TV and radio presenter Nicky was adopted a few days after he was born in 1961. His biological mother Stella Lackey was unmarried and had traveled from Ireland to give birth. Although she sent Christmas cards for the first 5 years of Nicky’s life, they never had any direct contact. It was not until he was xx that Nicky decided to try and track down Stella and his biological father Joseph.
Although he discovered that his biological heritage was 100% Irish, Nicky still thinks of himself as a Scot and it’s his adoptive family, the Campbell’s that he’s closest to. For this reason Nicky takes the unusual decision to investigate his adoptive family’s history. "I've traced my birth family", says Nicky at the start of his journey, "but this is the chance to find out more about the roots of my adoptive family, the people who I think of as my real mum and dad".
During his investigations Nicky learns about his father Frank’s wartime experiences as an officer in Burma during WW2. Frank and his men fought against the Japanese in what has come to be known as "the forgotten war". The Burma Campaign was the longest of the entire war and the troops who served there fought in some of the worst conditions on any battlefield. Nicky is amazed to hear what his father went through. "And to think that he was proud of what I did," he mused.
He also investigates the causes of Frank’s estrangement from his own father, Argyll Campbell and travels to his grandfather’s birthplace in Brisbane, Australia. Frank never had a good word to say about his father, who pushed him into a career in medicine and never offered any encouragement. Along with discovering family stories of hardship and tragedy, Nicky uncovers some shocking revelations from his grandfather’s childhood, which help him understand why Argyll drove Frank as hard as he did.