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Captain Mainwaring

Portrayed by Arthur Lowe

"Captain 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.

However 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.

When 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."

"When 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."

"In 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.

He 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).

By 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."

Jimmy Perry & David Croft from "Dads Army" (Elm Tree Books 1975).

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