“Dad’s Army” was a long running British comedy series created and written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft. The idea of a series came to Jimmy Perry when he realised that many people had forgotten about the contribution the Home Guard had made to the British Home Front during the years of the Second World War.

dad's army cast

Commencing in 1968, “Dad’s Army” ran on BBC Television for 9 years with over eighty episodes spread within 10 series. The series is set in a small fictional seaside town called Walmington-on-Sea somewhere on the South Coast of England.

“Dad’s Army” is also remembered for its first class actors which starred amongst its credits, Arthur Lowe as Captain Mainwaring, John Le Mesurier as Sergeant Arthur Wilson and Clive Dunn as Lance Corporal Jack Jones.

67 of Jimmy Perry and David Croft’s Television Scripts for “Dad’s Army” were adapted for BBC Radio by Harold Snoad and Michael Knowles between 1973 and 1975. They were recorded at The Playhouse Theatre, Northumberland Avenue, London and at The Paris Studios, Lower Regent Street, London.

All episodes were recorded in Mono and exist on Magnetic Tape in the BBC Sound Archive.

The Radio Series began on Monday 24th January 1974 and ran for three series with its final episode been broadcast on 7th September 1976. The Series was generally given two air periods a week on BBC Radio 4, the second of which would be a repeat.

The show’s main characters were:

Captain Mainwaring
Cpt George Mainwaring

Captain George Mainwaring (pronounced /ˈmænərɪŋ/ (MAN-ər-ing)) (Arthur Lowe)—the pompous—if essentially brave and unerringly patriotic—local bank manager, Mainwaring appointed himself leader of his town’s contingent of Local Defence Volunteers.

“You stupid boy”, “Ah, just waiting to see who’d be the first one to spot that”, “That’s a typical shabby Nazi trick!”, “This is war, you know!”

 

 

 

Sergeant Wilson
Sergeant Arthur Wilson

Sergeant Arthur Wilson (John Le Mesurier)—a diffident, upper-class bank clerk who would quietly question Mainwaring’s judgement (“Do you think that’s wise?”). Wilson served as a Captain in the First World War.

“Do you really think that’s wise, sir?”

 

 

 

 

Lance-Corporal Jones
Lance-Corporal Jones

Lance-Corporal Jack Jones (Clive Dunn)—born in 1870, Jones was an old campaigner who had joined up as a drummer boy aged 14 and participated, as a boy soldier, in the campaign of Kitchener in the Sudan between 1896 and 1898.

“Don’t panic!”, “Permission to speak, sir?” and “They don’t like it up ’em!”.

 

 

 

 

Private Joe Walker
Private Joe Walker

Private Joe Walker (James Beck)—a black market “spiv,” Walker was the only fit, able-bodied man of military age in Walmington-on-Sea’s Home Guard. His absence from the regular armed forces was due to a corned beef allergy.

‘Ere, Come and have a look at this…

 

 

 

Private Frank Pike
Private Frank Pike

Private Frank Pike (Ian Lavender)—a cosseted mother’s boy, constantly wearing a thick scarf with his uniform to prevent illness, and often the target of Mainwaring’s derision (“Stupid boy!”). He also works under Mainwaring in his day-job as assistant bank clerk.

“Uncle Arthur”

 

 

 

Private James Frazer
Private James Frazer

Private James Frazer (John Laurie)—a dour Scottish coffin maker and a Chief Petty Officer on HMS Defiant in the Royal Navy who served at the Battle of Jutland as a ship’s cook.

“We’re doomed. Doomed!”

 

 

 

Private Godfrey
Private Godfrey

Private Charles Godfrey MM (Arnold Ridley)—he is the platoon’s medical orderly. He was always getting caught short and needed to (“be excused”). A conscientious objector during WWI, he nevertheless was awarded a Military Medal for heroic actions during the war, and demonstrated bravery in the home guard as well.

“May I be excused, sir?”, “I must have dropped off!”,

Mainwaring: “Any previous military experience?”Godfrey: “Well, as a matter of fact, I was thirty-five years in the Army & Navy”Mainwaring: “Army AND Navy?! How did you come to be serving in both branches?”Godfrey: “Army & Navy stores. I served in the Gents Outfitting department.”

 

 

Chief ARP Warden Hodges
Chief Warden Hodges

ARP Warden William Hodges (Bill Pertwee)—the platoon’s major rival and nemesis. He was looked down on by Mainwaring for being a common greengrocer. As an ARP Warden he was always demanding people to (“Put that light out!”).

“You hooligans!!”

 

 

 

 

Supporting characters included:

  • Mrs. Mavis Pike (Janet Davies)—Pike’s mother and Sergeant Wilson’s lover.
  • Reverend Timothy Farthing (Frank Williams)—The effete vicar of St. Aldhelm’s Church, he shares his church hall and office with Mainwaring’s platoon.
  • Maurice Yeatman (Edward Sinclair)—Mr. Yeatman was the verger at St. Aldhelm’s Church and head of the Sea Scouts group, and was often hostile to the platoon.
  • Private Sponge (Colin Bean)—Private Sponge had the job of representing those members of the platoon not in Corporal Jones’ first section.
  • Private Cheeseman (Talfryn Thomas)—a Welshman who joined the Walmington-on-Sea platoon during the seventh series to compensate for the death of James Beck who played Private Walker.

List of Dad’s Army radio episodes

NoTitleRecordedFirst broadcastOverview
001The Man and the Hour1973-06-031974-01-28
002Museum Piece1973-06-071974-02-04
003Command Decision1973-06-211974-02-11
004The Enemy Within the Gates1973-06-211974-02-18
005The Battle of Godfrey’s Cottage1973-07-061974-02-25
006The Armoured Might of Lance Corporal Jones1973-07-061974-03-04
007Sgt. Wilson’s Little Secret1973-07-131974-03-11
008A Stripe for Frazer1973-07-131974-03-18
009Operation Kilt1973-07-231974-03-25
010Battle School1973-06-281974-04-01
011Under Fire1973-07-271974-04-08The only existing version of this episode
012Something Nasty in the Vault1973-07-231974-04-15
013The Showing Up of Corporal Jones1973-07-201974-04-22
014The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Walker1973-07-201974-04-29The only existing version of this episode
015Sorry, Wrong Number1973-07-271974-05-06The TV equivalent is The Lion Has Phones
016The Bullet is Not for Firing1973-07-261974-05-13
017Room at the Bottom1973-07-231974-05-20
018Menace from the Deep1973-07-241974-05-27
019No Spring for Frazer1973-07-261974-06-03
020Sons of the Sea1973-07-251974-06-10

Christmas Special

NoTitleRecordedFirst broadcastOverview
021Present Arms1974-07-181974-12-24The TV equivalent is combined episodes, Battle of Giants and Shooting Pains.

Series 2

NoTitleRecordedFirst broadcastOverview
022Don’t Forget the Diver1974-07-161975-02-11
023If the Cap Fits…1974-04-171975-02-18
024Put That Light Out!1974-04-301975-02-25
025Boots Boots Boots1974-04-161975-03-04
026Sergeant – Save My Boy!1974-04-161975-03-11
027Branded1974-07-171975-03-18
028Uninvited Guests1974-04-181975-03-25
029A Brush with the Law1974-07-171975-04-01
030A Soldier’s Farewell1974-05-151975-04-08
031Brain Versus Brawn1974-04-301975-04-15
032War Dance1974-05-121975-04-22
033Mum’s Army1974-05-121975-04-29
034Getting the Bird1974-07-151975-05-06
035Don’t Fence Me In1974-05-161975-05-13
036The King Was in His Counting House1974-05-151975-05-20
037When Did You Last See Your Money?1974-05-151975-05-27
038Fallen Idol1974-07-161975-06-03
039A. Wilson (Manager)?1974-04-171975-06-10
040All is Safely Gathered In1974-07-151975-06-17
041The Day the Balloon Went Up1974-04-181975-06-24

Series 3

NoTitleRecordedFirst broadcastOverview
042A Man of Action1975-04-281976-03-16
043The Honourable Man1975-04-281976-03-23
044The Godiva Affair1975-05-051976-03-30
045Keep Young and Beautiful1975-05-121976-04-06Repeats on BBC radio now edit Pike’s use of the N’ Word
046Absent Friends1975-05-061976-04-13
047Round and Round Went the Great Big Wheel1975-05-071976-04-20
048The Great White Hunter1975-05-301976-04-27The TV equivalent is Man Hunt
049The Deadly Attachment1975-04-301976-05-04
050Things That Go Bump in the Night1975-05-071976-05-11
051My British Buddy1975-05-061976-05-18
052Big Guns1975-05-051976-05-25
053The Big Parade1975-05-021976-06-01
054Asleep in the Deep1975-05-091976-06-08
055We Know Our Onions1975-05-081976-06-15
056The Royal Train1975-04-291976-06-22
057A Question of Reference1975-05-121976-06-29The TV equivalent is The Desperate Drive of Corporal Jones
058High Finance1975-06-271976-07-06
059The Recruit1975-05-011976-07-13
060A Jumbo-Sized Problem1975-06-181976-07-20The TV equivalent is Everybody’s Trucking
061The Cricket Match1975-05-011976-07-27The TV equivalent is The Test
062Time on My Hands1975-04-291976-08-03
063Turkey Dinner1975-05-021976-08-10
064The Captain’s Car1975-05-091976-08-17
065The Two and a Half Feathers1975-05-081976-08-24
066Is There Honey Still for Tea?1975-07-111976-08-31
067Ten Seconds From Now1975-06-181976-09-07
Dad’s Army Radio Show
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