6th Aug 1914 · 11th Sep 1915 Podcast Storyline

Lost boys

174 min Play story

The loss of two boys from different classes dominates town affairs

  1. 6th August 1914

    Scene 1 of 6

    1. Boys will be boys

      Kitty disapproves of her brother Sam's friend Jimmy but lets them walk the vicar's dog to earn pocket money

    2. "The Macknades are common"

      Sam and Jimmy decide to enter the vicar's dog Kush into a dog show, planning to spend the prize money on sweets

    3. A dog's chance

      Sam and Jimmy wheedle Kush into the dog competition, boasting about the vicar's dog's attributes

    4. Best in show?

      Sam and Jimmy are delighted when Kush comes third and wins them a shilling in the dog competition: they pose for newspaper photographs

    5. Jimmy fires a gun

      Freddie and his soldier friends show Sam and Jimmy how to fire a revolver but they accidentally wound Kush the dog in the ear

    6. Doctor, Doctor - come quick

      Dr McFee patches up the bullet graze to Kush the dog's ear, but Sam, Jimmy and the soldiers all fear repercussions

  2. 8th August 1914

    Scene 1 of 4

    1. Sam in trouble

      Sam's mother Florrie discovers his part in the dog-shooting that got his sister Kitty's wages docked. Sam reveals their brother Adam has a mysterious nest egg

    2. Adam's secret nest-egg

      Adam refuses to tell Sam where his hidden ten-shilling note came from

    3. The Sunday School Picnic

      Florrie has forbidden Sam from having cake at the picnic. Adam expects double helpings. But Ralph and young Jessie have other ideas.

    4. A discovery, an accident, a disappearance

      Sulking up a tree, Adam spies Ralph and Isabel kissing, falls and breaks his leg. The picnic ends but Sam and Jimmy are missing

  3. 11th August 1914

    Scene 1 of 5

    1. Mystery of the missing boys

      With resources needed elsewhere, the four-day search for Sam and Jimmy draws to a close, but Sgt Harris remains hopeful

    2. Adam's regrets

      Adam tells Sgt Harris that he and Sam argued over whether Sam could swim the Channel, shortly before Sam disappeared

    3. Isabel's anguish

      Isabel tells Sgt Harris what happened at the picnic but omits that she and Ralph were kissing

    4. Last sight of the boys

      Local mystic Mrs Clout claims to have seen the boys at the end of the pier - or were they ghosts, the boys already drowned?

    5. A tough decision

      Forrester decides that the search for the boys must be scaled back and asks Harris to tell the Wilson family

  4. 12th August 1914

    Scene 1 of 2

    1. Freddie feels guilty

      Victor tries to distract Freddie from guilty thoughts of Jimmy's disappearance with a horse race, but is injured in a tumble

    2. A beating in the street

      Victor and Freddie step in to stop Bill Macknade beating up Ralph in the street

  5. 13th August 1914

    Scene 1 of 4

    1. A mother's fears

      Suggestions by a newspaper and the local mystic that Sam and Jimmy are dead cause Sam's family distress, as reconnaissance planes fly overhead

    2. The Reverend comes calling

      Florrie tries to dissuade Ralph from coming into her home to commiserate

    3. Florrie's feelings break through

      Ralph's suggestion of a vigil for the missing boys convinces Florrie he, too, has given up hope of finding them.

    4. Sympathy between women

      Florrie reveals her own feelings of guilt to Ralph's wife Dorothea, who proves a surprisingly sympathetic ear

  6. 14th August 1914

    Scene 1 of 2

    1. Home truths

      Florrie shares her darkest fears over Sam's disappearance with Kitty, but Kitty hedges when her mother asks if Dieter has registered as a German

    2. Crunch time at the train station

      Kitty tells Dieter she can't leave her mother to go to London with him, so Dieter resolves to stay. Kitty persuades her father to get some rest

  7. 15th August 1914

    Scene 1 of 4

    1. The first troops depart

      The Graham family gather to see Freddie off: Isabel tries to help Ralph ease Florrie's mind, and suggests her mother hires Esme Macknade as a maid

    2. A mother's broken heart

      Isabel discusses the vigil with Sam's parents: not knowing her son's fate is tearing Florrie apart, but Albert is enthused by the return of a prize pigeon

    3. A sister's promise

      Freddie makes Isabel promise not to blame herself for the missing boys, and in return makes his mother hire Esme Macknade

    4. The vigil

      In his sermon at the vigil, Ralph offers up words of comfort for the families of the missing boys and those whose sons are off to war

      Characters

  8. 18th August 1914

    Scene 1 of 2

    1. Inspiration strikes Hilary

      Beset by Bill Macknade and Archie's complaints of empty guesthouses, Hilary senses a way of turning bad news to good

    2. Hilary takes charge of the news

      Hilary persuades Parsons to write about the town's search for the lost boys rather than an "unpatriotic" attack on the council

      Characters

  9. 20th August 1914

    Scene 1 of 1

    1. Comforting the afflicted

      Florrie, still bereft at Sam's loss, finds it in her heart to donate to the Belgians: Ralph, meanwhile, seems swamped

  10. 21st August 1914

    Scene 1 of 5

    1. Family secrets discovered

      As Albert and Florrie discuss Sam, he loses a button - and finds a letter

    2. The Wilsons confront Kitty

      The letter Kitty concealed is from Dieter, asking Albert for her hand. Kitty lies to her parents, telling them that Dieter is in a labour camp. Florie and Albert turn their anger with Kitty on each other

    3. Poor, guilty Adam

      Adam is punishing himself for Sam's disappearance, while Florrie pleads for news from the police

    4. Belgian behind bars

      A boy's hat has been found, but before Florrie can examine it, Dorothea demands to see the arrested refugee

    5. Mothers at odds

      Alice Macknade blames Adam for Jimmy's disappearance: Florrie ripostes by blaming Jimmy. They almost come to blows

  11. 22nd August 1914

    Scene 1 of 1

    1. An eclipse draws the crowds

      Jessie shirks her charitable duties to talk to Adam, whose stiff upper lip is weakening: truths about Victor, Kitty, Ralph and Isabel threaten to emerge

  12. 26th August 1914

    Scene 1 of 6

    1. Another discovery

      Jessie and Adam's friendship grows: Forrester shows Florrie a boy's shoe that has been handed in

    2. Young detectives

      Jessie and Adam stake out the rumoured former German consulate and spy a mysterious figure

    3. Adam's secret

      Adam tells Jessie that he delivered a parcel for the mysterious man - 'Mr. Boot' - a week before war broke out

    4. Jessie and Adam form a plan

      'Mr Boot' gives money to a shabby stranger - 'Laces'. Adam and Jessie follow him to the Harbour

    5. An investigation interrupted

      Jessie and Adam watch 'Laces', until Mickey Macknade arrives spoiling for a fight

    6. Laid out cold

      Adam confesses his part in the fight to Albert and mentions his suspicions about the German consul: he feels guilty about the ten-bob transaction

  13. 29th August 1914

    Scene 1 of 1

    1. Albert examines the shoe

      Albert does not recognise the shoe, and tells Forrester of his feelings about his lost son.

  14. 1st September 1914

    Scene 1 of 2

    1. Albert warns Florrie

      Two boys have been reported found at a London railway station: Albert manages Florrie' hopes

    2. Florrie confronts Kitty

      Florrie has realised the truth of Kitty's pregnancy and worries about the future, but maternal feelings triumph

  15. 2nd September 1914

    Scene 1 of 1

    1. An awkward lunch

      As much as Isabel tries, she and Ralph are powerless to resist the attraction between them over a fraught lunch

  16. 3rd September 1914

    Scene 1 of 1

    1. Confidences in the kitchen

      Kitty and Marieke compare notes on men and Germans, until Dorothea interrupts

  17. 10th September 1914

    Scene 1 of 2

    1. A shocking discovery in the graveyard

      Kitty is utterly thrown when Adam and Jessie show her a dead baby abandoned in the graveyard

    2. Norman investigates

      Seemingly blase about the baby, Adam and Jessie leave Kitty in the vicarage, while the vicar blesses the dead baby

  18. 11th September 1914

    Scene 1 of 1

    1. A fight, a flight

      The brawl between Macknade and Stan forces Dieter from his hiding place in a boat

  19. 15th September 1914

    Scene 1 of 2

    1. A memorial service on the Leas

      Gabriel breaks down, Sylvia steps up, and the Wilsons miss Dieter and Sam

    2. More bodies found

      Florrie reprimands Jack for talking to Joe Macknade during the service: but Joe told him two bodies were washed up, both adults, both English - not Sam, Jimmy or Dieter

  20. 19th September 1914

    Scene 1 of 1

    1. News of a death

      Florrie tells Kitty one of the drowned men was Dieter, although Jack previously said the man was English

  21. 22nd September 1914

    Scene 1 of 1

    1. Albert confronts Florrie

      A disgusted Albert confronts Florrie over lying about Dieter's death

  22. 29th September 1914

    Scene 1 of 2

    1. Partners in loss

      Knowing what it is to lose a son, Florrie offers the distraught Gabriel a helping hand to get home

    2. Gabriel offers hospitality

      There is much cross-class embarrassment as Gabriel introduces Florrie to Isabel and Esme

  23. 30th September 1914

    Scene 1 of 2

    1. Esme clings to hope

      Alice hopes that her daughter's experience working for the Grahams will give her a better life

    2. Florrie apologises

      Alice invites Florrie to the cinema and we learn Kitty is to be married

  24. 3rd October 1914

    Scene 1 of 1

    1. A clifftop encounter

      Alice reveals her dreams of a happy home, and that she believes Jimmy is dead: Florrie can't stop hoping Sam is alive

  25. 29th December 1914

    Scene 1 of 3

    1. A revelation amid recruitment

      As the men explain the compulsion to join up, Mickey reveals a boy's body has been found in a pit

    2. A child's body found

      Sergeant Harris wants to do things by the book but Alice - and the whole town - want to know if the body is Jimmy's

    3. The family waits

      Alice needs to see the body that might be Jimmy's: Joe thinks it's best she doesn't. Both of them must wait until it is identified

  26. 30th December 1914

    Scene 1 of 3

    1. Macknades united

      Esme and Alice must rebuild their relationship after separation, and learn to grieve for Jimmy

    2. Isabel fetches Esme

      Esme thinks she will be sacked: Isabel invites her to come and drive ambulances in Belgium

    3. A rare moment of tact

      In a rare moment prioritising feeling over decorum, Sylvia conspires to forgive Esme's outburst

  27. 31st December 1914

    Scene 1 of 4

    1. An unhappy New Year

      Missing Kitty terribly, Florrie is also thinking of Sam, and what it means that he is still missing while Jimmy's body has been found

    2. The stroke of midnight

      Welcoming what Albert calls "the year everything comes right", Florrie cheers a little

    3. A resolution

      Albert fears that the hope Sam is alive is making things worse for Florrie - wasting her

    4. New year, new reconciliations

      Homesick Adam returns from the scouts, and Kitty too comes back: she and Florrie find a middle ground to agreement

  28. 8th January 1915

    Scene 1 of 3

    1. Jimmy's funeral

      Characters

    2. Alice forgives Ralph

      Isabel dressed the church for Jimmy, and although Alice seems at peace, she is still moved to tears

    3. Two mothers commiserate

      Jimmy's funeral is as hard for Florrie - whose child Sam is still missing - as it is for Alice but they are bonded by tragedy

  29. 10th September 1915

    Scene 1 of 1

    1. A Sympathetic Sorority

      Jessie attempts to comfort an upset Maggie, who pretends that her despondency has been brought on by memories of her dead brother Jimmy. In an effort to cheer her up, Jessie offers to take Maggie with her to the theatre to see Miss Layton prepare a new act.

  30. 11th September 1915

    Scene 1 of 1

    1. Crossed Channels

      Clemmie begins her séance, going into a trance and ‘communicating’ with the spirits. However, Florrie’s presence leads Clemmie to ‘channel’ Sam, who seems scared and apologises to Florrie for the incident with Kush (the dog). Florrie becomes very affected by this interaction.

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