Thursday Oct 06, 2022
Toby Jones gave insights about his late grandparents' exceptional love story post they were separated as a consequence of global conflict during World War II.
The actor, whose film credits include Dad's Army and Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy, was given a unique opportunity to posthumously research the impact it had on their lives for Channel 4 show My Grandparents’ War.
And Jones, 56, admits getting involved in the project deepened his regret at not asking grandparents Reggie and Doreen Heselwood about their experiences while they were still alive, despite being intrigued by a curious wartime scar on his grandfather's face.
The actor has since discovered Reggie was caught by a bullet while serving with the British Royal Artillery in Burma at the height of World War II, leaving him with a permanent scar and lingering PTSD.
Jones said: 'I knew they did some extraordinary things during the war but we never spoke about this momentous time in their lives.'
But he would maintain contact with his wife - a professional actress - through a weekly series of letters that would continue until his return to the United Kingdom in 1945.
Reflecting on his connection to Doreen, Jones - who made a 10,000 mile trip to India while tracing his grandfather's wartime footsteps - admits she fully supported his decision to become an actor.
He said: 'My grandmother always loved that I’d followed in her footsteps. I was very close to them both.
'We always played cards together, they were great fun and had a terrific sense of humour.'