Who Do You Think You Are? – Jonnie Peacock

Jonnie Peacock
Picture Shows: Jonnie Peacock at Burscough FC, Lancashire. Image Credit: BBC/Wall to Wall Media Ltd/Stephen Perry.

The final episode in the series follows the Paralympian investigating his family roots.

Jonnie Peacock first follows up his maternal grandfather, John Roberts, who was such a good footballer that as a child he was offered a trial at Leeds, but his father Edward turned the offer down. Roberts was offered another trial in his 20s, but he never went professional. Edward however, then becomes the focus, as it was revealed that he died of anthrax while working as a docker in Liverpool, at a time when there was no sick leave or holidays at all.

Peacock then looks into the father’s side of the line, where one of the members of the family, 3 x great grandmother Millicent Voss, was keen for her family name to continue down her generations. Peacock then discovers that Millicent’s mother, Louise, had a bad reputation; drinking, fornicating, playing music in the late hours, and having four illegitimate children including Millicent. But Louise did also suffer working in an agricultural gang, which was deemed by people at the time as being white slavery.

The most interesting person to crop up in this episode to me is Edward Roberts, mainly because, like Peacock, he too caught a disease of the blood, but while Peacock survived it, Roberts did not, mainly because he was too busy working to get medicinal treatment in time. It is partly for this reason that this episode is not for the squeamish, as you do see photos of the symptoms that anthrax patients go through.

The series overall has been alright. It hasn’t been the greatest series by any stretch, but it has had its moments.

Who Do You Think You Are? is on BBC iPlayer.