Classic wartime sitcom. An old comrade-in-arms dredges up the past and brings the glorious history of Corporal Jones into question.
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# Who do you think you are kidding, Mr Hitler
# If you think we're on the run?
# We are the boys who will stop your little game
# We are the boys who will make you think again
# 'Cos who do you think you are kidding, Mr Hitler
# If you think old England's done?
# Mr Brown goes off to town on the 8.21
# But he comes home each evening And he's ready with his gun
# So who do you think you are kidding, Mr Hitler
# If you think old England's done? #
-What are you having, Wilson?
-I think I'll have fish and potato pie.
-We'll get in the queue before the rush.
-Er, no, thank you. Could I have toad-in-the-hole, please?
Could I have just a bit more toad?
Only half a toad per person. There IS a war on! ..Next!
Fish pie, please.
-What sort of fish is it?
-I beg your pardon?
-Could I have the toad-in-the-hole instead, please?
-I wish you'd make up your mind!
Next? Fish pie, please. What fish is it? Snook.
I'll have the toad-in-the-hole.
Cor blimey, another one! Listen, the fish pie's snook. Got it? Snook! ..Next!
-Hey, I saw that!
-I beg your pardon?
-Don't come all lah-di-dah! Put one of those slices back!
-Don't forget there's a war on!
-I'm hardly likely to.
-And take your dirties back to the hatch.
-I always do.
-No, you don't. You left 'em yesterday.
I'm not clearin' up your dirties!
-Wilson, you're making an exhibition of yourself.
-Just custard, please.
Have to watch my figure, you know.
You've got a nice figure. Betty and I think you look like a teddy-bear.
Oh, yes, a great big cuddly teddy-bear!
Do you really think so?
You got mine, Doreen? Yes. Get Mr Walker's steak, Betty.
Comin' up. ..Mr Walker's steak!
Here you are.
-What are you doing with that, Walker?
-I'm gonna eat it.
That's two weeks' meat ration! I've got toad-in-the-hole.
You wanna watch that. It can be very nasty.
-Where's it from?
-I brought it in. They cooked it. ..Here's the elastic.
Don't want 'em fallin' down on the job, do we?!
Just take for the tea, love.
Flaunting your black market food could get the platoon a bad name.
Mr Mainwaring, I'm not in uniform and I'm not on parade.
What's more, I've a deposit account at your bank with over £1,500 in it, so let me have me dinner, eh?
-To be exact, he's got £1,542.
-Go and find another table, Pike.
Can't have the rank and file eating with us.
Want some pickle, Pikey? Yes, please, Joe. Do you want some, Mr Mainwaring?
-Not with toad-in-the-hole.
-Hello, Mr Mainwaring.
-I've come to say goodbye.
-Don't tell me you got your calling-up papers, Jonesy!
Give those Boers hell for me, eh?!
If you don't come back, can I 'ave that ten bob you borrowed?
-No need to be funny. If you want it, you can 'ave it.
-I was only jokin'.
-Sit down, Jones. Everyone is staring.
-I wear this uniform with pride.
Those mothballs went in our dinner. Ssh! Everyone'll want one!
-Do sit down, Jones, you're showing us up.
-All right, sir.
Where exactly are you going?
-To the 42nd annual reunion of the veterans of Omdurman.
Yes, I should have been mentioned in dispatches, but I think they run out of paper.
-That was the last cavalry charge made by the British Army. I'll show you.
-Not just now, Jones.
-I'm only borrowing 'em! ..There were these two huge rocks.
Huge rocks, you see, like that.
And General Kitchener was over here and the mad Mahadi was over here.
All of a sudden there was a bugle call. Toot-toot-toot!
And all these dervishes and all that lot come rushin' towards us, and fuzzie-wuzzies.
General Kitchener was standing on his horse, or rather sittin' on it.
Cool as a cucumber, he said, "Don't shoot till you see the red of their eyes."
-I think he said "whites of their eyes".
-Yeah, but he should've said red,
'cos their eyes were bloodshot.
You get a lot of bloodshot eyeballs in the desert. Not lyin' around in the sand. In their heads, y'know.
-Have you finished with my pickle?
-Not yet. So they charged at us remorsefully, you see,
and we repulsed them and then they come at us with choppers, choppin' off heads left, right and centre.
And there was blood EVERYWHERE.
And the corpses were piled eight foot high.
Well, Mr Mainwaring, I'll leave you to enjoy your dinner. Cheerio.
-If you don't mind my saying so, sir, I seem to have lost my appetite.
-Yes, so have I.
-But we can't waste food in wartime, can we?
-Mr Walker, mind if I have some of your pickle?
-No, no. You help yourself.
-It might help to make it a little more palatable.
Are you all right, sir?
What's happened, Walker?
-Is it this?
-Cor! Mr Mainwaring's just eaten one of Jonesy's mothballs.
Oh, for heaven's sake! ..Excuse me.
-Hey, what about your dirties?
-Take 'em back to the hatch.
-Just clear away, will you, please?
Capt Mainwaring, it's downstairs!
# Where are the boys of the old brigade...? #
-Excuse me, sir, Private Frazer is outside waiting to introduce his new recruit.
-Bring them in.
All right, Frazer, you can bring your friend in now.
-Sir, I'd like tae introduce Mr George Clarke. He wants to join us, sir.
-Good evening, Mr Clarke.
Good evening, sir!
-I'd hazard a guess you've served in the Army before.
-You know Mr Clarke well?
-And you'd say he is a man of integrity?
And very generous. He stood me several drinks last Thursday night.
-When did you first meet him?
-Last Thursday night.
Well, tell us about yourself, Mr Clarke.
I've been a regular soldier all me life. I retired 10 year ago and I've only been in Walmington a few weeks.
-When did you join the Army?
-44 year ago, sir. 1897.
I served under Gen Kitchener at the Battle of Omdurman.
-What a coincidence!
-Yes. ..I don't suppose you came across a L/Cpl Jones?
-Thousands of men took part in the battle, sir.
-Yes, I was only joking.
-I was in the Warwickshires.
-So was Jones.
It was a long time ago, but I DO remember one Jones.
He was always a bit behind with his drill. But he wasn't that rank. That's him!
He wasnae a lance-corporal? No, just an ordinary private.
Did you hear that, Mr Mainwaring? The man's an imposter!
-Yes, all right, Frazer.
-I knew it!
We'll have to wait till tomorrow to see if it's the same man.
Come in early tomorrow so we can fit you out with a uniform.
I'll swear you in now. Hand me the Bible, Wilson.
-The Bible to swear him in with.
-I haven't got a Bible.
-I asked you to bring a Bible along.
-No, the word "Bible" never passed your lips.
How can I swear him in without the Bible?
# Ready and strong, marching along... #
-Hurry up, Godfrey.
-I shan't be a minute, sir.
Unless you wear braces, not a belt, you are NOT dressed right.
If I wear braces, I won't be ABLE to dress right!
-Can't you find a better blouse?
-It's the best I can do. The customer IS rather an awkward size.
You'll have to alter it. ..Must have you smartly turned out, Clarke.
-When do I start training?
-You'll just have to pick it up as you go.
I tell ye, this fella Clarke said he knew Jones in the Sudan.
How would he remember after all these years?
This Jones was allus a beat behind when they were drilling.
It still doesn't prove anything.
-How did the reunion of the Battle of Om-de-bum-bum go?
-I bet you were all reliving that fighting.
-We had a nice time.
-You were drunk, were ye?
-No, I just had a convivial evening, that's all.
-Mr Mainwaring wants to see ye.
-Hold on. ..Come on, boys, we don't want to miss this!
-Lance-Corporal Jones to see you, sir.
-All right, Frazer.
I want you to meet Private Clarke.
-How d'you do?
-Hello, Jonesy. You remember me?
-No, I don't think I do.
'Course you do! 14789, Private Clarke.
-Oh, hello, Nobby!
-Hello, mate. Long time no see, eh?
-Yes, a long time.
-You remember me now, don't you?
-Yes, I remember you now.
-And I remember you...mate.
I remember you very, VERY well.
-Well, I'll go and fall the men in, sir.
-It'll give me a chance to introduce Clarke to the platoon.
This way, Clarke.
(Shut the door!)
Did you see that?! See what?
I've a kind of a notion that these two, Clarke and Jones, dinnae like each other very much.
You aren't half a mixer. Maybe, but there's something that Jones doesnae want us to know.
I can't believe that, Mr Frazer.
Can't ye? I can. There's no smoke without fire. No smoke without fire.
# Where are the boys of the old brigade...? #
Well, you see, after parade, I took this fellow, Clarke, along for a drink.
And when he had stood me a couple of pints, I came out with it directly.
I said, "Tell me, what did happen between you and Jones?"
He was very evasive about the whole affair, but from what I could gather, reading between the lines,
it seems that the two of them were out on patrol, and somehow they got captured.
Well...Jones managed to escape,
and he left this fella, Clarke, in the desert to DIE. Aye!
Mind you, there may not be any truth in it,
but what I always say is... there's no smoke without fire.
No smoke without fire.
Look at that lovely moon, Joe. Yeah.
Oh, yes, it's very nice. What's up with you tonight?
I've a lot on me mind. You've usually only got one thing on your mind!
Come on, give us a kiss! Wait a minute, love. Don't you love me any more?
'Course I do. I'm mad about you. It's just I asked Jonesy if he had left this bloke in the desert,
but he wouldn't say anything, not even to deny it.
Look, are you gonna give me a kiss or not?
Oh, well, I suppose so. I'm sittin' here, ain't I ?
-Are you asleep, Elizabeth?
I can't help thinking it would be better to sleep inside the house when there isn't a raid on.
-This shelter's very damp.
It's no good. I...I can't sleep. I'm going to have a read.
-I'm sure you'd be much more comfortable if
-were on the top bunk.
-Post, Mr Jones.
-Oh, thank you, Raymond.
"Why did you leave your friend in the desert to die?"
"There's no room in Walmington-on-Sea for a coward."
"A coward like you is not even worth a whole white feather. So I'm sending you half a one."
-Yes, Mr Jones?
-There's something I've got to do.
-What's that, Mr Jones?
Something I should've done a long time ago, boy.
It's the only way.
It's the only way.
I mean to get to the bottom of this.
Clarke, what exactly did happen between you two in the desert?
We was captured by the dervishes. They pegged me out in the sand.
Jones begged for mercy and they took him with 'em.
Somehow he managed to escape, but he didn't come back for me.
I can just remember this native going through me pockets.
When I come to, I was in hospital. That native must have saved my life.
-Jones wouldn't have left you to die.
-Then why has he cleared off?
-I'll tell you why.
First, I'd like to thank you for having faith in me, sir.
Up till now my lips have been sealed, but now I can reveal myself and tell you what really happened.
It was just before the big battle.
'Private Clarke and I were part of a patrol sent out to find out the strength of the Mahadi's army.
'We were headed by Col Smythe, a tall, resolute man, who scarcely spoke a word.
'The other officer was a young, raw 2nd lieutenant, the colonel's nephew.
'There was also a young Cockney, Private Green, always telling jokes.
'The sergeant was Sgt Ironside, a nasty, coarse fellow with a rough tongue.
'I knew that patrol was doomed from the start.
'Vultures wheeled overhead. Then as we rounded a corner,
'there was an old fakir blocking our path. "Turn back!" he said. "It is written in the sand
'"that by nightfall all of you will be dead. "Rubbish!" said the colonel.
'"Do not go against the will of Allah!" the fakir said.
'None of us took much notice of him as we all marched past.
'However, the sergeant gave him a mouthful of coarse abuse.
'This seemed to upset the old fakir, who said something to him in Arabic.
'Later I learned it was a curse upon us all. And soon it came true.
'As the midday sun scorched down, a fusillade of shots rang out.'
Take cover! Take cover!
Take cover! Take *??**! cover!
Take cover! ..OHH !
'I rushed over to the lieutenant and cradled him in my arms.
'To think of this young boy dying out here in the foreign, burning desert. It was too much to bear.'
Thank you, Jones. You're a good chap. Dashed hard luck, this.
-I want you to promise me something.
-What's that, sir?
-When you get back to England, I want you to go and see my mater.
-Tell her I couldn't help it.
-Couldn't help what, sir?
Falling off my horse.
Keep your *??**! heads down!
-In case we don't survive this, there's something I must ask.
-About you and Mater.
-I'd rather you didn't ask.
GREEN: Sarge, there's thousands of 'em!
Shut up and keep your *??**! head down!
I don't like the look of this, Colonel. Those *??**! dervishes mean *??**! business.
Yes, as soon as it's dark, we'd better send for help.
-Permission to speak, sir.
-What is it, Jones?
-I'd like to volunteer to fetch help.
-All right, you do that and take Private Clarke with you.
'We managed to creep out during the night and head off for help. Little did we realise
'that nasty savage eyes was watching our every move.
'The sun was beating down on us. We realised our water-bottles was empty. ..Suddenly we looked up,
'There was two horrible dervishes looking down at us. We was trapped. Caught by the dervishes.
'I faced them like a man,
'but Private Clarke flung himself down and begged for mercy.
'I had to look away.
'Those dervishes pegged Clarke out in the sand and left him to die.
'They dragged me behind them for miles.
'What fate was in store for me I had no means of knowing.
'We stopped and they cooked a meal. A quarrel broke out and next minute they were at each other's throats.
'They fought like demons.
'This was my chance. They weren't taking any notice of me.
'I worked my way over to the fire.
'I burned through the ropes. It was agony, but I managed to stick it.
'Suddenly one of the dervishes broke away.
'The other dervish shouted something after him.
'Then I remembered dervishes can't stand fire.
'I quickly seized a burning brand from the fire.
'I thrust it in front of his face. He turned from a proud warrior into a gibbering idiot.
'His nostrils distended with fear.
'He shouted, "Om kar yar, kar kar kar! Om kar yar kar kar kar!"
'which translated means, "Put that light out!"
'I made him take his robes off. I had him at my mercy.
'I put them on over my uniform and hurried back to Private Clarke.
'I thought Clarke was a goner.
'I got his wallet to send home with his personal effects. I opened it.
'Inside I saw a thing that in spite of the heat made my blood run cold.
'It was a picture of the colonel's lady. The colonel's wife was not so upstanding as he was.
'To think she and Private Clarke had been...! I couldn't believe it.
'As I was kneeling there, I heard a groan. Clarke wasn't dead at all.
'I got him on the horse and after a nightmare journey through the sand,
'we came across the relief column.'
Private Clarke was taken back to HQ and I never saw him again till now.
I tell you, sir, I kept that secret locked in my bosoms...
..all those years, the secret that nobody knew except Private Clarke, the colonel's lady and meself.
-Why didn't you tell us this before?
-I couldn't, sir.
Not while there was a chance the colonel was still alive.
That's where I've been, at Somerset House looking through the records.
And I'm happy to say the colonel and his lady are now up in that great parade ground in the sky
where the breath of scandal cannot touch them, sir.
-And now I've got a chance to burn these letters.
-I'm sorry, Jones.
Right, now I'll deal with Clarke.
-He went outside a few minutes ago, sir.
-Why didn't you stop him?
-Come on, after him!
-YOU'RE in a hurry!
-Did you see a man leave here?
-He was rushing for a train, but he gave me a message.
-He's sorry, but he's had to resign.
-He can't do that!
-Desertion's a serious crime.
-Are you gonna put him against a wall and fire water-pistols at him?!
Just clear off, will you?
-Pike, jump on your bike and see if you can catch him.
-Let him go, sir.
My mum said never trust anyone with their eyes too close together.
"The moving finger writes and having writ moves on."
-What's that got to do with it?
-I don't know, sir.
C'mon, Jonesy, you can burn those letters now.
-- There you go. - An enemy plane could see that!
-Aw, shut up!
Put that light out! PUT THAT LIGHT OUT !
Put it out! Put that light out!
Subtitles by Alison Loudon