Council Member Eamonn O'Keeffe to appear on BBC's "Who Do You Think You Are?"

Tuesday 6th August 2019

Eamonn O'Keeffe, Student Member of SAHR Council, will be appearing on an episode of BAFTA-winning celebrity family history show "Who Do You Think You Are?" next week.

Eamonn will speak to Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet about her ancestor, a drummer who enlisted in the First Foot Guards (later the Grenadier Guards) in 1810. The BBC have released a brief clip of their extemporised drumming lesson.

The episode airs at 9pm on Monday 12 August on BBC One.

A first-year DPhil student at the University of Oxford, Eamonn researches British military musicians during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. He has served on SAHR's Council since 2016.

Eamonn reflected: 'Spending a day filming with Kate Winslet at Wellington Barracks in London was a true pleasure. I talked Kate through historical records documenting her great-great-great-grandfather's service as a drummer and explained the wider significance of martial music in both military and civilian life. I also demonstrated some of the duty calls that her ancestor would have played to transmit orders and structure soldiers' daily routines, teaching her to perform several rudiments on the drum. Kate was a fast learner!'

'Public outreach is at the core of SAHR's mission,' Eamonn continued. 'I am thrilled to share my doctoral research with a wider audience on "Who Do You Think You Are?", raising awareness for military history while highlighting the army's profound social and cultural influence.'

Eamonn is not the first member of Council to feature on this hit BBC programme. Author and historian Carole Divall, SAHR's Schools Coordinator, appeared on "Who Do You Think You Are?" in 2016, informing Britain's Got Talent judge Amanda Holden about an ancestor who deserted from Wellington's army for love. Carole's discussion with Amanda can be viewed on YouTube.

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