George Mainwaring is often quoted as saying that his father kept
a tailor's shop in the best part of Eastbourne, and was a member
of the Master Tailors Guild.
according to Jones, who is the only one who remembers Eastbourne
at the time, Mainwarings father in fact kept a small gent's outfitters
in a side street, with old workmen's trousers hanging up outside.
In spite of his humble background, he was determined to be someone
and by application and hard work he managed to gain a scholarship
to the local Grammar school.
he left in 1902, he toyed with the vain hope that he might become
a soldier. It had been a dream of his since childhood, but in
those day's a Grammar school education was hardly a fitting background
for an officer and a gentleman. Besides, he had no money. He took
up a position in Martin's Bank where, after twelve years hard
work, he became Assistant Chief Clerk."
the war broke out in 1914, he at once volunteered. At last he
was going to be a soldier, and be able to wear on his chest those
medals he had craved for all his life. But he was turned down
because of his eyesight. During the next few years he made repeated
attempts to join up and at last, thanks once more to his determination,
he was commisioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the pioneer corps. Mainwaring
arrived in France on 14 November 1918, forty eight hours after
the Armistice, just too late to get any medals."
1919, with his hopes of glory dashed, he returned to civilian
life, where he met and married Elizabeth, a large girl, who helped
her sister to run a small wool shop. in later life he wondered
if she was in fact knitted, instead of flesh and blood - there
was no issue from the union.
threw himself into his work, and in 1935 his ambition was achieved
when he was promoted to manager of Martin's (Swallows) Bank, Walmington
on sea. At the age of fifty-five it seemed that his dreams of
serving his country on active service were past. However , fate
took a hand, and when in 1940 the Nazi invasion of these islands
threatened, he grasped the opportunity with both hands and formed
the Walmington on Sea Local Defence Volunteers (later to become
the Home Guard).
his efforts he welded them into a crack fighting force. At last,
he had found his true destiny. But as we know the German's never
came, and alas, there were no medals for Mainwaring."
Perry & David Croft from "Dads Army" (Elm Tree Books