Episodes

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The Chaplain's Suitcase20161227

Jenni Crane explores the life of Second World War parachuting padre George Parry.

In 2014, presenter Jenni Crane purchased a suitcase with the intention of using it as decorative storage for a magnificent, personal shoe collection that would rival that of Imelda Marcos.

However, the case was destined for a different future.

The original owner had carefully written his name on top - Rev. G.E.M. Parry C.F. Intrigued by this small clue, Jenni embarks on a journey which unravels the incredible life of a man who set off to war with noble intentions, only to be murdered in a medical aid post on D-Day.

George Parry's family was Welsh and he was born only 20 miles away from Jenni's own birthplace in Pontypool. Desperate to find out more, Jenni takes us on a journey from South London to Normandy, as she begins to reveal the truth behind the Reverend's life and death.

In Parliament, Jenni follows up a question that was asked to the Secretary of War in 1944 about Parry's unlawful killing by the Nazis. What happened and was the matter ever investigated?

Moving on, Jenni discovers an autobiography written by George's sweetheart, Daphne Carr. She successfully tracks down the author's son, Professor Bernard Carr, a colleague and friend of Stephen Hawking. Upon meeting the presenter and her treasured suitcase, Bernard reveals how his mother, until her dying day, never forgot George Parry.

Along the way, Jenni organises a memorial service for Parry at his former church in Leytonstone, tracks down surviving family members and speaks with veterans, antique experts and an army Chaplain about religion and faith on the frontline.

Producer: Peter Shevlin

A BlokMedia production for BBC Radio 4.

The Chaplain's Suitcase20161227

Jenni Crane explores the life of Second World War parachuting padre George Parry.

In 2014, presenter Jenni Crane purchased a suitcase with the intention of using it as decorative storage for a magnificent, personal shoe collection that would rival that of Imelda Marcos.

However, the case was destined for a different future.

The original owner had carefully written his name on top - Rev. G.E.M. Parry C.F. Intrigued by this small clue, Jenni embarks on a journey which unravels the incredible life of a man who set off to war with noble intentions, only to be murdered in a medical aid post on D-Day.

George Parry's family was Welsh and he was born only 20 miles away from Jenni's own birthplace in Pontypool. Desperate to find out more, Jenni takes us on a journey from South London to Normandy, as she begins to reveal the truth behind the Reverend's life and death.

In Parliament, Jenni follows up a question that was asked to the Secretary of War in 1944 about Parry's unlawful killing by the Nazis. What happened and was the matter ever investigated?

Moving on, Jenni discovers an autobiography written by George's sweetheart, Daphne Carr. She successfully tracks down the author's son, Professor Bernard Carr, a colleague and friend of Stephen Hawking. Upon meeting the presenter and her treasured suitcase, Bernard reveals how his mother, until her dying day, never forgot George Parry.

Along the way, Jenni organises a memorial service for Parry at his former church in Leytonstone, tracks down surviving family members and speaks with veterans, antique experts and an army Chaplain about religion and faith on the frontline.

Producer: Peter Shevlin

A BlokMedia production for BBC Radio 4.

To Whom It May Concern20161220

To Whom It May Concern20161220

Proinsias O'Coinn was a teenager on a rare shopping trip to Belfast when he stumbled across a vintage military shop.

Hidden among the old fatigues, army garb and war memorabilia, he found a jacket he just knew he had to have. It smelt old and musty but he didn't care. It seemed different, authentic, well-made, smart - the kind of jacket that someone would have worn with pride. So Proinsias bought it.

On the train on the way home, he put his hand into the pocket and found a letter -

"To whom it may concern. The uniform was given to David Griffiths from his uncle George Nelson who resides at N. Atlantic Ave Cocoa Beach, Florida.

Signed,

George Nelson"

At that moment Proinsias knew he needed to return the jacket to its rightful owner. But more than a decade later, nothing can prepare him for what he's about to discover.

Producer: Conor Garrett.

To Whom It May Concern2016122020170217 (R4)

Proinsias O'Coinn was a teenager on a rare shopping trip to Belfast when he stumbled across a vintage military shop.

Hidden among the old fatigues, army garb and war memorabilia, he found a jacket he just knew he had to have. It smelt old and musty but he didn't care. It seemed different, authentic, well-made, smart - the kind of jacket that someone would have worn with pride. So Proinsias bought it.

On the train on the way home, he put his hand into the pocket and found a letter -

"To whom it may concern. The uniform was given to David Griffiths from his uncle George Nelson who resides at N. Atlantic Ave Cocoa Beach, Florida.

Signed,

George Nelson"

At that moment Proinsias knew he needed to return the jacket to its rightful owner. But more than a decade later, nothing can prepare him for what he's about to discover.

Producer: Conor Garrett.

To Whom It May Concern2016122020170217 (R4)

Proinsias O'Coinn was a teenager on a rare shopping trip to Belfast when he stumbled across a vintage military shop.

Hidden among the old fatigues, army garb and war memorabilia, he found a jacket he just knew he had to have. It smelt old and musty but he didn't care. It seemed different, authentic, well-made, smart - the kind of jacket that someone would have worn with pride. So Proinsias bought it.

On the train on the way home, he put his hand into the pocket and found a letter -

"To whom it may concern. The uniform was given to David Griffiths from his uncle George Nelson who resides at N. Atlantic Ave Cocoa Beach, Florida.

Signed,

George Nelson"

At that moment Proinsias knew he needed to return the jacket to its rightful owner. But more than a decade later, nothing can prepare him for what he's about to discover.

Producer: Conor Garrett.