A 91-year-old Second World War veteran has called both the Dad’s Army TV series and films a “total injustice” to the almost 1.5 million men who served in the UK’s real-life Home Guard.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast, veteran Clifford Lord said the original sitcom “misrepresents the Home Guard enormously and is a total injustice.”
“It was sheer hard work, utter fatigue. There was a compulsion on people to do whatever they could to stem the march of Hitler,” said Lord, who joined the Home Guard as an engineer at the age of just 17, volunteering to help diffuse unexploded bombs.
And he doesn’t remember any bumbling old men among his comrades either: “No old codgers at all, I can’t remember a single one. We were all young and very active.”
Lord added that he was utterly appalled when the series first aired back in 1968: “We had cities being laid flat. ‘Who do you think you are kidding Mr Hitler?’ What a ridiculous thing to think! ‘If you think we’re on the run?’ What about Dunkirk? Of course we were on the run.”
Toby Jones, who plays Captain Mainwaring in the upcoming big screen adaptation due for release on February 5th, also appeared on BBC Breakfast and sympathised with Lord: “I totally understand anyone who feels that that part of history is simplified or in some way trivialised,” he said, but went on to defend the film.
“It has a scale to it that does honour the idea of Home Guard perhaps more than some of the sort of goonery the series indulges in,” Jones said.
Lord remained unconvinced. “Enjoy your humorous programmes but please don’t think it’s anything to do with the Home Guard that I knew and honoured,” he finished.