01 April 2012

WDYTYA Australia: Shaun Micallef

I made a quick visit to Australia allowing me to view the first in the new Australia series of WDYTYA featuring comedian Shaun Micallef. Naturally he's not someone I knew. The episode again illustrates there's no real correlation between the person and how interesting is their family history or enjoyable the episode.

Micallef, who gives the impression of being a bit like Stephen Fry, has Irish ancestry on his mother's side. The ancestor explored joined the British Army around the time of the potato famine, was wounded at the Battle of Inkerman (November 5, 1854) , and nursed in the hospital just established by Florence Nightingale.
Although there was no direct evidence that he had been nursed by Nightingale a nice touch was a mention that a child born later had been named Florence.
That family wasn't the only one to show their gratitude in this way. From FreeBMD, Florence shot up the name popularity charts for birth registrations for girls, from 249 in 1850, to 2062 in 1860, to 7754 in 1870, to 17,444 in 1880 and 16,071 in 1890.

Micallef father's family was from Malta. Their home was bombed during WW2. The Micallef line was traced back to an ancestor, a steward serving on the Black Prince, who died in the Battle of Jutland in WW1. There were eight people with name Micallef who died while in the Navy in WW1, all either stewards or cooks, including three who died at the Battle of Jutland.

I'd rate this episode as one that best held my attention.

I'll plan on returning to Australia to view future episodes.

1 comment:

carolyn said...

Glad you enjoy it. Shaun Micallef is a mid rating TV personality here, I felt that they did not establish as to whether there was any family connection with all the Micallef's from Malta who died in WWI. I was particularly puzzled when 3 appeared on the Monument in Plymouth and no mention was made. I know you have to fit a lot into a l hour show but a comment would have "sealed the deal".Cheers Carolyn.