The soap’s stars step back to 1918 to mark the centenary of the end of World War One…
Mark Charnock, Emmerdale’s Marlon Dingle, is just one of the soap’s stars investigating the impact of World War One on those who lived in the Yorkshire village of Esholt, on which the series is based. The descendants of those whose stories are featured will gather to see their relatives commemorated in a special at Emmerdale Memorial Hall.
The Emmerdale cast, including Zoe Henry, Charlotte Bellamy and Natalie J Robb, turn back the clock 100 years to celebrate the lives of World War One heroes in this new Who Do
You Think You Are-style series.
The soap’s based on the real Yorkshire village of Esholt, where the show’s outdoor scenes were filmed from 1976 to 1999. For this six-part series, Emmerdale stars look into the difficulties faced by the Esholt residents during World War One, from land girls to frontline vets and Army chaplains.
This week’s first episode sees Mark Charnock, better known as The Woolpack chef Marlon Dingle, set off on the trail of Esholt lad Fred Brocklehurst, a frontline battalion cook – and he soon gets a glimpse of Fred’s life by making corned-beef stew in a fake trench.
‘It’s chucking it down, you’ve got explosions, dead bodies, rats, bullets and the possibility of being blown up, and you’re concentrating on getting beef in the pot. It’s crazy!’ says Mark.
‘This has blown my mind. You get a sense of camp conditions, but also that this guy was risking his life to give food to his mates.’
Mark discovers Fred originally signed up as an infantryman, but became a chef with no experience when the cook died in battle.
He also learns Fred was court martialled for stealing coal to light a fire for his battalion. But did he face the firing squad?
The show reveals his fate.
‘Dare I say that there’s a Dingle-ness about Fred,’ explains Mark. ‘Knowing what he went through has made me appreciate the individual in war.
It matters that we remember them.’
Yorkshire hero… Mark looks back onthe story of a World War One chef
Company cook... Mark lives the life of a battalion chef
Country girl... Natalie joins Esholt’s Women’s Land Army