A new week starts with another programme choice from ATV Today editor Doug Lambert as we join the History channel for November 12th.
One to Watch: WW2 Treasure Hunters, 9pm, HISTORY channel
In the second series of the hit History channel show, WW2 Treasure Hunters, Madness frontman Suggs and renowned WW2 detectorist Stephen Taylor team up to unearth breathtaking treasures from UK and European military sites.
The seven-part series WW2 Treasure Hunters will premiere tonight with a WWI special commemorating the 100th year of the Armistice.
The duo dig deep into each location to tell the human stories of war, some of their finds include a Spitfire shot down in Belgium, the remains of a Fairey Battle Bomber plane in northern France and personal artefacts such as weapons, lucky mascots and condom tins.
The findings are only half the story however. In episode two, Suggs discovers the remains of a Boulton Paul Defiant fighter plane from the 1941 Hull Blitz. He makes the staggering discovery that 95% of Hull’s houses were hit during the Blitz and that the government made the decision to keep these reports secret in order to sustain morale during the precarious early years of WW2.
The series takes on a more human side with Suggs and Stephen attempting to re-unite the treasures with the original owners or their relatives. Their efforts make for heart-warming television, as Stephen takes the 93-year-old daughter of the Boulton Paul Defiant pilot to the exact spot he died two days after D Day.
The series starts with a WW1 Special to commemorate the 100th year anniversary of the Armistice and sees Suggs and Stephen head to Winchester where they excavate Morn Hill – Britain’s biggest military camp. They make a promising start by finding a 100-year-old dog tag which they duly return to the British soldier’s great-niece.
The third episode explores Weeden Bec – the remarkable story of the huge, top secret arms supply depot which served as the foundation of Britain’s military might and supplier of Field Marshall Montgomery’s famous 8th Army in North Africa.
The pair cross the border to Belgium in episode four where they discover the remains of a Mark IX Spitfire including the plane’s radio, cannon and the pilot’s lucky crow mascot. Suggs discovers the pilot was from the Czech Republic whose soldiers, known for their fierce and skilled nature, joined forces with the RAF to fight the Nazis.
The fifth episode sees the duo head to Dunkirk to discover the story of the RAF Fairey Battle bomber that was shot down after the battle. With no reason or theory behind the plane’s downing previously advanced, they uncover the Fairey Battle’s fate – Polish pilots flying in a French plane had shot down the bomber after mistaking the British crew for Germans.
In episode six the chaps head east to Little Staunton Pathfinders RAF Airbase where they hit upon a big find including Mosquito planes, flare bombs, the remains of a bomb carrier and accompanying loading bay. Suggs also hears about Oboe, the revolutionary British navigation technology of the time, which enabled Pathfinder pilots to fly at night and aim with enhanced accuracy.
In the final episode (seven), Uncle Sam makes an appearance in episode six as the boys return to British shores. Suggs and Stephen head to north Devon where they discover evidence of American troops’ training including the untouched rooms where they were billeted. They also find the personal items belonging to Private Sylvester Johnson, one of the first black soldiers to fight in the US Army.
With the help of archaeologists, metal detectorists and their instincts, the series unearths truly breathtaking finds and what’s more, tells the untold human stories that get to the heart of the most devastating wars in human history.
WW2 detectorist Stephen Taylor with host Suggs.