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This week's episode of Who Do You Think You Are? followed actor Sir Patrick Stewart on an emotional journey where he uncovers previously unknown information on his father and the role he played during WW2.

The episode begins with Patrick discussing his difficult upbringing and how his father was abusive to his mother throughout his childhood. He describes how his father, Alfred, also had a different side to him where he would tell his sons fascinating adventure stories from the war years; it's this side that Patrick wants to learn more about.

Patrick first visits the Imperial War Museum where he sees Alfred's service record. It reveals that he was called into service when the Second World War broke out and went to France in 1940. Patrick's journey takes him to Abbeville, in northern France where he discovers that his father had witnessed war horrors on the front line and returned to England with shell-shock.

But the story didn't end there; Alfred joined the Parachute Regiment in 1943 and took part in a risky operation in August 1944 dropping into southern France. Patrick flies over the site where the operation was victorious; he is joined by veteran Dick Hargreaves who fought alongside his father and holds fond memories of him.

It was certainly an emotional episode, and while Patrick can't excuse his father's violence, he can finally understand his father better. The episode closes with a lovely scene between Patrick and his brother.

If you missed it you can catch up here.

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by CuriousFish on 21 Oct 2012 15:10 :
I think that this episode o WDYTUA, is one of the best yet.. A real human interest story and well told, without getting too emotional as some of the other programmes in this and other series do. Well done.