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Beti and David: Lost for Words

“A moving portrait of love, loss and kindness… The more people that watch this profound film on the iPlayer the better. Beautifully filmed by director Will Davies, it illustrated the consoling Larkinesque idea embodied in David’s enduring kisses and cheerful smiles: when everything else has evanesced, all that remains of us is love.” Jasper Rees, Daily Telegraph

“[A] most powerful illustration of what love is… reflecting the couple’s day-to-day lives in unflinching detail – [it] made for almost unbearable viewing. Yet how else would the true picture of what it’s like for families living with dementia emerge?” Carolyn Hitt, Western Mail

 

“Wales and the Great War, presented by author and broadcaster Trevor Fishlock, is a testament to the important part played by the Welsh during the 1914-1918 conflict. The three-part series is a sensitive and intelligent portrayal of the lives of those who were lost… [It] marks that sacrifice, felt in communities across Wales, in a sombre and appropriate manner.” Kirstie McCrum, Western Mail

“Greg has written a number of features tackling serious human rights issues – all with a genuine desire to expose the facts and raise awareness about the issue in hand. I think he has an outstanding ability to remain calm and non-inflammatory. He explores his subject in depth, researches it thoroughly and what you get is a good overview of an often misunderstood topic.”        Eleanor White, (then) programme director, Amnesty International Wales

“We would like to express our thanks to Greg Lewis, producer of Wales This Week: Hidden Killer for ITV Wales for this extraordinary piece of documentary investigation in the best traditions of balanced, factual, investigative journalism.”       Michael Lees, UK Asbestos in Schools Campaign

“Greg’s work challenged the myths surrounding asylum seekers.”         Lord Herman Ouseley, Ned Temko (Editor, Jewish Chronicle) & Geraint Talfan Davies (former controller BBC Wales) Judges, Commission for Racial Equality, Race in the Media awards 2002

“The programme has already proved a valuable teaching resource – the in-depth, sympathetic view of the contrasting journeys of two people with dementia and their families is a real asset.” Prof Bob Woods, Dementia Services Development Centre, on ‘Living With Dementia’, a half-hour documentary for ITV Wales.

“A frank, in-depth study spotlighting a forgotten hero of the boxing world.” Judges in Wishing Shelf Awards giving non-fiction prize to ‘I Fought Them All’.

“Great programme… thanks for a balanced and well informed look at the state of the (housing) sector.” Chartered Institute of Housing Cymru on ‘Wales This Week: The Market Stalls’

Many thanks for producing the fine programme on Petty Officer Edgar Evans… I particularly appreciated your using persons from Cardiff, Swansea and elsewhere, relatives, museums staff and authors, to build up a picture of this under-rated Welshman.” Gary Gregor, author ‘Edgar Evans of Gower’, on ‘Wales This Week: A Forgotten Hero’

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Comments
  1. I have just read “I Fought Them All” which I learned about following an e-mail from my cousin who recalled our great aunt Agnes had said to him ,”Your the spittin’ image of your cousin Tom Sharkey. My cousin, whose name is also Tom (Brown) asked his father who this was and he was told about the famous fighter. Now for some reason all these many years later the subject has come up, which took me to the internet and the surprise of your very exciting book. I have to say I have little interest in boxing but the story drew me in no less so given the family connection. I was aware that there was a fighter on my grandmother’s side but never had any interest until now. What a courageous person Tom was to stand up to the men he fought. It’s a great read! (I personally think the decision in the Fitzsimmons fight was wrong.)I have been to Ireland a number of times and have dual Irish citizenship because of my grandmother and know she was born near Dundalk in Co. Louth in 1897 and came to the U.S. in 1898 to Philadelphia. Her mother was Margaret Sharkey who married a Michael Boden. I’m wondering if Margaret was a sibling to Tom Sharkey’s father James? I’m not coming up with much in my own searches yet. I would love to find out more history on this family if you or Moira have the time to share it. I could not find any other address to contact you.
    Congratulations on well written book!
    Sincerely,
    Theresa Brown
    e-mail: tmbrown3@verizon.net

  2. Scarlett MccGwire says:

    There are no contact details here and I would like to speak to you. Please e mail me.

    • Greg says:

      Scarlett, I’ve sent you an email.
      Greg

    • Terry Brown says:

      Hello Scarlett,
      Just getting back to you after much time! This was prompted by my cousin’s recent trip to Ireland and he asked me for some family information. I have very little unfortunately, but wonder about this connection of Tom Sharkey to my grandmother’s mother, Margaret Sharkey born about 1846,daughter of Patrick Sharkey (no details) The story we heard is they were cousins.
      She married Michael Boden. They lived near or in Dundalk at the time of my grandmother’s birth in 1887 (Julia Boden). She was the youngest of 8 children and most of them came to the U.S. in 1898 and settled in Phila. (where I am) If you have anything to help on this or vice versa please reply. Thanks!

  3. David Kentish says:

    Greg, good to meet you in Dublin. It was kind of you to try to get a ticket for the 2nd night. I got one not long after we spoke in Bewleys – an Italian had a spare ticket. This was 5 minutes before my wife arrived! I hope Moira got to see the show with you. Really enjoying the book, the shows in Dublin are always special. Did you manage to give a copy to Bruce?

    • Greg says:

      Hiya Dave
      It was great to meet you too.
      So glad you got that spare ticket! Two great shows.
      Glad you are enjoying the book – let us know what you think when you’ve finished if you have time.
      See you somewhere when the tour returns to Europe!
      Greg

  4. Greg says:

    Dave
    Bruce already has three copies of the book. A fan gave him a copy in Canada; we also sent him a copy plus a copy of another book ‘I Fought Them All’ about an Irish-American boxer; and he then ordered a further copy.
    Greg

  5. tim rose says:

    Greg – you contacted Kris Wheatley about using my group for a documentray – we are at http://www.thediehards.co.uk – you can e mail me from there – Kris didn’t leave me an e mail to reply direct to you – atb Tim Rose

  6. Chris says:

    To Clear or if you may Re-affirm the Myth!
    Hiya guys! My name is Chris E Sharkey – my great, great grandfather Tom. I’d love to chat with yoiu folks – my father was so proud of our history – there are a one or two things that survived over the last few generations. Firstly our jaw! Still iron and unbreakable – aswell as our nose – lol! We as a family are so proud of our tradition and history. A few of us still have the physical atributes (jaw, nose and determination) but mostly in our direct line we have the legacy. Each of our family live to the best we can be. We are proud. We stand tall. We may be knocked down – but we ALWAYS get up!!

    • Tom Brown says:

      I am planning a trip to Ireland In September/October, and I have become interested in my ancestors and where they lived in Ireland.

      I think that you are related to me.

      I have a hand drawn family tree that my mother (Catharine Funchion Brown) put together. I think some of the information may not be perfect, but I note that there is a Margaret Sharkey on the chart.

      This, I do know: when I was about 20 years old (1967), my grandmother’s (Julia Winifred Boden Brown’s) sister (Agnes Hawselt) told me that my cousin, Tom Sharkey, was the heavyweight champion of the world. This was all in pre-internet days, and when I asked my father (Francis T Brown) about it, he said he had heard the story of the fighter, but he never could find anything out about Tom Sharkey. Well, that’s not so hard to do nowadays!

      The Margaret Sharkey on the chart is my great grandmother. She married Michael Boden, and immigrated to the US in 1898. My grandmother (Margaret’s daughter), Julia Winifred Boden Brown was 11 when she came over. I don’t know the timing or the routing, but eventually, she and her family wound up settling in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. That’s where I call home, although I did very little living in the city itself. I have been in the Washington, D.C. area for the last 30 years, having spent 14 years in the Air Force prior to that.

      My question to you is: Do you recognize Margaret Sharkey’s name, and can you give me any more names and locations of close relatives in or outside of Ireland? And where did Tom Sharkey fit in?

      Thanks,

      Tom Brown

      • Greg says:

        Hi Tom
        Thanks for getting in touch.
        I’ll share you comment and question with some members of the Sharkey family in the States who contacted me after the book.
        I’m sure they can help.
        Greg

      • Greg says:

        Have had some email replies re your query, Tom. Send your email address and I’ll pass them on.
        greg_lewis AT hotmail.co.uk

  7. Greg says:

    RE TOM SHARKEY
    Chris, great to hear from you. We have received emails from a number of his relatives, mainly in the States.
    Send me an email greg_lewis [at] hotmail.co.uk and we can talk some more.
    Greg

  8. Alison English says:

    Hi Greg,
    Just got a copy Land of Hope & Dreams this week – I am so very happy to see my memories included in the book on page 11 – I really never expected it.

    I just want to say thank you to Moira and yourself for including me in the book. It is absolutely a brilliant read well done! – Moira had actually written to me after I submitted copies of cutting etc.

    It is a great thrill to see what I remembered in print and to think that Bruce has copies of the book as well it is a great achievement all round.

    Well Done and Thanks Again.

    Alison.

  9. Tom Brown says:

    Greg, My best email address is: tom.brown@cox.net

  10. Deborah Onions says:

    Hi Greg,
    Last week I listened to The Reunion on Radio 4 about Far East Prisoners of War. This reminded me of somebody I had met many years ago when I was a child and I knew to have been a Japanese POW and who had been a patient of my father’s at one time. This man’s name was Les Spence and so just out of curiosity I put his name into google and I was amazed to find his diaries edited by you. I bought the book straight away and read it straight away. It was compelling! I also met his wife Babs and Jeremy years ago so it was strange to read Les’ diaries about his letters to Babs long before they were engaged or married. I am so glad that his story has been told. If you are in contact with Jeremy please could you pass on my regards. My name is Deborah Onions but my maiden name was Gillard. My father was a dentist and his name was Bryan Gillard.

    Kind regards

    Deborah

    • Greg says:

      Thanks Deborah. I’m glad you found the diaries interesting. It was an honour to work on them. It has also enabled me to meet many former Far East POWs.
      I’ve just sent you message to Jeremy. Thanks for getting in touch.
      Greg

  11. David Payne says:

    HI Greg – great to meet you last night at Welsh Nurse of the Year, and to hear about your interesting portfolio career which straddles, writing, editing, radio, TV. Nice to see a couple of tasters of the film you’ve made for RCN Wales. Looking forward to seeing the full film at some point soon. Best wishes, David

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