Emmerdale 1918

The soap’s stars step back to 1918 to mark the cen­te­nary of the end of World War One…

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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.

Soldier­ing on

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

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