Discover the World War II stories of actor Toby Jones’ maternal grandparents on MY GRANDPARENTS’ WAR – July 14 at 9 pm

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Kit Harington, Keira Knightley, Toby Jones and Emeli Sandé Explore Their Families’ Pasts in Season 2 of My Grandparents’ War

Four-part World War II history-genealogy series


Kit Harington, Keira Knightley, Toby Jones and Emeli Sandé in frames over photos of their grandparents
Kit Harington, Keira Knightley, Toby Jones and Emeli Sandé journey into the past to learn about their grandparents’ wartime experiences, and discover the extraordinary impact of global conflict on their families.

Returning for a second season of compelling personal stories set during some of the most dramatic moments of World War II, My Grandparents’ War takes a fascinating journey into the past to understand the extraordinary impact of global conflict on the families of four British international stars. Kit Harington (Game of Thrones), Keira Knightley (Atonement, Pride and Prejudice), Toby Jones (Captain America) and Emeli Sandé (“Next to Me,” “Our Version of Events”) each host an episode that explores their family’s unique stories. Discoveries are made and secrets revealed as they travel to historic locations — from the Scottish Highlands, all the way to Kenya and Zambia, where the British colonial wars were being fought — to retrace their grandparents’ footsteps during the events that changed their lives forever.

The four stars featured in Season 2 were mostly unfamiliar with their grandparents’ experiences during wartime. Some of their grandparents were instructed not to discuss what happened during their service; others remained silent, not wanting to revisit a painful past. Season 2 reveals that romance was often ignited in the dramatic circumstances of war, as couples met, fell in love and married in record time. Themes of courage, self-sacrifice and resilience emerge, as ordinary people caught up in the chaos of war continually rose to the challenge and accomplished extraordinary things.


“Toby Jones”

Friday, July 14 at 9 p.m.

Toby Jones at Boulogne Pier in Northern France.
Toby Jones at Boulogne Pier in Northern France. In 1942, Toby’s grandmother, Dorki, along with hundreds of ENSA performers and 5,000 British soldiers, was rescued from these beaches by the Royal Navy as France fell under Nazi Germany’s control.

 Toby Jones uncovers the remarkable World War II stories of his maternal grandparents, Reggie and Dorki, whose love endured despite the trauma and hardships they faced. He learns about his grandmother’s dramatic escape from the Nazis in Northern France and solves the family mystery of how his grandfather was shot while fighting the Japanese.

Toby learns that Reggie joined the Royal Artillery as a gunner after Hitler invaded Poland. A performer, Dorki became part of the Entertainment National Service Association (ENSA) and traveled with a company of actors to Northern France to lift the spirits of British soldiers. On May 10, 1940, the Nazis invaded France. Thousands of British soldiers and hundreds of ENSA performers, including Dorki, were soon evacuated by the Royal Navy, departing as bombs fell.

In February 1942, Reggie left for India, now facing an invasion from the Japanese on the border with Burma. On March 8, 1944, the Indian Army, including Reggie, confronted 100,000 Japanese soldiers. Under siege for months, the 20th Indian Division finally prevailed, inflicting the biggest defeat the Japanese Army had ever suffered.

On the ship returning home, Reggie was explicitly instructed not to talk about his wartime experiences. Reggie and Dorki’s children and grandchildren knew little about their experiences until now.