Captain George Mainwaring - Arthur

Captain, Bank Manager, Rotarian, pillar

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Sergeant Arthur Wilson - John

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Lance Corporal Jones - Clive

An experienced soldier, with many

Private James Frazer - John

Every town has a purveyor

Private Joe Walker - Jimmy

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Private Charles Godfrey - Arnold

With experience in the Army

Private Frank Pike - Ian

By far the youngest member

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Captain George Mainwaring (played by Arthur Lowe)
During the First War he was denied active service due to poor eyesight, but was accepted into the Pioneer Corps serving in France during 1918. Little was known of his private life. We know he had a brother, Barry, and was married to Elizabeth, the daughter of the sufragen bishop of Clagthorpe, to whom he introduced the wonders of tomato sauce. The imminent advance of Nazi hordes is nothing to the fear that Elizabeth can instil! Although we never actually see her, she is never far from the telephone. His life was one of repetitive monotony until 1940 when he appointed himself commander of the Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard. Much of the time he tries to match his sergeant who was better educated than he, and is much further up the social ladder. Had he the advantage of his upbringing, he would now be something in the city, not a manager of a small seaside branch. However, his claim to fame, and something future inhabitants of Walmington will thank him for is that he managed to pull a group of local shopkeepers "up by their bootstraps" to become an efficient fighting unit. The rest is history...


Sergeant Wilson (played by John Le Mesurier)
It is a bone of contention with Captain Mainwaring that Arthur Wilson had the benefit of a private education, in his case taken at Meadowbridge Public School. Inspite of pressure from one of his many uncles, Arthur started his working life at a merchant bank in the city, whilst maintaining what he could of the good life. When service beckoned during the First War, it was this background that secured a commission in the army, to the rank of Captain, and served with distinction in many battles. After the war, and a marriage that did not work, he secured a job at Swallow Bank as assistant Clerk at their Weston-Super-Mare branch. Whilst living in Weston-Super-Mare he met a young widow, and when promotion to Chief Clerk required him to move to Walmington-on-Sea, Mrs Pike followed him there. His effect on women was almost magnetic, he treated them with utmost courtesy and gave them his full attention, much to Mainwaring's annoyance. Wilson became a peer of the realm during WWII when one of his uncles died. The Honourable Arthur Wilson felt uncomfortable with his title (as did Mr Mainwaring) and never used it to his advantage. Wilson's approach to discipline was different. He offered his men to "kindly fall in", and when they did it was "thank you so much."


Lance Corporal Jack Jones (played by Clive Dunn)
An experienced soldier, with many years service (and medals) to his name, Jack Jones clearly defines an old campaigner. He served with General Gordon, Lord Kitchener and General Macully becoming very fond of the cold steel. He may have mentioned that "they don't like it up 'em". Loaded with stories of adventure and heroism, Pte Pike made the perfect audience for him. Jones runs the local butchers shop, which had been handed down to him from his father, and the platoon were fortunate enough to have the use of his butchers van as troop transport, once Walker and he had converted it. Mainwaring regarded Jones as a bit of a hazard, but as he said when he first made him Lance Corporal, "his experience will stand us in good steak er... stead". Apart from killing Nazis he has only one ambition in life - to marry Mrs Fox.


Private James Frazer (played by John Laurie)
Every town has a purveyor of doom and gloom. Everything, according to him, will turn into a disaster. James Frazer could almost be right in thinking this way when he joined the Home Guard. As the local undertaker, it is inevitable that he would see the war through different eyes. A war would bring about an increase in business after all! It is a little known fact that he also ran the local philatelist shop on the sea front, which he opened during the summer months. During the quieter months he indulged in his other hobby of hand making coffins. It was not always this way. He spent his youth on the wild and lonely Isle of Barra off the west coast of Scotland. It was a hard life. Being so close to the sea, he would eventually serve in the Royal Navy, reaching the position of Chief Petty Officer. Like Jack Jones, James Frazer also has a wealth of stories to tell, albeit of a different nature. His were of adventure in exotic lands, strange and supernatural happenings. The whole platoon listened in awe when Frazer spun his yarn...


Private Joe Walker (played by James Beck)
If you need anything from whiskey to knicker elastic, watches or even weapons, Joe Walker will get them for you. "Mind you, as its war-time it will cost you, 'cos you can't get 'em". Joe is a typical cockney spiv, making his way through life ducking and diving, trying to avoid the law. Moving down to the south coast from his native Plaistow in east London to avoid call up, he was registered as having a reserved occupation (a banana salesman, as he once said) until the authorities eventually caught up with him. Luckily for him, he was allergic to corned beef, which invalided him out of the army, only to return to serve the needs of the local community. Walker very rarely dealt with money, relying on the bartering system to do business, and occasionally using his skills to do a little work for charity. One of the cleverest in the platoon, others turned to him for inspiration in a tricky situations.


Private Charles Godfrey (played by Arnold Ridley)
With experience in the Army and Navy, you'd think that Charles Godfrey was the ideal man to have about you during war time. When you discover that his experience was in the gentleman's outfitting department of the Army and Navy Stores you would be right in thinking the opposite. However, Godfrey is full of surprises. Probably the oldest member of the platoon, Godfrey is a quiet and unassuming gentleman. Living in the quiet environment of Cherry Tree Cottage with his two sisters Cissy and Dolly, he spends most of his time tending the garden or visiting the clinic for his many complaints, the most noticeable being that of his weak bladder. He once revealed that he was a conscientious objector during the First War, and asked to leave the platoon which outraged Captain Mainwaring who could not believe it. It was shortly after this admission that Godfrey rescued Mainwaring from a smoke filled hut without regard for his own life. It was at this time that it was revealed that he had won the Military Medal for bravery during the Battle of the Somme, rescuing several wounded soldiers as a member of the Medical Corps. As Wilson remarked at the time, you can't go by appearances.


Private Frank Pike (played by Ian Lavender)
By far the youngest member of the newly formed platoon at 17, Frank was too young to enlist in the services, but jumped at the change of belonging to the Home Guard, much to his mother's displeasure. For some reason this displeasure spread to Arthur Wilson, or Uncle Arthur, as Frank would usually address him. Frank regarded the Home Guard as an extension of the scouting movement, of which he was a keen member, and at times acted as if war was a bit of a game. This outlook changed when he eventually received his call up papers, but after it was discovered that he had a rare blood group, he was unable to fulfil his ambition to be a Spitfire pilot and become one of the 'second of the few'. Frank Pike usually ended up wet, or covered in mud during the platoons escapades, he was usually volunteered because he was the youngest, despite his protests about suffering from vertigo, croup or hay fever.


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