FIONA Bruce and the BBC Antiques Roadshow crew filmed a special episode at Coventry Cathedral reflecting on the aftermath of the Second World War.
World War II – The Aftermath, Antiques Roadshow was broadcast on Sunday May 2 at 7pm, and is now available to watch on BBC iPlayer – see here https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000vt5s.
The TV presenter and the team heard moving stories about the impact of the conflict and the desire to rebuild and reconcile after years of suffering including powerful testimony of a woman who witnessed the Coventry Blitz first-hand as a child.
Coventry Cathedral was the only English cathedral lost during Nazi bombing action during the war and the programme explored how this ruin became a symbol of hope and reconciliation.
Other artefacts discussed included a ballgown and a set of handmade playing cards made by a Prisoner of War in the Far East who was friends with cartoonist Ronald Searle, best known for St Trinian’s and Molesworth.
Also featured was a scrapbook compiled by a British woman who worked in post-war Berlin, a fragile teacup that survived the bombing of the German city of Dresden and two wartime souvenirs – a Luftwaffe pilot’s compass and an altimeter from an RAF plane – offer contrasting stories from both sides of the conflict.
The episode also features a newly discovered set of letters from a German prisoner of war to a British Land Girl documenting her brief romance. The soldier went on to become one of Britain’s best known footballers after the war – Bert Trautmann. A skilled goalkeeper, Trautmann won the FA Cup with Manchester City and had the distinction of holding an Iron Cross, Germany’s highest military honour, and an honorary OBE, awarded for his contribution to Anglo-German relations.