We watched one of the 'Who do you think you are' programmes last night. Don't specially like Alan Carr who was featured but enjoy the connections that they dig up.
Turns out that all the family stories about some name change in the family were due to him being a deserter in the first world war. He deserted from one of the Pals Brigades that were formed which was a group of men all from the same area (from the souvenirs, in this case a group of men all from the same few streets) that joined up together to fight.
He didn't ever go to France, there were a couple of nights when he was AWOL which was considered normal - just sleeping off a celebration - and then he disappeared with wife and two children.
He then went on to have, I think 12 children in a new place with a new name, one of which was Alan Carr's grandfather.
We were both saying 'don't you get shot for desertion'. But apparently not if you never get to the field of battle. But you are still a wanted man who might potentially serve two years' hard labour.
Alan Carr's attitude now is 'good for him' he got out at the best time to be with his family, love not war. And apparently their were 50,000 others.
It has left me full of wonderings about what life must have been like for this man. How you live all your life with such a big secret. What is it like to desert from a unit that is made up of everyone that you grew up with?
And the final kick was that he had 8 sons who all served in the forces in the Second World War....................