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‘Bliss on Toast’, the perfect Christmas gift

A facsimile of the Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard Training Manual recently discovered in the attic of a house in the town. Found in a trunk amongst a pile of HOTSPUR comics, it belonged to Private Pike and features his handwritten marginal notes on the text plus his personal jottings on matters of rather less importance than the defence of the realm, such as films he has seen, girls he has dated and the progress of Aston Villa FC.

The book bears the official crest and stamp of the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment, to which the platoon belongs. Although aged and covered with stains, boot prints, tears and scorch marks, it is in a reasonable condition for facsimile printing. The manual is Capt Mainwaring’s attempt to ready the platoon to face (and recognize) the enemy in the coming invasion of Britain.


Arguably wittier than the original series, it is carefully designed to give that shabby, wartime look and contains the martial thoughts of Captain Mainwaring and his lads, with sarky comments in red ink by the sardonic Sergeant Wilson. The essential guide to turning signposts round, removing manhole covers and communicating with deaf Home Guard members at a distance (try semaphore - but not if its's dark).
DAD'S ARMY remains timelessly popular; it was Perry and Croft's great genius to create a vision of the English as they like to see themselves