Emily Atack's tears over 'horrifically sad' tragedy in her family history

Emily Atack broke down in tears when she learned about a “horrifically sad” tragedy in her family on BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are?

The Inbetweeners star discovered her great-great-grandfather took his own life, aged just 33, after another man’s tragic death at the colliery where he worked. Joseph Atack was tasked with keeping miners safe in 1886, when a 36-year-old was crushed to death by the cage used to transport the men deep underground.

An investigation found the man had “jumped on the cage”, putting his own life at risk – but a verdict of ‘accidental killing’ was recorded. Three years later, Emily’s ancestor jumped into a local river and drowned.

Newspaper reports at the time said Joseph was convinced he was going to be convicted of manslaughter and “must have gone into the water in a state of temporary insanity”. His wife – who was also called Emily – was left with five children to support and care for.

Emily, who has previously spoken about her own mental health struggles, wiped away tears as she learned of the tragic story, reported The Mirror.

“Oh, my God,” said Emily. “That is horrifically sad.”

However, she challenged the claim of temporary insanity. Emily told the BBC show: “He didn’t just lose his mind quickly – there’s sadness and depression, and anxiety and worry and panic.

“These feelings build and you’re trapped in them. There was no help back then. I’ve struggled with mental health but I’ve had the help of therapists and doctors.”

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source: express.co.uk