The Main Cast

Captain George Mainwaring
Captain, Bank Manager, Rotarian, pillar of the community. George Mainwaring was all of these. Born in Eastbourne in 1885, his father, Edmund, was a member of the Master Tailors Guild. He was educated at the local grammar school, and upon leaving found work at the local branch of Swallow Bank, and slowly working his way up to become Manager in 1935. 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...

Arthur Lowe (1915 - 1982)
Arthur started his early working life with the Fairey Aviation Company before joining the Army shortly before World War II. It was in the Army that he first had theatrical connections by helping to organise troop shows abroad. After the war, he made the decision to leave Fairy Aviation and try his luck in the theatre. Through a friend of his fathers, Arthur started the uphill struggle at the Hulme Hippodrome, Manchester, his first part being Dickson in 'Bedtime Story'. Many years of repertory followed. His first break came in 1952 with a part in the American musical 'Call Me Madam', followed by 'Pal Joey' and 'The Pyjama Game'. Whilst working in the theatre by night, he was also busy by day working on commercials, school radio broadcasts and creating character roles in Ealing Comedies, his first appearance being as a young reporter at the end of 'Kind Hearts and Coronets'. In 1961 an experimental TV soap opera was started by Granada television, and in it Arthur was to play Leonard Swindley. He soon found himself being recognised on the street. He played the character until 1966 when he decided to put him to rest. He still kept up with his theatre and film work, and was seldom 'resting'. 1968 was a major turning point in his career when he was approached by writers Jimmy Perry and David Croft for a part in a new television comedy programme initially called 'The Fighting Tigers', about Britain's Home Guard. The programme was renamed 'Dad's Army' and enjoyed a run of over eighty episodes, a radio series, stage musical and a feature film. Arthur appeared in every one. During his time with Dad's Army, he literally maintained a full diary of working commitments. When Dad's Army ceased in 1977, TV work came in the shape of 'Potter', a comedy series based on the antics of a retired sweet factory owner, 'Bless me Father', a comedy series based on the clergy, and his last, 'A.J. Wentworth B.A., about a school master. None of these have been repeated. His last film appearance was in Lindsay Anderson's 'Britannia Hospital' in 1981. The following year whilst playing 'Home at Seven' at the Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham, Arthur Lowe fell asleep reading a book in his dressing room. He never regained consciousness