It's All In The Mind: The Life And Legacy Of Larry Stephens

By Julie Warren

The remarkable story of a WWII Commando who transformed British comedy.

Friday, 23 June 2017

My family and other flapdoodles

Programmes like Who Do You Think You Are? are fascinating but it's not just celebrities who have interesting family backgrounds; in my experience of family history research, everyone has a noteworthy character or two among their ancestors or long-hidden secrets waiting to be uncovered. I really enjoy delving into the past (which is why I'm offering family history research as a couple of the rewards for supporting Glarnies, Green Berets & Goons!). Among the many family trees I've compiled I've discovered a world-famous violinist, a prebendary of Lichfield Cathedral and a notorious horse-burker.

It was while researching my own family background that I first became interested in Larry's story. I'd grown up knowing he'd written for the Goon Show and was told by various family members that he was a Chindit during the war (he wasn't - he was a Commando!) and I wanted to find out more. I've since traced the Stephens family back as far as Larry's 8 x great-grandfather (my 9 x great), Walter Steven, who was born in West Bromwich c. 1603 and leased a tenement and 12 acres of land there.

Larry himself put together a family tree showing how Peter Sellers was related to the Goon Show's Bluebottle and Henry Crun! Here are some little sections of it:

 

And the winner is...

Thanks to all of you who entered the competition to win a copy of Max Geldray's autobiography. The Personal Narrative script shows Max should have said, "I’m walking backwards for Christmas across the Irish Sea."

However, having consulted some actual Dutch people, 'terug' apparently translates as 'back' rather than 'backwards' so I took both as being right answers.

I asked the man who delivered my groceries this morning to pick a winner and the name he drew from the hat was

Neil McCowlen

Congratulations Neil! I'll be in touch.

Back to project synopsis

Top rewards

£25  + shipping
181 pledges

Hardback

1st edition hardback, plus ebook edition and your name in the back of the book.
Choose this reward
£35  + shipping
48 pledges

Collectable

Signed 1st edition hardback, ebook edition and your name in the back of the book.
Choose this reward