What is Britain's Secret War Babies?

Channel 4 documentary Britain's Secret War Babies airs on 17 August and follows the true stories of two children of African-American GIs from the Second World War and British mothers

Mary Phillips (left) holds a photo of her father, with Sean Fletcher (right), on Britain's Secret War Babies
Published: August 11, 2022 at 9:00 am
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What is Britain’s Secret War Babies?

Britain’s Secret War Babies is a new one-off documentary from Channel 4 following two children born to African-American GIs and British women during the Second World War as they trace their family history.

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When is Britain’s Secret War Babies on TV?

Britain’s Secret War Babies airs on Channel 4 at 9pm on Wednesday 17 August.

What is Britain’s Secret War Babies about?

Britain’s Secret War Babies features two people, Mary and John, both of whom were born illegitimately to white British mothers and African-American GIs during the Second World War. They have never met their fathers and know little about that side of their family. As part of the first significant generation to be born black and British in the years before the Windrush brought Caribbean immigrants to Britain, they were subject to name-calling and prejudice.

With the help of Good Morning Britain and Countryfile presenter Sean Fletcher, the two use DNA testing and family history research to unravel the secrets and lies surrounding their births. Sean Fletcher also explores top secret documents revealing the anxiety of the UK government about the arrival of African-American GIs and the 2000 children born as a result of their time in Britain. The programme ends on an emotional note as Mary and John are reunited with their American families.

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Rosemary Collins is the features editor for Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine

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