My concentration must have slipped slightly during the WW1 section, so can't comment on that. All in all, another good example of the series, I thought.

Jim

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I thought it one of the worst in the series concentrating on a couple of the family members. As for shell shock , I was thinking of the ORs who suffered the same but with less sympathy.

Colin

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Hi - A post to be culled, but the programme is repeated tonight on BBC 2, 7pm.

Cheers, Terry

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Whilst having learned enough not to expect too much from the programmes, ( I've stopped shouting at the screen) I do enjoy the stories, and since this was also the first time I have seen actual film of shell shocked soldiers in hospital I also found something new. As well as this forum I belong to a family history site and can vouch for the fact it does excite peoples interest in their past.

Barbara..

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I think it was a good effort and worthy of the series. Not a patch on the Boris Johnson episode of the last series but that's to be expected.

The ony part that vexed me was the comments about why Capt. Crouch didn't duck. My observation would have been that a stoic sense of duty pervaded and he felt that his place was not to be cowed by 'near misses'! Something along the lines of General George Patton who was famous for never flinching in the face of the enemy during his service with the AEF. IMHO!

Steve

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I'm sure I heard the presenter say that, at some point, 40% of all casualties were shell-shock. Did I mishear? And surely that can't be true

John

Between 1914 and 1918 the British Army identified 80,000 men (2% of those who saw active service) as suffering from shell-shock. A much larger number of soldiers with these symptoms were classified as 'malingerers' and sent back to the front-line. In some cases men committed suicide. Others broke down under the pressure and refused to obey the orders of their officers. Some responded to the pressures of shell-shock by deserting. Sometimes soldiers who disobeyed orders got shot on the spot. In some cases, soldiers were court-martialled.

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I to watched this programme last night. One thing which upset me a bit, there was no mention of where Major Crouch was buried (thank you Pighills for answering that question), If I was FB i would have wanted to know and visited his grave. Also the curator of Christs Hospital School said that the letter which notified her Great Grandmother of his death should be with the family. I wonder if it is

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Who is Fiona Bruce?

She is a "butchers dog". Or, at least, a woman with some similarities, IMO.

Such matters greatly added to my personal enjoyment of the programme.

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I was eagerly awaiting this episode as I remember the researchers thread and I have to admit to being disappointed, I was expecting more from the Gt War as that was how it advertised, I was also disappointed they didn't mention about Crouch being a Major

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