Franklin/Murgatroyd Heir Hunters


Franklin/Murgatroyd

Series following the work of probate researchers. The team find themselves in a frustrating search for heirs on a huge family tree and spend days trying to track them down.


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Transcript


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June Franklin appeared to live a quiet,

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simple life in her garden flat in London.

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But for the Heir Hunters, the pressure is on to solve her case.

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Yet again, no reply.

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I'm starting to run out of time now, so on to the next one.

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And the investigation into another estate starts with

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seaside stories on the scenic Isle of Wight.

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She was like a racing driver.

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My husband would see her coming down the road and he used to say,

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"Hold tight, here comes Hazel!" SHE LAUGHS

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It's all part of an heir hunter's daily challenge.

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Coming up: the hidden dangers faced by battleship dock workers.

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HMS Vanguard just suddenly exploded and killed

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her entire crew of 804 men.

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And we uncover a story of heroic firefighting in the Blitz.

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Because everything was in such chaos to begin with,

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just went from fire to fire.

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There were crews who left on 7th September, in the evening,

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and never went back for five days.

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Plus, we'll be giving you details of the hundreds of thousands

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of pounds worth of estates that are still to be claimed.

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Could the heir hunters be knocking at your door?

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In the London offices of heir hunting company

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Fraser & Fraser, manager Mike Pow and the team,

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are hard at work on the case of June Franklin.

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They started work on it six months ago,

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but it's now become an urgent priority.

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When it first came to us, this case, we didn't believe

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it had a huge amount of value.

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However, after about six months, some new information has come to light

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which looks like the estate will probably be in the region

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of about £50,000, so we've picked the file up again, had another look,

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and have now discovered that she may have a huge amount of

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aunties and uncles, and it's going to be a lot of work

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for us to sort this one out.

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June Isabel Franklin lived in a basement flat in this

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house in Kensington, London, for over 30 years.

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Although very little is known of her, and there are

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no surviving photographs, neighbour Stephen Leveredge was a friend.

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I first met June about a month after I moved in here.

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Straight away, she struck me as a person that liked to be

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on her own and very private.

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Over the years, Stephen got to know June a little.

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I think she was a well-read person, because of the way she spoke.

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And when she came up here for a cup of tea, which was

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very, very seldom, she would speak about watercolours

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and she'd speak about other parts of the world.

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And it seems June took great pleasure from the birds,

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who'd visit her garden.

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My bedroom being at the back, every morning I'd look out,

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the birds would be perched on the tree, waiting for June to come out.

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That reassured you that she was OK.

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But one morning, Stephen noticed that June hadn't

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been out to feed the birds.

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Two days later, still hadn't seen any birds.

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Hmm. Something strange.

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So, I went down and knocked on the door. No answer.

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And I thought, something... One had a feeling something was wrong.

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And so I called the police and then they came out and said,

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"Well, I'm very, very sorry, but the lady inside has passed away."

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I still look out of my window, but you don't see any birds,

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you don't see any squirrels. They're gone.

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They've gone with her! HE LAUGHS

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No, she was a very, very nice lady.

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And missed, especially by myself.

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June died on 11th December 2010, aged 91,

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with no known family, and without leaving a will.

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So it's up to Mike and the team,

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to track down heirs to her estimated £50,000 estate.

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Since first starting work on the case six months ago,

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they've made some progress with the tree.

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At the moment, this is where we have the deceased,

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who was never married and didn't have any children.

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First, we looked at the near kin and found a sister, Joyce,

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who also died a spinster.

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And, as you can see, we then had to go back, on the

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mother and father's side of the family,

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the mother's being this side, and she's got about nine siblings.

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With so many aunts and uncles, and any descendants of

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theirs to trace, research Joe has got his work cut out.

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I'm looking at the paternal side of the tree at the minute, which is

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made up of nine stems, nine family members we're currently looking at.

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Sharon's looking at the maternal side of which there is ten stems,

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ten family members to look at.

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So, it's almost 20 family members overall we've had to look into.

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And I'm currently focusing on one of the family members

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on the paternal side, at the minute.

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The team have established that June's father was

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Arthur John Franklin, one of ten children

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born to Frederick Franklin and Grace Harding.

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It's a lot of work,

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and Mike's approach so far has been to divide and conquer.

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Because we've quite a few people on it, it makes it a little bit easier.

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Whereas if only people were doing it, it'd be a lot more difficult.

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While Joe carries on research in one of June's aunts,

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Mike follows up on a potential heir.

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Paternal cousin once removed of a deceased.

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However, whether she has any,

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or he has any knowledge of the deceased, is going to be remote,

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as the link to him was born in 1888.

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He was born in 1952,

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so it's very, very remote that is going to know anything

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about his great aunties and uncles, as the family stretches back so far.

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Don't think anyone's at home today.

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Mike has had no luck contacting that potential heir.

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But researcher Isha has managed to trace a key family member

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on June's father's side, one of his sisters, Grace Mary Franklin.

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She was born in Hastings and she's living in Cheshire,

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which is nowhere near Hastings, but luckily, she was living

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with her mum, so I was able to pick that one out.

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Otherwise, I would probably have skipped past it.

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Grace was June's aunt, who died in 1945.

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However, Isha has managed to trace one of her descendants.

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I've got a phone number for one of Grace's grandchildren,

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but whether or not they'll know anything, it's hard to tell.

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Mike wastes no time in following up Isha's lead,

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And immediately tries to contact this grandchild,

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who would be June's first cousin once removed, and a potential heir.

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But it seems he's not in luck.

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My name's Michael Pow. No, nothing to worry about.

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We're a company who specialises in tracing missing heirs

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and beneficiaries. Thank you very much for your time.

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# No-one's at home to-day! #

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What I'll do, is I'll send out a letter

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to them tonight, in the post,

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and seeing how we are regarding travellers, I'll get someone to

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go around there tomorrow, to see if

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they can make contact with her that way.

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Although Mike has had no looking contacting potential heirs

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so far today, all is not lost. He's got one more to try -

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another first cousin, once removed, on June's father's side.

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Good afternoon.

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I'm trying to locate the son of a Hazel Phyllis Franklin

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and an Edward Byrne.

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If you are this person, please could you give me a call?

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Once again, Mike asked to leave a message explaining who

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he's trying to get hold of, and the connection to June.

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Thank you very much for your time. So, yeah,

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everyone's out in the weather today, by the looks of it.

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Despite all the team's hard work,

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by late afternoon they're still a long way from solving the case.

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After today, we've had a moderately successful day in the fact

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that we've found some beneficiaries.

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However, we haven't been able to get in contact with them.

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And I've managed to leave a few messages on phone numbers,

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but no-one's rung back, as of yet.

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So, we've sent them letters, and hopefully, we'll get someone

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to see them tomorrow. But they are all cousins once removed

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of the deceased. I'd be very, very surprised if there

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are any cousins living, because all the uncles and aunties deceased,

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were born in the mid-to-late 1800s.

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The family is very, very old,

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and we're coming down a lot of generations

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before a living heir is found.

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So, hopefully, somebody will be able to get onto them tomorrow,

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and then we can take it from there.

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And as the search continues, there's more frustration out on the road.

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There's no reply at the address,

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and I can't confirm that she lives there, so I'm going to ring

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the office now and see if they can do a little bit of research.

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Heir Hunters take on cases from a number of different sources.

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Sometimes, a concerned neighbour or friend of someone who's died,

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seemingly without leaving a will and with no known family,

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contacts the team.

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This is known as a private referral.

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In November 2013, Daniel Curran, boss of London-based firm,

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Finders, was alerted to the case of Hazel Murgatroyd.

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Although the case was referred to us privately,

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we can't always be sure that any particular personal company

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hasn't referred the case to several of our competitors, as well.

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So, where there is any doubt, we'll always

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try and complete the research as if it were competitive.

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Although this meant the team needed to work on the case as

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a matter of urgency,

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there was still an important first step that they couldn't ignore.

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Before we start the case, it's always good to get an approximate

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idea of the value of the estate so we can judge the level of re-sources and

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the level of investment, if we're going to fund

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the investigation ourselves.

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It's not always possible, so sometimes we just have to

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speculate and hope that the estate is worthwhile in value, in the end.

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Former civil servant, Hazel Roseberry Murgatroyd,

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was born in Kent, in 1941,

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and retired to this bungalow on the picturesque Isle of Wight.

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Gloria Halliwell and her husband, Ken, were neighbours.

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We'd been in on the island for about two months, and we came

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face-to-face with Hazel in Newport,

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and my husband, Ken, introduced us.

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The initial meeting had seemed like a promising introduction

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to their new neighbour.

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She was quite a tall lady,

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and I found her talkative for the few minutes that we were together.

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But, then, there was no acknowledgement after that.

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She seemed to be a very private person.

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But it appears Hazel did have at least one passion,

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which her neighbours couldn't help but notice.

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Hazel had a car, she had her own personal number plate.

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She was like a racing driver.

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My husband would see her coming down the road, and he used to say,

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"Hold tight. Here comes Hazel!"

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SHE LAUGHS

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She used to be dressed in the same things, summer or winter.

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The only thing that changed, in the summer,

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she used to bring out this white hat.

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And she would put that on.

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But, other than that, she was always dressed as though it was really cold.

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Gloria and her husband knew Hazel for over 12 years.

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Although independent,

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she did sometimes asked her neighbours for a little help.

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Hazel gave me the shopping list, but it was all sweet stuff,

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some very soft. Nothing substantial.

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And we did have a laugh, because on the list was fun sized bananas.

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At the time of Hazel's death, on 27th June 2012,

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her neighbours knew no more about her life or any potential family.

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It was now up to Daniel and the team

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to piece together the puzzle of Hazel's estate.

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From Land Registry records, they'd already been able to

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establish that Hazel had owned her own home.

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They were also able to establish that she never married,

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or had any children.

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And, having done that, the hunt was on for any brothers

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and sisters she might have had.

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Using the information on Hazel's birth certificate,

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the heir hunters were able to trace her parents' marriage.

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We found out that Hazel's parents married quite some time

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before her birth, about nine years before her birth.

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Sometimes, when we find the marriage of the parents a number of years

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before the birth of the deceased, a gap, such as in Hazel's case,

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a gap of nine years, might imply that there are further siblings to Hazel.

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However, in this case, we found out,

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and confirmed later on with relatives,

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that Hazel was referred to as "a blessing", in that her parents had

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virtually given up the prospect of having children when Hazel was born.

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Morris Arthur Murgatroyd married Maud Hannah Wright,

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in September 1932.

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And Hazel was born in April 1941, in the midst of World War II.

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At the time, her father Morris, was very involved in the home front.

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The Auxiliary Fire Service, or AFS, was first formed in 1938,

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as part of Britain's civil air defence.

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Initially, recruits like Morris were part-time, unpaid volunteers,

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and their role was to supplement the work of local professional

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fire brigades.

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People came from all walks of life and all classes.

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You got bakers, librarians, musicians, people in showbiz,

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people who'd been to public school. A huge mix.

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Two days before the Second World War was declared, 89,000 men

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and 6,000 women were mobilised across the country for

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full-time service in the AFS.

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But during the first few months of the war,

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known as the phoney war, because nothing seemed to be happening,

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all this preparation seemed worse than pointless.

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The auxiliary Fire service were very unpopular with the public.

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They became a target, really, I suppose, for people's frustration.

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Particularly after Dunkirk, when morale was quite low,

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they were actually attacked in the street very often.

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They had tomatoes and things thrown at them.

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But for Morris and other recent recruits,

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all that was about to change.

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On 7th September 1940, of course, almost a year to the day

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after the outbreak of war, the London Blitz began.

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It was a very sunny September afternoon,

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and about 4.30, an armada of planes made its way up the Thames.

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They began bombing on both sides of the river, the docks,

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warehouses, factories, and at one stage,

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all along the Thames, from Beckton to Tower Bridge, was on fire.

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Famously, a fire watcher on the roof of St Paul's Cathedral said

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at one stage, "It must be the end of the world."

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The intensive bombing of London by the German Luftwaffe

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continued for eight months.

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It was a determined effort to destroy the capital

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and demoralise Britain to the point of surrender.

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The bombing always came in two waves.

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The first would be mostly incendiaries, which would set

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light to things and, also, have the emergency services out working.

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These huge fires also would light up key targets

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for them to come back later, when they dropped their high explosives

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among those working outside,

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which, again, accounts for the deaths of so many auxiliary firemen.

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During the first 22 nights of London air raids,

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Morris and his fellow firefighters fought nearly 10,000 fires,

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and their heroism was never in question again.

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Hazel would have been barely a month old while her father

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was risking his life.

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Once the Blitz began, as a driver,

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he would have been out almost every night, as were most of them,

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fighting fires in the Docklands, or wherever he was directed to go.

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He would have been working long hours.

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I mean, on that first night, 7th September,

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some of them worked for 18 hours without food or sleep.

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He would have been wet through by the time he came back,

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and remember, it was through the autumn, winter and spring,

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which was very cold nights.

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Very difficult to dry their uniforms, they only had one uniform,

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so often, you were going out the next night in a damp uniform,

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and people became ill.

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They weren't the healthiest of people.

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Even so, Hazel's father and his fellow firemen would have had

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to have had to have extraordinary reserves of stamina.

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Because everything was in such chaos to begin with,

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just went from fire to fire.

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And there's certainly one that I know of,

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that left on 7th September,

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in the evening, into the city,

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and never went back for five days.

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They slept on the engines.

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Because, of course, the fires that were started on the first night,

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were more or less under control but you still had a damping down

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and so on, and while you were doing that, they came back the next night,

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and the next and the next.

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So you just went from one thing to another, grabbing

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sleep and food were you could.

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The Blitz ended in May 1941,

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but the AFS continued to fire fight alongside their regular

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colleagues throughout the remainder of the war,

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and into peace time.

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But as the fire service became nationalised

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and fully professional, the AFS was gradually phased out,

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until, in 1968, it was officially disbanded.

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What is impressive to me today, is the sense of responsibility

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they had to their community and, especially, to their comrades.

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For me, what I think is so incredible about the Auxiliary Fire Service

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is the fact that it's ordinary people doing an extraordinary job.

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Morris survived the war and Hazel proved

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to be her parents' only child.

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This meant the team had to expand their search

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to look for possible aunts and uncles.

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We established that Hazel's mother's maiden name was right,

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which is a very common name.

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So our initial focus moved to the Murgatroyd family, being less common.

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Hazel's father, Morris, died in 1966.

0:18:390:18:43

But it was his 1903 birth date, that give the heir hunters

0:18:430:18:46

the boost they needed to unlock his side of the family.

0:18:460:18:50

This, luckily, gives us access to the 1911 census,

0:18:500:18:53

where he could be mentioned as a seven or eight-year-old boy.

0:18:530:18:58

We found that Hazel's paternal grandparents had several children,

0:18:580:19:04

but they were young enough to have further children after

0:19:040:19:07

the 1911 census.

0:19:070:19:09

The team discovered that, in fact, Hazel's grandparents

0:19:090:19:13

had a total of 10 children, including her father, Maurice.

0:19:130:19:16

They got to work on all nine branches of the family tree,

0:19:160:19:19

and came across an early stumbling block.

0:19:190:19:22

One of the deceased paternal aunts

0:19:230:19:25

was named Elina or Elma May Murgatroyd.

0:19:250:19:28

And she presented some difficulties

0:19:280:19:32

in that we couldn't find any obvious marriage or death record for her.

0:19:320:19:37

We were suspecting she may have emigrated.

0:19:390:19:42

Eventually, it transpired that she married at age 90,

0:19:420:19:44

which is very unusual.

0:19:440:19:46

So, having used her husband's surname, we then were

0:19:460:19:50

able to establish her death,

0:19:500:19:52

and the fact that that branch of the family died out.

0:19:520:19:56

And research into one of Morris's sisters yielded

0:19:560:19:59

some particularly useful results.

0:19:590:20:01

The stem of Yvonne Murgatroyd was quite a key one for us,

0:20:010:20:05

in that she was the one that married Mr Rigg that led us to her son,

0:20:050:20:10

Malcolm, who we were able to compere and contrast our family trees with

0:20:100:20:15

the confirm that we'd found all the correct family and the correct heirs.

0:20:150:20:20

Hazel's cousin Malcolm is a keen genealogist,

0:20:200:20:23

who has carried out his own extensive research.

0:20:230:20:27

I started being interested in family history

0:20:270:20:31

when I had a long talk with my grandmother, when I was about 20.

0:20:310:20:36

And I recorded everything on paper.

0:20:360:20:39

I knew about my mother's family,

0:20:390:20:42

I also knew, from my father

0:20:420:20:45

and my paternal grandmother, about his family.

0:20:450:20:49

For heir hunter Daniel, Malcolm was a welcome mine of information.

0:20:490:20:53

It's always great when someone has a family tree that we

0:20:530:20:56

can compare against our own, and make sure that we've done the right thing.

0:20:560:21:00

But, also, in case he has any additional information,

0:21:000:21:03

to supplement what we've already done.

0:21:030:21:05

So, it was great, great to find Malcolm and to go

0:21:050:21:07

and see him and talk to him.

0:21:070:21:09

As well as knowledge about his wider family,

0:21:090:21:11

Malcolm also has early memories of his cousin, Hazel.

0:21:110:21:15

Up to the age of around 20 or so, we'd had regular family contact.

0:21:150:21:20

Hazel was always protected as a child, by her parents.

0:21:200:21:25

And she was treated as a gift

0:21:250:21:28

which had to be treasured and spoiled.

0:21:280:21:33

Hazel was certainly six-foot tall.

0:21:330:21:36

In fact, the story goes, and I don't know whether this is true,

0:21:360:21:40

that at one time she had she had four inches cut from her

0:21:400:21:45

upper leg, on both sides, in order to be not quite so tall.

0:21:450:21:50

If she'd been born these days,

0:21:500:21:52

she would have found plenty of boys over six-foot.

0:21:520:21:56

But at the time, in the '40s,

0:21:560:21:58

being that tall was very unusual for a woman.

0:21:580:22:02

Malcolm tried to keep in touch with his cousin as they grew older.

0:22:020:22:06

When we proposed to visit Hazel,

0:22:060:22:08

she was very reticent about what I would expect on arrival.

0:22:080:22:14

And we found that she'd been living in a state of chaos.

0:22:140:22:21

I feel very sad that Hazel died alone,

0:22:210:22:25

without anybody with her of the family.

0:22:250:22:28

And that we didn't know anything about it.

0:22:280:22:31

I have a feeling that Hazel would have got into the habit

0:22:310:22:34

of being a loner. Perhaps that explains why she didn't ask for help.

0:22:340:22:39

But more about Hazel is revealed, as Malcolm delves deeper into her life.

0:22:390:22:45

I've got an interesting letter here, from 10 Downing Street,

0:22:450:22:49

and signed by Harold Wilson.

0:22:490:22:51

Every year in Britain, thousands of people get a surprise knock

0:22:570:23:01

on the door from the heir hunters.

0:23:010:23:03

It just seems a big miracle, so, you know.

0:23:030:23:07

Nobody ever think this sort of thing happens.

0:23:070:23:10

Being told of an unexpected inheritance

0:23:110:23:14

can be very welcome news.

0:23:140:23:15

If I get £50 I can go out for a good meal and have a drink on Richard!

0:23:150:23:19

And it can provide a priceless opportunity to connect with

0:23:190:23:22

long-lost family members.

0:23:220:23:24

Meeting him, it was the best outcome, I think,

0:23:240:23:27

from this whole investigation.

0:23:270:23:30

But there are still thousands of unsolved cases on the Treasury

0:23:300:23:33

solicitors' bona vacantia list, where heirs need to be found.

0:23:330:23:37

Could you be one of them?

0:23:370:23:39

Today, we've got details of two estates on the list,

0:23:390:23:42

that are yet to be claimed.

0:23:420:23:43

The first case is Donald Shuker, who died on 30th July 1999,

0:23:460:23:51

in Goodmayes, Essex, aged 70.

0:23:510:23:55

He was born on 8th May 1929, in Manchester.

0:23:550:23:59

But it is not known if he was married, or had any children.

0:24:000:24:04

Shuker is an early Germanic name, which means one who sieved corn.

0:24:040:24:08

Does the name that sound familiar to you?

0:24:100:24:12

Do you know anything that could be the key to solving this case?

0:24:120:24:16

Next, 76-year-old William Barclay died on 13th March 2002,

0:24:180:24:24

in Littlehampton, West Sussex.

0:24:240:24:26

He was born on 27th December 1925, in London.

0:24:260:24:31

All that's known about William, is that he was a bachelor.

0:24:310:24:34

The name "Barclay" is thought to be Old English.

0:24:370:24:39

And to come from the market town of the same name, meaning "Birchwood".

0:24:420:24:46

Could there still be a family connection to William in that town?

0:24:490:24:52

We're in London, the city of his birth.

0:24:520:24:55

Does his name ring any bells with you?

0:24:580:25:00

Could you be the beneficiary they're looking for?

0:25:000:25:03

If you they may be related to either of these people, you would

0:25:030:25:06

need to make a claim on their estate by the Treasury Solicitors' Office.

0:25:060:25:10

Once again, the names of the cases we're trying to solve

0:25:110:25:14

with your help today are:

0:25:140:25:17

Donald Shuker and William Barclay.

0:25:170:25:19

Perhaps you could be the next of kin.

0:25:200:25:22

If so, you could've thousands of pounds coming your way.

0:25:220:25:26

The heir hunters have been chasing down heirs on the case

0:25:340:25:37

of Hazel Murgatroyd, who died in 2012.

0:25:370:25:41

So far, the team had cracked Hazel's father Morris's side of the family,

0:25:410:25:45

tracing heirs from the descendants of his nine brothers and sisters.

0:25:450:25:49

They then focused on solving Hazel's mother's side of the family.

0:25:490:25:53

Our researchers on that side were able to confirm the deceased

0:25:530:25:57

mother was an only child.

0:25:570:25:59

This meant that Hazel's estimated £150,000 to £160,000 estate would

0:25:590:26:05

be divided between the 27 heirs on her father's side of the family.

0:26:050:26:08

Today, heir Malcolm, and his brother Trevor,

0:26:130:26:16

are meeting up to look through one of the many boxes of belongings

0:26:160:26:19

that came out of Hazel's house.

0:26:190:26:22

I've come filled with curiosity,

0:26:220:26:24

because I'm hoping to find out more about a long lost cousin,

0:26:240:26:27

in some respects, a cousin I scarcely ever knew.

0:26:270:26:30

Full of mystery, and piecing together her life.

0:26:300:26:33

From what Malcolm's told me, it sounds most interesting,

0:26:330:26:36

and I'm really looking forward to finding out more today.

0:26:360:26:39

The box contains photographs of Hazel's life,

0:26:390:26:43

and some photographs of her parents and her grandparents.

0:26:430:26:47

And an awful lot of pictures of her car,

0:26:480:26:51

she was probably more fond of her car than anything else.

0:26:510:26:54

-You can see from this photo that Hazel is very tall.

-Yes, right.

0:26:550:27:00

Because she's standing between her parents, Maud and Morris,

0:27:000:27:04

and she's, ooh, half a head taller than them.

0:27:040:27:06

I remember one of the occasions when we were visiting,

0:27:060:27:09

and Hazel was lined up against you to see who was the tallest.

0:27:090:27:13

I mean, we always thought you were enormous! I mean, six foot,

0:27:130:27:16

I mean that was considered to be an unheard-of height.

0:27:160:27:19

And yet, Hazel, actually, was taller than you.

0:27:190:27:22

In fact, it was not perhaps very flattering,

0:27:220:27:24

from Hazel's point of view, to be pointed out that, um...

0:27:240:27:27

-She was taller than me.

-..taller.

0:27:270:27:28

Family get-togethers seemed to be when the cousins

0:27:280:27:31

had their best chance of getting to know each other.

0:27:310:27:34

How I remember Hazel was as a reserved, diffident lady.

0:27:340:27:39

Much my senior, of course, by what? Six years, anyway.

0:27:390:27:42

Her height, of course, made it a little bit awkward to be

0:27:420:27:46

with her, that would explain why she became...

0:27:460:27:48

Well, why she never got married.

0:27:480:27:50

Maybe she couldn't form relationships easily. Who knows?

0:27:500:27:54

I've got an interesting letter, here.

0:27:540:27:57

It's addressed to a PD Nairn...

0:27:570:28:00

..from 10 Downing Street, and signed by Harold Wilson.

0:28:020:28:06

-Looks interesting.

-And it's... Dear Pat...

0:28:060:28:09

..etc, etc. And on the second sheet,

0:28:160:28:18

one of the people there is Miss H Murgatroyd.

0:28:180:28:22

Oh, right, so she's part of a team.

0:28:220:28:24

-So, Hazel was one of 29 people in a team working...

-In the civil service.

0:28:240:28:29

-In the civil service.

-I wonder what...

0:28:290:28:32

It doesn't, of course, give any details about

0:28:320:28:34

the exact contribution they made.

0:28:340:28:36

But, an expression of gratitude for the efforts that have been made.

0:28:360:28:40

The events the letter refers to were, in fact,

0:28:430:28:45

the renegotiation of Britain's involvement in the EEC.

0:28:450:28:48

It was carried out in 1975,

0:28:500:28:52

under the leadership of Labour Prime Minister, Harold Wilson.

0:28:520:28:56

At that time, Hazel was working as a civil servant,

0:28:560:28:59

and played a part in the proceedings.

0:28:590:29:02

'Britain joined the European Community in 1973,'

0:29:020:29:05

under the Europhile Prime Minister, Edward Heath.

0:29:050:29:08

One of the few Europhile prime ministers Britain's had.

0:29:080:29:11

Britain joined principally because it was seen in the 1960s that the

0:29:110:29:15

British economy was lagging somewhat behind the continental economies,

0:29:150:29:19

as a result of their creation of the European Community.

0:29:190:29:22

So, Britain's political elites, but also in the media

0:29:220:29:26

and elsewhere, saw that joining the community could be

0:29:260:29:29

a remedy for some Britain's economic deficiencies in the 1960s and 1970s.

0:29:290:29:34

But right from those early days,

0:29:340:29:36

Britain's membership of the EEC was a political hot potato.

0:29:360:29:40

Public opinion was sorely divided as to the advantages

0:29:400:29:44

of being part of an economically united Europe.

0:29:440:29:47

Until finally, a public vote was put on the

0:29:470:29:51

political agenda, by a newly elected government.

0:29:510:29:54

The 1975 referendum was held by Harold Wilson,

0:29:540:29:57

and it was a Labour Party manifesto commitment for the 1974

0:29:570:30:01

election to renegotiate the terms of entry and then put those

0:30:010:30:05

terms of entry to the British people in the form of an in-out referendum.

0:30:050:30:09

The management of the referendum was crucial for Wilson,

0:30:090:30:13

both within the Labour Party and for him personally, as Prime Minister.

0:30:130:30:17

Harold Wilson was determined that his pro-European stance would win

0:30:170:30:21

the day, and worked closely with committees of both politicians

0:30:210:30:25

and civil servants, including Hazel, who would debate in the issues.

0:30:250:30:29

Is likely that Hazel would have been working alongside civil servants

0:30:290:30:33

and diplomats who went on to be leading exponents

0:30:330:30:36

of British-European policy, in Brussels.

0:30:360:30:39

On 6th June 1975, the British public finally went to the polls

0:30:400:30:44

to have their say.

0:30:440:30:46

They voted two-thirds to one-third in favour of staying in the EEC.

0:30:470:30:52

So this was a triumph for Harold Wilson.

0:30:530:30:55

A, it kept Britain in the European Community,

0:30:550:30:58

which he saw as an economic necessity.

0:30:580:31:01

And B, it kept the Labour Party united at a time when

0:31:010:31:04

it could have fallen apart over a very contentious question.

0:31:040:31:08

Harold Wilson had been a civil servant during World War II,

0:31:080:31:11

and it's well-known that he always had strong affinities with

0:31:110:31:14

the civil service, and he regarded their work particularly highly,

0:31:140:31:18

and so the kind of letter that Hazel received, would have been

0:31:180:31:21

recognition, by Harold Wilson for the job that she

0:31:210:31:24

and the other committee members did,

0:31:240:31:26

in helping put his European case to the British people.

0:31:260:31:29

Hazel spent many years working as a civil servant,

0:31:310:31:34

and her cousins and heirs, Malcolm and Trevor,

0:31:340:31:37

are only now getting an insight into her life.

0:31:370:31:40

It's extraordinary.

0:31:400:31:41

Well, we've only touched the tip of the iceberg here, but,

0:31:410:31:44

what is extraordinary already, is the things

0:31:440:31:47

I didn't know about Hazel.

0:31:470:31:49

And yet, these photos tell so much.

0:31:490:31:51

And yet, hide so much.

0:31:510:31:52

It'd be lovely to get behind the scenes

0:31:540:31:57

and discover the mysteries, the things we don't know yet.

0:31:570:32:00

Maybe they'll come to light as we go further down the box.

0:32:000:32:04

But, for today, the brothers have uncovered enough to think about.

0:32:040:32:07

Particularly Trevor.

0:32:070:32:08

There were sad moments, looking at some of the photographs.

0:32:080:32:11

Because, I realised that here was a person in Hazel,

0:32:110:32:14

that I never really got to know.

0:32:140:32:16

And I could have made more effort to get to know her,

0:32:160:32:18

there's no doubt about it.

0:32:180:32:20

As a cousin, I was perhaps a bit of a failure.

0:32:200:32:23

OK, that goes both ways,

0:32:230:32:24

but even so, I might have made more effort over the years.

0:32:240:32:27

And I get the impression that she's a person with whom

0:32:270:32:31

I might have got on well.

0:32:310:32:33

I really would like to find out more.

0:32:350:32:38

It has aroused my curiosity.

0:32:380:32:41

In the London offices of Fraser & Fraser,

0:32:480:32:50

it's day two of the hunt for heirs to the estate of June Franklin.

0:32:500:32:54

When we first started it,

0:32:540:32:56

the Franklin case was a nice little two-pieces-of-paper job.

0:32:560:33:00

Now it's spread out and just taken over the whole desk.

0:33:000:33:03

The team have established that June's father, Arthur,

0:33:030:33:06

was one of 10 children.

0:33:060:33:08

When June was born, in 1919, he was working as an engineer at the

0:33:080:33:12

Royal Chatham docks, where he had served during the First World War.

0:33:120:33:16

The Royal Dockyard Chatham was the only shipbuilding

0:33:170:33:20

centre on the east coast of the country at the turn of the

0:33:200:33:24

20th century, and the Navy's only major ship repair centre, as well.

0:33:240:33:29

It was vital to be able to repair submarines,

0:33:290:33:31

and also refit large destroyers coming in, and cruisers as well.

0:33:310:33:35

Arthur's role as an engineer,

0:33:380:33:39

just before and during World War I, would have been vital

0:33:390:33:43

in the building and completing of warships for the Royal Navy.

0:33:430:33:46

Of Arthur would have started out engaged in fitting engines and

0:33:460:33:50

repairing the engines on board ships, so it meant crawling into small,

0:33:500:33:54

dark spaces and making sure it was all connected and running properly.

0:33:540:33:58

As is experience grew and his knowledge grew,

0:33:580:34:01

he would have moved towards the chargeman level, which is

0:34:010:34:04

effectively a foreman, responsible for a gang of roundabout

0:34:040:34:07

20 or so men, and making sure that they are working properly

0:34:070:34:10

and doing their jobs.

0:34:100:34:12

As he progressed into an inspector,

0:34:130:34:16

he would have then had probably around three or four gangs under his

0:34:160:34:19

responsibility, so roundabout three foremen,

0:34:190:34:22

plus 20 or so guys in each gang.

0:34:220:34:25

The First World War was one of the most challenging times

0:34:250:34:29

in the dockyard's history.

0:34:290:34:30

Around a dozen ships were built,

0:34:300:34:32

and crucial repairs to the existing fleet carried out,

0:34:320:34:36

both vital to keeping the Royal Navy afloat and fighting the war at sea.

0:34:360:34:40

Arthur and his colleagues would have seen a lot of horrific damage

0:34:410:34:44

for the first time from sea mines and torpedoes.

0:34:440:34:47

It was the first time they'd actually been used.

0:34:470:34:50

There would have been a lot of twisted metal,

0:34:500:34:52

the bows would have been ripped off, sterns could have been

0:34:520:34:55

sheared off, engines would have been blown to pieces.

0:34:550:34:58

And in between all of that twisted metal and wreckage,

0:34:580:35:01

they may well have been men who were killed in action, as well.

0:35:010:35:04

So it would have been quite gory and horrific.

0:35:040:35:08

These ships were towed into the dockyard, and Arthur would have been,

0:35:080:35:12

as a chargeman then as an inspector,

0:35:120:35:14

would have been sent down to see what they could do to repair the engines

0:35:140:35:18

and make it sea-fit and ready again for active service,

0:35:180:35:21

as soon as possible.

0:35:210:35:23

And it seems the men faced danger in the dock,

0:35:230:35:25

as well as on the high seas.

0:35:250:35:27

One of the risks of being on a warship,

0:35:270:35:30

was the potential for spontaneous combustion or explosion,

0:35:300:35:33

and indeed there were several incidences.

0:35:330:35:36

The worst was in 1917, in July, when HMS Vanguard just suddenly

0:35:360:35:40

exploded and killed her entire crew of 804 men.

0:35:400:35:44

Whilst there was a lot of conspiracy theories behind it,

0:35:440:35:49

the likelihood is that there may have been a simple spark or

0:35:490:35:53

something near the magazines, the doors may not have been closed,

0:35:530:35:57

that may have caused the ammunition just to go up.

0:35:570:35:59

And this was a sort of occupational hazard,

0:35:590:36:02

throughout the Navy at the time.

0:36:020:36:04

Arthur would have been part of a close-knit, expanding workforce.

0:36:050:36:10

At the end of the First World War,

0:36:100:36:12

the dockyard had up towards 12,000 men and women are working on site.

0:36:120:36:16

As it turned into peacetime operations, there would have been

0:36:160:36:19

mass lay-offs, because they no longer needed to keep such a workforce.

0:36:190:36:23

Arthur, in his position, may well have been saved,

0:36:230:36:26

because of his experience and his understanding and his knowledge.

0:36:260:36:30

Lesser-trained workers would have, unfortunately, lost their jobs.

0:36:300:36:34

Although historical archive records have helped build

0:36:340:36:36

a picture of June's father, the heir hunters are finding

0:36:360:36:39

the rest of the family harder to pin down.

0:36:390:36:43

If they've moved around a lot and the born so early on,

0:36:430:36:48

then it's really hard to find out whether it's the right family or not.

0:36:480:36:53

The people that you're talking to are not going to know

0:36:530:36:56

about their grandparents' families, necessarily.

0:36:560:37:00

They've had to go down the generations until they found

0:37:000:37:03

distant cousins on both June's mother's and father's sides.

0:37:030:37:07

With no luck contacting beneficiaries on the phone,

0:37:070:37:09

Mike has sent travelling researcher, Dave Hadley,

0:37:090:37:12

out on the road, to see if he can locate them in person.

0:37:120:37:15

Dave is tracking down a cousin on June's mother's side of the family.

0:37:160:37:20

Best case scenario is that they give us some information

0:37:200:37:23

about his brothers and sisters, and also sign an agreement with us.

0:37:230:37:27

And the worst-case scenario is that the competition have

0:37:270:37:30

already got there before me.

0:37:300:37:32

Heirs can play an important role in helping to confirm the team's

0:37:320:37:35

research, and to fill in any gaps in the family trees.

0:37:350:37:38

But if Dave doesn't manage to sign of any heirs,

0:37:380:37:41

all the team's work is for nothing.

0:37:410:37:43

And after a brief meeting, it's time for him to hit the road again.

0:37:430:37:47

Well, that was a great result.

0:37:470:37:49

Erm, I've just seen the heir, he's confirmed all the information

0:37:490:37:52

that we've got, he's given me quite a bit of information about his

0:37:520:37:56

brothers and sisters, and he's agreed to sign an agreement with us.

0:37:560:38:00

So, one down, six to go.

0:38:000:38:03

Following directions he's just been given, Dave is on his way to another

0:38:040:38:08

cousin on June's mother's side, who fortunately lives very nearby.

0:38:080:38:12

There's no reply at the address,

0:38:140:38:16

and I can't confirm that she lives there, so I'm going to ring

0:38:160:38:20

the office now, and see if they can do a little bit of research.

0:38:200:38:23

Dave gets through to case manager, Mike Pow, and explains where he is.

0:38:230:38:27

Yeah, that's the one I've been knocking at. There's no reply.

0:38:270:38:31

I don't know whether you want to get a letter out to her.

0:38:310:38:34

I'll leave an enquiry letter through the letterbox.

0:38:340:38:37

Er, I've got a telephone number, but, you know, there's no reply

0:38:390:38:42

at the door, so there's not much point in ringing the number.

0:38:420:38:46

Mike has been able to confirm this cousin, and that Dave

0:38:460:38:49

is at the right address.

0:38:490:38:51

Dave leaves a note, and then it's back on the road to the next name

0:38:510:38:54

on his list, a cousin once removed - again, June's mother's side.

0:38:540:38:59

Right. Well, I just had an interview with a very nice lady.

0:38:590:39:03

She's confirmed that she is an heir to our deceased.

0:39:030:39:08

She's quite elderly, so I've left an agreement with her,

0:39:080:39:12

so that she can discuss it with her daughter.

0:39:120:39:15

She's given us quite a bit of information,

0:39:150:39:17

but it will help us to confirm the research we've got is correct.

0:39:170:39:21

So, after this last-minute success, Dave is ready to go home.

0:39:220:39:26

I've had quite a successful day.

0:39:260:39:28

I've managed to see two heirs and spoken to a third one.

0:39:280:39:33

Located a fourth one,

0:39:330:39:36

and I've just got a couple more to see in Tonbridge, tomorrow.

0:39:360:39:39

So, all in all, it's been a good day.

0:39:390:39:41

The following day, Mike Pow is on leave,

0:39:500:39:52

so it's up to fellow manager, Jo, to pick up where he left off.

0:39:520:39:56

I've just spoken to Dave Hadley, to see

0:39:560:39:58

where he'll be going today, to make sure that everyone is seen

0:39:580:40:02

who can be seen, to keep everything up to date.

0:40:020:40:05

Since yesterday, the team in the office have managed to find

0:40:050:40:08

several more names to add to Dave's ever-expanding list.

0:40:080:40:11

I doubt that I'm going to be able to get round to all of them today.

0:40:130:40:16

But I'll do as many as I can.

0:40:160:40:19

He's on his way to a daughter of one of June's cousins.

0:40:190:40:22

Right, well there's no answer at the address.

0:40:240:40:27

I know that they've sent a letter out to her,

0:40:270:40:29

so I'm not going to bother putting anything through the door.

0:40:290:40:32

Dave's hoping to have better luck with the next heir on his list,

0:40:340:40:37

who's a cousin once removed.

0:40:370:40:40

Finding a parking space, yeah. It's a nightmare.

0:40:400:40:43

Yet again, no reply.

0:40:430:40:45

I'm starting to run out of time, now. So, on to the next one.

0:40:450:40:49

I would hope to have somebody signed up by now, but you can never tell.

0:40:490:40:53

He has high hopes of signing up the next potential heir,

0:40:540:40:58

a cousin on June's father's side of the family. But he's hit a snag.

0:40:580:41:02

That road's closed, as well.

0:41:050:41:08

Oh, wow. I can barely get into Pembury.

0:41:080:41:13

Dave finally finds a way through, and after arriving at the house

0:41:150:41:18

and introducing himself to potential heir, Karen Hunt...

0:41:180:41:21

-Thank you, please come in.

-Thank you, very much.

0:41:210:41:24

..he gets down to business.

0:41:240:41:26

-Now, did you get our letter today?

-I did, I got it this morning, yes.

-OK.

0:41:290:41:32

-Have you had a chance to read it, or not?

-I've read through it, yes.

0:41:320:41:35

I'll ask you a few questions, it'll save you

0:41:350:41:37

-then having to fill in that questionnaire.

-Right, OK, yes.

0:41:370:41:41

It'll confirm that we've got the right person.

0:41:410:41:43

How many children did your parents have, including you?

0:41:430:41:47

-There's four, four girls.

-Four girls.

0:41:470:41:49

-Was your father married more than once?

-No.

0:41:490:41:51

-And was your mother married more than once?

-No.

0:41:510:41:54

Dave is able to confirm the team's research, and is satisfied

0:41:550:41:59

that Karen is an heir.

0:41:590:42:00

It's a very unusual thing.

0:42:000:42:02

You hear of it happening to other people, that they get

0:42:020:42:05

in contact, people saying there's relatives that have left them money.

0:42:050:42:08

But, you obviously don't ever think it's going to happen to you.

0:42:080:42:11

It's strange, knowing that there's somebody out there that

0:42:110:42:14

you didn't really know, that you were related to,

0:42:140:42:16

and nice to know that, at the end of it, we'll get a nice extra

0:42:160:42:20

bonus of a little bit of money, or something, which is really nice.

0:42:200:42:23

Well, I'm really pleased with that.

0:42:230:42:26

She's given me some information which is really useful,

0:42:260:42:29

but, more importantly, she's agreed for us

0:42:290:42:32

to help her with her claim, and has signed an agreement with us.

0:42:320:42:35

So, I'm really pleased with the result,

0:42:350:42:38

and I think now, it's time for a well-earned lunch.

0:42:380:42:41

It's been a successful visit for Dave. And, a few weeks later,

0:42:410:42:44

the team have finally been able to wrap up all their research.

0:42:440:42:48

This was quite a complicated case for us due to the fact

0:42:480:42:50

that there was so many people who looked to be involved,

0:42:500:42:53

because we knew from both sides of the family, there was

0:42:530:42:56

going to be quite a few aunts and uncles.

0:42:560:42:58

We've managed to come down through quite a lot of generations to finally

0:42:580:43:01

find 40 beneficiaries who look to inherit about £63,000 between them.

0:43:010:43:05

So it was a nice one for us to sort out for them.

0:43:050:43:08

I think it makes you realise with the family that you don't

0:43:080:43:11

see that often, that you really should make more of an effort.

0:43:110:43:15

The team find themselves in a frustrating search for heirs on a huge family tree and spend days out on the road trying to track them down. While on another case, the investigation into one former civil servant's £160,000 estate reveals her role in the political manoeuvrings of Howard Wilson.

Plus details of unclaimed estates where heirs still needs to be found.


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