I've come to northern France.
In May 1940, my grandmother, Dorki, came here with a company of actors as part of ENSA, to raise the spirits of 400,000 British soldiers.
I'm meeting Professor Anselm Heinrich in Bethune.
He's an expert on the history of theater, and he's been researching Dorki's time in France.
-Very good to see you.
-Lovely to see you.
-Welcome to Bethune.
-What a beautiful theater!
-Yes, wonderful, isn't it?
And this is the stage your grandmother would have performed on in 1940.
-This actual stage?
-This actual stage.
-Wow, that's something.
-A lot of the soldiers were in these garrisons, sitting, doing next to nothing, waiting for some action.
So they were really welcoming these companies coming 'round and performing.
-Were they doing plays, or were they doing light comedies?
-They performed a lot of music hall turns.
But at the same time, ENSA had a different notion of what theater for the troops should be like -- that there needs to be something elevating, something educational.
Because in the Second World War, Britain was fighting Nazi barbarism.
It's about the very roots of what we are about in Britain.
It's- it's culture.
It's- it's the arts.
We found this book about women in war in 1940, and your grandmother is featured in that book, and she's interviewed.
-My grandmothers interviewed?
[chuckles] -I can't get over that.
I can't get over that there's a book with her being interviewed.
"There were many thrills for this young actress.
"She said she had never dreamed of anything half as interesting as that month turned out to be."
I mean, she literally never talked about this, to me anyway.
-Uh... "Even the strict Army discipline, "the passport with 'Admit bearer into the war zone,' was exciting."
-I've got something else here.
-You'll be surprised.
-I will be?
-So... -I'm already surprised.
-So, one of the biggest stars of the time in Britain -was Gracie Fields.
-And ENSA secured her services to come here to northern France to entertain the troops.
Of course, we are not here to talk about Gracie Fields, -are we?
-Because there is a- a link to your grandmother.
And this is, in the words of your grandmother, what she experienced.
-"Instead of watching Gracie Fields "when she came on the stage, "her wonderful effect on the masses "compelled me suddenly to watch their reactions to her.
"If I lived to be 200, "I do not think I shall ever forget how each of those "many, many men "expressed complete devotion and admiration, "and showed gleeful excitement when Gracie came on and said, [laughing] 'Hello, boys.'"
I mean, that's mind-blowing.
-That's her voice.