‘A Soldier’s Farewell’ (TV)

dad's army series 5 dvd


Please feel free to comment on my review.

This is another one of my favourite ‘Dad’s Army’ episodes. Mainwaring gets angry and upset with his men when they go to the cinema and he’s run over. He later has a toasted cheese supper and dreams about being Napoleon. The Napoleon scenes are so funny with the characters in Mainwaring’s dream.

Poor Mainwaring gets pushed down in the aisle of the cinema and in the aisle of a bus back home by his men, before being knocked down by his men in his dream as Napoleon. Mainwaring is so patriotic, as he stands up to honour the British National Anthem that gets played in the background.

I loved it when Mainwaring tries to phone his wife Elizabeth about a surprise he’s got for her in a toasted cheese supper. Sadly, it goes all wrong for him with Mrs. Mainwaring. Eventually, he shares the toasted cheese supper with Wilson and Jonesy. I wouldn’t mind having a toasted cheese supper.

Arthur Lowe as Mainwaring is amazing to look at as Napoleon in his dream. It was so funny when he has characters like Jonesy, Godfrey and Pike as Frenchmen and they’re fighting the English by Wilson as the Duke of Wellington with Frazer and Hodges on his side. The cast seemed to enjoy the episode.

The episode also features Bill Pertwee as Chief Warden Hodges. He appears in the scene where the ‘Dad’s Army’ team are on their way home from the cinema and he tries to be overly-familiar with the clippie on the bus. Mainwaring stands up to the clippie’s defence, as he finds her to be charming.

And yes, she is charming! Joy Allen plays the clippie and could be an ideal woman for Mainwaring instead of his own wife. 😀 There’s also Frank Williams as the Vicar, who competes for the office chair as Mainwaring wants it back before they stand up to the British National Anthem being played.

The episode also features Robert Gillespie as Charles Boyer playing Napoleon and Joan Savage as Greta Garbo playing Marie Walewska in the film ‘Conquest’. I actually though that was the real Charles Boyer and Greta Garbo in the film. There is also Colin Bean who plays Private Sponge in this.

‘A Soldier’s Farewell’ is a great ‘Dad’s Army’ episode, featuring a superb performance by Arthur Lowe as Mainwaring and sometimes Napoleon. I found his moments in the episode very amusing. He’s also very charming and gallant, especially before the nice clippie who he meets on a bus back home.

‘A Soldier’s Farewell’ (TV) rating – 10/10


Please feel free to comment on my review.

‘A Soldier’s Farewell’ is the ninth episode transmitted in Series 2 of the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series. I love this radio adaptation of one of my favourite TV episodes of ‘Dad’s Army’. The first time I heard it was on one of ‘The Very Best Episodes’ CD releases for ‘Dad’s Army’. So it must be pretty good! 😀

The episode opens not with the ‘Dad’s Army’ team watching a film at the cinema, but on the actual bus on the way back home from the cinema. Mainwaring and Wilson talk about the evening before Mainwaring complains about his men running out whilst the British National Anthem began playing.

Larry Martyn once again plays Walker in the ‘Dad’s Army’ radio series and rightly so. I found it very amusing when the ‘Dad’s Army’ team all tried to do an impersonation of Charles Boyer from the film. Wilson even gets to do a voice impersonation before Mainwaring stops him, as he disapproves of it.

A number of character lines from the TV version are transferred to other characters in the radio. For example, Sponge’s lines are given to Pike as he doesn’t appear in the radio version of the episode. Sponge was the one who suggested sitting in the ‘nine pennies’ at the cinema. Now Pike suggests it.

Bill Pertwee reprises his role as Chief Warden Hodges in the episode and also gets to be overly familiar with the clippie in the radio version as he did in the TV version. Frank Williams however doesn’t appear as the Vicar in the radio version, thus no competition for the office chair in the story.

This gets replaced by a funnier scene between Mainwaring and Wilson in the radio version. After Wilson plays the German National Anthem on the gramophone record which was a mistake, he and Mainwaring fight over the record before it smashes to pieces. Mainwaring blames Wilson for all this.

Pat Coombs guest stars as the clippie in the radio episode, not Joy Allen. Pat Coombs sounds really nice as the clippie in the radio version. It was pretty creepy though when the clippie as Marie was punching Mainwaring as Napoleon’s photo with her clipper and laughing as well in the dream scene.

Speaking of which, the Napoleon dream scene is amazing on audio. I like how it begins with Mainwaring slumbering into sleep before the dream opens explosively and with majestic music of Napoleon riding on a horse, I believe. Jonesy as a Frenchman also sounds more French in radio than TV.

‘A Soldier’s Farewell’ (Audio) rating – 10/10

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2 thoughts on “‘A Soldier’s Farewell’ (TV)

  1. Rob Keeley

    I like this one too: it’s clever how various lines and incidents from the episode find their way into Mainwaring’s dream. They managed to do the episode on radio with few changes: it’s not easy to convey on audio someone falling asleep and waking up but it’s done through clever sound design.

    A lovely moment where Mainwaring tells Wilson he values his comradeship, even if he spoils it by asking for part-payment for the cheese! In his dreams though he seems to see Wilson as a threat as great as Frazer and Hodges…

    Trivia for your readers: the cinema seen at the start was in Thetford and used during “Dad’s Army” location shoots for the cast and crew to view rushes after dinner.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tim Bradley Post author

    Hi Rob

    I love the radio version of this episode. It’s still the same story, despite the minor changes made to have it work on audio. I’m looking forward to reviewing that radio version of the episode when I get onto reviewing the radio series of ‘Dad’s Army’.

    Yes that was a nice moment where Mainwaring reveals valuing his friendship to Wilson. It is interesting that he sees Wilson, Frazer and Hodges as a personal ‘enemy’ to him in his dreams. It sheds more light on Mainwaring’s character in his unconscious state.

    Thanks for the trivia, Rob. That’s interesting that the cast and crew saw ‘Dad’s Army’ film rushes at that cinema.

    Many thanks for sharing your thoughts on this ‘Dad’s Army’ episode, Rob. It’s definitely one of my favourites.

    Tim. 🙂



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