BBC Two Heir Hunters come to Hatfield

PUBLISHED: 16:06 13 February 2018 | UPDATED: 16:06 13 February 2018

Leslie passed away at a care home in Hatfield in 2009. Picture: BBC Two screenshot

Leslie passed away at a care home in Hatfield in 2009. Picture: BBC Two screenshot

BBC Two screenshot

The intricate family history of a Hatfield man is the subject of this week’s BBC Two Heir Hunters, set to grace our TV screens this week.

David Palmer was found to be one of Leslie's heirs. Picture: BBC Two screenshotDavid Palmer was found to be one of Leslie's heirs. Picture: BBC Two screenshot

The death of a retired factory worker, and son of a prisoner of war, led to the discovery of two heirs who had sadly drifted away from their relative.

Leslie Palmer passed away in 2009 in a Hatfield care home, aged 85.

He died with no will and no known next of kin.

Originally from the East End of London, he had a career as a factory worker before relocating to Hatfield.

Professional probate genealogists and stars of the BBC’s Heir Hunters, Finders International, took on the case to find Leslie’s next of kin as potential heirs to his estate.

This case proved a difficult one to crack as Leslie had never married and didn’t have any children.

Palmer is also quite a common name.

Finders discovered that Leslie’s parents, Enoch and Julia Palmer (formerly Robinson) had married in 1912 and had four children - including Leslie.

Leslie’s father, Enoch Palmer, was a private in the 12th Battalion Rifle Brigade during the First World War.

Enoch was captured by the Germans and held as a prisoner of war at Giessen.

Leslie’s brother Ronald had also fought the Germans in the Second World War and survived.

Roland married his wife Hazel and they had two sons, Brian and David, who were identified as the heirs to Leslie’s estate.

David said: “Leslie was a part of my early life.

“We had family holidays together but unfortunately, we drifted apart and became estranged so it was a shock when Heir Hunters phoned me.”

Brian said: “When I was younger I can remember Leslie being caring and always wanting to talk to us.

“He was a tall, slim man and was always in a suit and tie.

“It was quite upsetting to find out he had passed away and it would have been nice for my family to have met him.”

Danny Curran of Finders International said: “The family history behind the Palmers is fascinating, and we are pleased we could share this with David and Brian.

“It’s great to hear that this has inspired them to find out more about their heritage.”

The episode is being shown on BBC Two at 11.45am on Thursday February 15.

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