Basil Ackroyd was an old friend of Sam Pearson. He visited Sam in April 1977, unintentionally bringing back memories of WWI for Sam. Sam and Basil's other friend Gilbert Mondrian also arrived in the village too, and they arranged an old soldiers' reunion at The Woolpack. Basil and Gilbert returned to France later that month. In September 1977, Joe Sugden and Matt Skilbeck were surprised to find Basil's car piled high with luggage in Emmerdale Farm's farmyard, leaving them curious to the real reason why Basil had returned to Beckindale. It eventually transpired that Basil's daughter Renee Barstow has been searching for him and Basil flees when Renee almost successfully tracks him down.