Walmington-on-Sea's Home Guard
Captain George Mainwaring
The self-proclaimed commanding officer of the Home Guard
, Captain Mainwaring is the local bank manager. Very pompous but focused on the war effort, Mainwaring strives to mold his ragtag group of volunteers into a capable fighting force in case Those Wacky Nazis
- A Father to His Men: Only really counts with Pike since most of his troops are his age (or older.)
- Armchair Military: Of a sort; the Home Guard are an official military fighting force, but Mainwaring himself has clearly has little combat experience.
- Badass Mustache: He has a rather neat little moustache.
- Badass: Captain Mainwaring can be very awesome when needed, particularly in The Movie where he and his men manage to apprehend Nazi paratroopers by out-gunning them. He is also seemingly fearless.
- The Captain: Of the platoon.
- Catch Phrase: "You stupid boy!" (To Pike); "There is a war on, you know."
- The Comically Serious
- Drunk with Power: Needless to say, a bank clerk going from his position to head of the local Home Guard unit does this to you.
- Fantastic Racism: Captain Mainwaring hates Nazis and Germans in general. He seems to have an unintended snobbish look on other foreigners.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The Responsible Sibling to his brother Barry's Foolish Sibling.
- The Ghost: Mrs. Mainwaring.
- Glad I Thought of It: Often claims he allowed his troops to spot he things he already had (when he actually did not).
- The Good Captain: Tries to be.
- Henpecked Husband: He tries to pretend otherwise, but we get plenty of hints throughout the series that his wife nags and bullies him constantly.
- The Hero: Although the focus shifts, Mainwaring is the main focus of the story and certainly gets plenty of heroic moments.
- Hidden Depths: His pomposity and over-enthusiasm for the Home Guard conceals a rather miserable marriage, an unsatisfying and stalled career, and overall a rather unhappy and lonely life. Exemplified quite nicely by his revealing that he can play the bagpipes:
I spent my honeymoon in a remote village in Scotland called InverGeechie. It was a wild and lonely place.
The nights were long... ...and there was nothing else
- Hypocritical Humour: He often has a go at Walker for his black market dealings while being involved in them himself. As this is a sitcom, it's Played for Laughs as opposed to him being an out and out hypocrite.
- On some occasions where Pike is not responsible for accidents and he is, he will call Pike a stupid boy anyway. This is rare enough, but some notable occasions include him bumping into Pike because he wasn't paying attention, or following Mainwaring's instructions to the letter, when it would have been better to be more specific.
- I Take Offense to That Last One: Captain Mainwaring is easily offended if directly or subtly insulted.
- It's Pronounced Tro-PAY: He often has to remind people how to pronounce his name correctly (It is correctly pronounced as "Manner-Ring").
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He is pompous and petty. However, he would fight with his last dying breath to defend Britain, and is so concerned with the welfare of his men that in 'Asleep In The Deep' he engineers the situation so that he's the one in physical danger, rather than one of them.
- Large Ham: It helps that he's very serious.
- The Napoleon: Actually nicknamed "Napoloen" by Warden Hodges, and dreams about being Napoleon in one episode.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: Usually when working at the bank.
- Officer and a Gentleman: While Captain Mainwaring can be very rude and pompous, he has his moments of genuine kindness, always willing to help out his troops and even gives Mrs. Fox away to Corporal Jones.
- Only Sane Man: Believes himself to be this, although he is just as looney as most of his troops.
- Patriotic Fervor: Very patriotic and scolds those who do not follow his example.
- Phony Veteran: He served in the army but on the occupation forces after the First World War, and not as an officer as he so claimed.
- The Reveal: He has never actually had any combat experience, and was never a soldier in World War I. He is briefly removed from command until the other troops send letters to the war office asking for his return.
- Surrounded by Idiots: Though he's Not So Above It All himself.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Wilson, despite their differences in attitude and class.
- What an Idiot: Several characters In-Universe think he is an idiot, mainly Frazer, Hodges, and Captain Square.
- Working-Class Hero: Came from this background.
- Zany Scheme: Often utilises these whilst on duty. And then regrets using them.
Sergeant Arthur Wilson
Second-in-command of the Home Guard and deputy bank manager. Wilson is very laidback and diffident, having gone to a public school and is very suave and popular with the ladies. Mainwaring seems to hold Wilson in mixed regards. He has an interesting relationship with Mrs. Pike. Referred to as "Uncle Arthur" by Pike.
- Badass: Don't get on his bad side.
- In one episode where several Irish men invade the church hall to rescue their friend from the Home Guard, all of the troops save Wilson and Godfrey are defeated by the Irish. Wilson steps in and has an Offscreen Moment of Awesome where he casually walks back into Mainwaring's office after beating the Irishmen senseless.
- Also in the episode where Hodges ups Mrs. Pike's rent but then tells her that she needn't pay it if she'd be "nice to him." Wilson belts him to the approval of the onlooking cast.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Wilson never raises his voice, but considering he was a Captain in the Royal Artillery forces during World War I, he must have been quite a force to behold.
- Best shown when a group of Irish thugs had given Pike a cut lip. Wilson, who up until that point had been a emotional wreck, calmly walked through the door and beat them all single handed.
- The Captain: Revealed to have been one during World War I.
- The Charmer: When it comes to women, he's an outright master. Walker even Lampshades it in one episode.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Comes across as this at times, yet oddly enough he's often the Only Sane Man.
- Deadpan Snarker: His humour is very dry.
- Honourary Uncle: To Pike.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Which annoys Manwairing greatly.
- The Lancer: To Mainwaring.
- Luke, I Am Your Father:
- Heavily implied to be Pike's real father. In an interview, David Croft said that this was true "in his opinion", and when Ian Lavender asked him he said "yes, absolutely!".
- Later revealed that he has an adult daughter from a previous marriage, and has a good relationship with her. Only Frazer discovers this and he becomes Wilson's Secret Keeper.
- Officer and a Gentleman: Subverted in that he was an officer, and he behaves like an officer, but in the show he's an NCO. Wilson also takes the "Gentleman" part of it to an extreme: his idea of giving an order is to cough discreetly and murmur to the platoon "Excuse me - um, would you mind very much falling in, please". In one of their radio shows where they're doing a radio play for the interests of self-promotion and morale boosting, the broadcaster insists that Mainwaring and Wilson switch roles because Mainwaring sounds more like a sergeant than an officer and vice versa.
- Only Sane Man: When Mainwaring is off doing something looney, Wilson holds this trope. However he's normally too distracted or unfocused to make to much of a difference.
- OOC Is Serious Business: The only time in the entire series he ever shouts a proper order and doesn't question Mainwaring's choices, is when the Town is facing its greatest crisis, with the recent air raid having destroyed the railway line, cut of the telephone lines, and left the town with a miniscule supply of water and gas. Mainwaring is noticeably surprised.
- Retired Badass
- Upper-Class Twit: He exhibits traits.
- You Are in Command Now: Happens twice. Once when Mainwaring is stripped of his command when it turns out he is a self-proclaimed officer; and again when Wilson becomes the Eastgate bank manager.
Lance-Corporal Jack Jones
Third-in-command of the Home Guard, Jones is the local butcher. A veteran of the 1890s Sudan war and World War I, Jones joins the Walmington-on-Sea troops to fight in the second world war. Eager for battle, Jones is the most energetic and zaniest of the group.
- Bayonet Ya: Jones often carries his old bayonet with him, claiming them "Fuzzy-Wuzzies don't like it up 'em!"
- Blood Knight: Played for Laughs.
- Bumbling Sidekick: To Captain Mainwaring.
- The Butcher: His day job, though his fondness for bayonets could paint him as the other use for the word.
- Catch Phrase: "Don't panic! Don't PANIC!"; "Permission to (insert word here), sir!"; "They don't like it up 'em!"; "Fuzzy Wuzzies"; "You saved my life Mr (insert name here)! I'll never forget that!"
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: The nuttiest of the troops and that's saying something.
- Cool Old Guy: The oldest member of the platoon and the one with the most combat experience.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: While largely incompetent, he has managed to pull the group through a few tight spots... a lot of which he may have caused.
- Food as Bribe: Often gives food to Captain Mainwaring and Wilson when he wants something, which is how he got his rank in the home guard. He even bribed the other platoon members to vote for him with sausages in one episode. The food is often tricky to get due to rations.
- Hot-Blooded: See the other tropes for why.
- Hypocritical Humour: Once an Episode, he yells "DON'T PANIC! DON'T PANIC!" while doing exactly that.
- Knife Nut: He is very fond on bayoneting any enemies. Especially in the posterior, hence, "they don't like it up 'em".
- Large Ham: DON'T PANIC! DON'T PANIIIIIIIC!!!"
- Leeroy Jenkins: Jones' solution is to run into a situation headfirst first.
- Madness Mantra: Whenever something alarms or excites Jones he will leap about shouting "Don't panic! Don't panic!"
- Obsolete Mentor: Although much of the Home Guard seem to admire his advice.
- Old Soldier: Of two-to-three wars.
- One-Man Army: Could be one if given the chance.
- Perilous Old Fool: Jones is one Badass Grandpa.
- Rambling Old Man Monologue: Usually happens once an episode, only tangentially related to the matter at hand. Lampshaded once when Pike questions how a conversation about porridge ended on a tale of a Scottish soldier getting a scorpion up his kilt.
- Ship Tease: With Mrs. Fox. They eventually get married in the last episode.
- Team Dad
Private Joe Walker
The second-youngest of the Home Guard, Walker is a spiv from London who often makes deals and offers to other characters to make money. Most of his goods can be used for the war effort. The character was dropped from the show after the death of his actor.
- Badass Moustache
- Breakout Character
- Calling Card
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: His actor sadly passed away, leading the character to disappear, apparently gone to London to cut a deal.
- Coat Full of Contraband
- Deadpan Snarker: Even more so than Wilson.
- Draft Dodging: Walker managed to evade military service by claiming he was allergic to corn beef. When he actually was forced to sign up, he was quickly dismissed when it turned out he actually was allergic to corn beef.
- Honest John's Dealership
- Lovable Rogue: He's basically a criminal, a con-man and a black-marketeer, but he's very loyal to the platoon and his friends and is a pretty nice guy when all is said and done.
- The Nicknamer: He calls Jones "Jonesy", Pike as "Pikey", and Frazer as "Taffy".
- Only Sane Man: He keeps his cool in a crisis, usually has some good ideas for how to solve a problem, and generally has less quirks and eccentricities than the other characters. His deadpan quips nevertheless help keep him an entertaining presence.
- Put on a Bus: After the death of his actor.
- Screw the War, We're Partying!: Likes nothing more than a drink down the pub.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Walker wears a sharp suit and a trilby when not on duty.
Private James Frazer
An elderly Scottish undertaker
and former naval cook, Frazer is a very dour and pessimistic man who often goes into rants and tales about Doomy Dooms of Doom
, usually with wide eyes of madness. He hates Captain Mainwaring.
- Badass Grandpa: Despite being one of the oldest members, Frazer is among the more capable members of the platoon, being the best shot (leading to him manning the Lewis gun) and is always ready for the more dangerous situations.
- Catchphrase: "A wild and lonely place" whenever he goes into one of his old stories, usually describing Scottish Islands.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander
- Creepy Mortician: Actually lampshaded in "My Brother and I."
- Creepy Shadowed Undereyes: Has very deeply set eyes and frequently makes a Mad Eye expression.
- Doomy Dooms of Doom: Constantly goes on about how he is doomed.
- Drunk with Power: In one episode, Mainwaring allows Frazer to run the troops for a while and it goes to his head. Frazer also never misses a chance to claim his (self appointed) position as fourth in command of the platoon.
- The Eeyore: Almost never upset and constantly grumpy.
- Father Neptune: Previously served in the Navy and is the one they always fall to when they need to row something.
- Hypocritical Humor: Will often say "I don't think you can do it", then always change it to "I knew you could do it and always did!"
- Jerk Ass: Sometimes. He takes delight in talking about the short commings of other platoon members and was outright vile towards Godfrey in the episode Branded. He also has a few elements of The Starscream.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sometimes. Such as in the season eight episode "Is There Honey Still For Tea", when Godfey's cottage was to be demolished to build an aerodrome. Frazer blackmails the minister in charge of building it to move the aerodrome to save the cottage.
- Large Ham: DEATH WILL CLAIM THEE!
- Man in a Kilt: Only wears one on special occasions, and is bothered by why Englishmen are so obsessed with knowing what is under a Scotsman's kilt.
- Old Soldier: Technically sailor, Frazer served in the Navy.
- Phony Veteran: He was in the Navy as a chief petty officer, but it's not until he was pressed that he reveals his job was a cook. He allowed everyone to assume he fought at Jutland, but when pressed, admitted that he had been "at Jutland" - while everyone else was on deck fighting, he was down below making the shepherd's pie.
- Sarcastic Devotee / Sour Supporter: With just a hint of The Starscream: he's hyper-critical of Mainwaring's leadership and makes no secret of the fact that he's angling for greater power within the platoon, but he's loyal enough when and where it counts.
- Surrounded by Idiots: His opinion of the rest of the platoon (not without some merit granted) though like Mainwaring, he often shows to Not So Above It All after all.
- Unreliable Narrator: Had a tendency to tell wild stories about his past encounters with things like giant squids and voodoo curses. Played with in that there was always a mundane twist that hinted that there was at least some truth to them.
- Violent Glaswegian: Not the most violent example, but he certainly has a short temper, and despite his age is never above threatening. Not that he can't back up his threats if the need be.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Thinks he's in a disaster horror series. He's really in a sitcom.
Private Charles Godfrey
A retired employee of Civil Service Stores, Godfrey is a polite, kind and humble elderly man. He has a weak bladder and has to excuse himself a lot. He lives with his eccentric sisters in a cottage. He later becomes The Medic
of the Home Guard.
- A Father to His Men: More so than Captain Mainwaring.
- Badass Grandpa: The second oldest member of the platoon, and clearly the one who shows his age the most. Not that he can't be awesome when the situation requires him to.
- Badass Pacifist: Godfrey is outright set against violence, admitting he couldn't even bring himself to kill a mouse, however he's incredibly brave and always ready when the situation requires him to be awesome. He was a conscientious objector, but still served as a stretcher bearer and saved many lives.
- Beware the Nice Ones: According to Pike in "My British Buddy" Godfrey hit one of the American soldiers with a chair. For stepping on his sister's upside-down cake, no less.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Not Godfrey, but his two sisters seem quite batty.
- Cool Old Guy: The supposed medic, Godfrey's also a nice person and also served as a stretcher bearer in World War One.
- Have a Gay Old Time: Frequently uses the words "gay" and "queer" with the old meanings.
- The Medic: Official role in the Platoon, but he truthfully is often very little help.
- Nice Guy: So much so, that the worst things he ever does is twice insult the Warden (with perfectly accurate claims) when Hodges pushes even his patience beyond breaking point.
- Old Soldier: Sort of, the majority of his experience was in Army and Navy stores, however he was a decorated stretcher bearer during the First World War.
- Potty Emergency: Has to run for the toilet a lot on account of his weak bladder.
- Retired Badass: Its revealed that during the first world war he was decorated for bravery, due to being in the Medical corps as a stretcher bearer and going out into no man's land to fetch wounded soldiers, saving many lives.
- The So-Called Coward: Godfrey is revealed to have been a conscientious objector in World War I. He was shunned briefly by the other troops until he rescues Captain Mainwaring from a smoke-filled building. At home, the troops are shocked to discover he had enlisted as a stretcher bearer regardless of his views, and rescued soldiers in No Man's Land, winning the Military Medal.
- Support Party Member: The team medic.
- Team Dad: Closer to team Grandfather, although Jones is officially the oldest, he never the less has a kindly grandfather feel with all the members of the platoon.
Private Frank Pike
The youngest member of the troop, Pike works in the bank under his "Uncle Arthur" and Captain Mainwaring. Often asking stupid questions and making equally pointless comments, Pike is very childish, much to Captain Mainwaring's irritation who refers to Pike as a "stupid boy
". He is mollycoddled by his mother, wears a scarf on parade, and tries to excuse himself from troop events following his mum's advice.
- Beleaguered Assistant: In the bank, and he's usually lumbered with the most tedious jobs for the platoon as well.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Interestingly despite all his immaturity and child like behaviour, Pike is apparently quite good at his job at the bank. He is less good at being a member of the home guard.
- Butt Monkey: He gets soaked, shoved into mud, hit by oncoming obstacles and generally has the mick taken out of him on a day to day basis.
- Disappeared Dad: His ostensible father (Mrs. Pike's husband) died years before the beginning of the show. Sergeant Wilson is implied to be his real father.
- Draft Dodging: It is implied that a lot of his supposed medical illnesses are attempts on the part of his hyper-protective mother to ensure this. When he finally was called up to join the army the medics said that there was nothing wrong with him that couldn't be cured by plenty of exercise, fresh air and good food. But it turns out that he has a rare blood type that would prove useless in the war.
- Idiot Ball: Happens a lot, but this trope is shared between the whole platoon.
- Kid-Appeal Character: His immature moments mostly come from that.
- Momma's Boy: His mother smothers him, so he doesn't really know how to adjust.
- The Movie Buff: Encyclopaedic knowledge of 30s talkies. His favourite is Joan Blondell.
- Phrase Catcher: From Mainwaring- "You stupid boy!"
- Scarf of Asskicking: Averted. He wears a scarf because he gets cold a lot.
- Tagalong Kid: Somewhat, he is the youngest member of the platoon and the others often treat him like a child.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Prone to using '20s gangster slang to try and intimidate people, and often suggests plans based on movie scenes despite not knowing how they're actually supposed to work.
A recurring member of the platoon, Sponge is a sheep farmer who leads the second half of the platoon (the background characters). He somewhat became an Ascended Extra
after Walker's departure.
- Ascended Extra: Started off as a background character, but became a more prominent character. He was often used for the leads to talk to, and cracked the occasional joke.
- Hero of Another Story: He doesn't get much focus, but leads the second half of the platoon.
- Hufflepuff House: Him and the rest of the platoon.
- Mauve Shirt: He generally doesn't get much characterisation, but hangs around in the background and gets a name.
- You Didn't Ask: In an episode where the platoon help to gather a harvest, Sponge is asked by Captain Mainwaring to demonstrate how the harvesting machinery works. Sponge admits he is a sheep farmer and does not know how. Mainwaring calls him out on this, but Sponge tells Mainwaring he never asked if he knew how to use the machinery.
A Guest Star Party Member
, Private Cheeseman is a Welsh journalist who joins the platoon to get an idea of how they live and operate. He speaks in a thick Welsh accent, has big teeth and large glasses.
William Hodges is Chief Air Raid Warden in Walmington-on-Sea and Captain Mainwaring's Sitcom Arch-Nemesis
. He is a greengrocer when off-duty, but is a grouchy, power mad, and rude man. He has a short temper and often clashes with the Home Guard, referring to Mainwaring as "Napoleon". He keeps a weary eye open for anyone in town who might threaten the safety of everyone, storming in to give the culprit a piece of his mind.
- Berserk Button: Anything can set Hodges off, but he particularly hates it when someone leaves a light on during an air raid or at night.
- Butt Monkey: Something bad happens to him
- Catch Phrase: "PUT THAT LIGHT OUT!"; "You ruddy 'ooligans!"; "Now, look here, Napoleon..."
- Deadpan Snarker: He has a dry wit half the time, when he's not laughing his head off.In-Universe, however, only the Verger finds his jokes amusing.
- Drunk with Power: He's let the power go to his head.
- Freudian Excuse: He served in World War One and is implied to have some sort of mental illness.
- Grumpy Bear: Almost perpetually angry.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Especially when it comes to lights showing in the blackout.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Some of the time; some of his nagging towards the Home Guard is technically following the rules, and they are supposed to be living in the blackout.
- Kick the Dog: Loves doing this to the Home Guard, although sometimes it comes back to bite him in the butt.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Often falls victim to this, be he mocking the Home Guard, harassing Mrs. Pike or being generally unhelpful.
- Not So Different: With Mainwaring. Despite their class differences and antagonism, they're both rather pompous and officious men who've let their newfound wartime authority go to their heads a bit too quickly.
- Pet the Dog: For all his faults, he does seem to care about his nephew Hamish and niece Sylvia, although they're fairly nasty in their own right and they sometimes irritate him as well as the others.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis / The Rival: To Captain Mainwaring. Hodges despises Mainwaring, blaming him for ruining his fun and his life.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Much like Mainwaring he let his newfound position of power get to his head.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Despite Hodges' grumpy attitude and persistant aggressiveness, he is only looking out for Walmington-on-Sea's safety.
Mrs. Mavis Pike
Reverend Timothy Farthing
- Ambiguously Gay: He's seen leaning forward for a kiss from a man at least once or twice. His actor admitted that he played him as gay.
- Trademark Favorite Food: A recurring line was him ordering a double whiskey whenever someone else was paying, the joke being that whiskey was expensive and in very short supply.
- The Vicar: His job in the town.
- Abhorrent Admirer: Occasionally behaves this way towards Mainwaring and others.
- Big Beautiful Woman: What she, and apparently Jones, think herself to be.
- Retcon: The episode "Mum's Army" gave her first name as Marcia, but this changed to Mildred in the final episode.
- Ship Tease: With Jones. They get married in the final episode.
- Accidental Misnaming: Frequently pronounces Mainwaring's name as "Mane-wearing." It's never specified whether this is deliberate or a result of his absent-mindedness (or a combination of both.)
- Malaproper: Makes up bizarre words and mispronounces people's names.
- Old Soldier: Genuinely does have an impressive service record, a sore point between him and Mainwaring.
- Retcon: In the first few series he was Corporal-Colonel Square (an amalgamation of his current rank in the Home Guard with his previous rank in the military.) This was later Handwaved by Word of God saying he had received a promotion.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis / The Rival: Sometimes fills in this role in place of (or as well as) Hodges.
- Trigger Happy: Mainwaring ends up Tempting Fate when he believes that Square won't shoot the building that the platoon are in note . He is then furious when proven wrong.
- Upper-Class Twit: Noticeably one of the poshest characters in the show.