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 Pike since most of his troops are his age (or older.)
- Armchair Military
- Badass Mustache
- 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
- Catch Phrase: "You stupid boy!" (To Pike); "There is a war on, you know."
- Drunk with Power: Needless to say, a bank clerk going from his position to head of the Home Guard 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
- The Hero
- 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.
- Its 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' 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Captain: Revealed to have been one during World War I.
- 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!".
- 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 off doing something looney, Wilson holds this trope.
- 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.
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.
Private James Frazer
An elderly Scottish undertaker
and former naval cook, Frazer is a very scatterbrained man who often goes into rants and tales about Doomy Dooms of Doom
, usually with wide eyes of madness. He hates Captain Mainwaring.
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.
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.
- 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.
- Dawson Casting: Played by Ian Lavender, who was 22 when the show began and 31 when it ended, although Pike was supposed to be no older than 18-19.
- 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: Pike is nearly called up to join the army but learns 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
- Momma's Boy
- Phrase Catcher
- Scarf Of Asskicking: Averted. He wears a scarf because he gets cold a lot.
- Tagalong Kid
- The Movie Buff: Encyclopaedic knowledge of 30s talkies. His favourite is Joan Blondell.
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
- Hufflepuff House: Him and the rest of the platoon.
- Mauve Shirt
- 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
- Catch Phrase: "PUT THAT LIGHT OUT!"; "You ruddy 'ooligans!"; "Now, look here, Napoleon..."
- Deadpan Snarker: Only the Verger finds his jokes amusing.
- Drunk with Power: He's let the power go to his head.
- Grumpy Bear: Almost perpetually angry.
- Hair-Trigger Temper
- Jerkass Has a Point: Some of the time; some of the advice he does give to 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.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis / The Rival: To Captain Mainwaring. Hodges despises Mainwaring, blaming him for ruining his fun and his life.
- Small Name, Big Ego
- 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.
- 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
- Abhorrent Admirer: Occasionally behaves this way towards Mainwaring and others.
- 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.)
- 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.
- Upper-Class Twit