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A. Wilson (Manager)?
Series 4, Episode 11
A. Wilson (Manager)
Air Date 4th December 1970
Written by Jimmy Perry & David Croft
Director David Croft
Producer David Croft
Length 30 minutes
Original Audience Figures ?
Previous episode The Test
Next episode Uninvited Guests
List of episodes

A. Wilson (Manager)? is the eleventh episode of the fourth series of the Dad's Army. It was originally transmitted on Friday 4th December 1970.


Captain Mainwaring is infuriated to discover that Wilson is heading for promotion both at the bank and in the Home Guard.


Mainwaring arrives at the bank one morning just as Pike is bringing in two letters marked "Delayed by Enemy Action". He then begins to set up the Lewis Gun in the office window, before receiving a telephone call from Mr West at head office. He orders Pike to attend to the gun whilst he takes the call. Mr West informs him that they "shan't be able to send anyone to replace Wilson for several weeks". Confused, Mainwaring proceeds to ask what he is talking about. He learns that Wilson has been made manager of the Eastgate branch, and the letter informing him of this has been destroyed in an air raid.

Vexed, Mainwaring hangs up the phone only to receive another call from Colonel Pritchard from GHQ, informing him that Wilson's commission had come through and he had been made a Lieutenant in the Eastgate platoon. His anger growing, he receives a call from the Vicar and sardonically asks him if he is about to tell him the Wilson has been made Archbishop of Canterbury. After Mainwaring has calmed down the Vicar asks if he will cancel his parade that night so he can hold his own function. Mainwaring obliges, and just as he hangs up the phone Wilson walks in, and informs Mainwaring that the reason for his late arrival is that he was out buying an officer's cap, further infuriating Mainwaring. A war of words ensues between Mainwaring and Wilson, which boils down to the fact that Wilson went to public school. To annoy Wilson, Mainwaring summons Pike into his office and promotes him to chief clerk and after Pike leaves, he summons Jones and promotes him to Sergeant. He puts Jones' promotion in writing and asks Pike to type it up, duplicate it and see that every platoon member gets a copy. However, he forgot to put Jones' name at the top, resulting in every member of the platoon each believing he is the one being promoted (except for Pike, who does not get one).

Just before the start of the parade the following night, Mrs Pike seeks comfort from the vicar over the fact that Wilson will be moving to Eastgate. Mainwaring then enters and Mrs Pike tries to convince him to reason with Wilson. Whilst this is happening, the platoon begin to arrive for parade, each believing that they have been promoted to Sergeant.

Frazer arrives first and then Walker a minute later. The Verger asks them both separately to help him in the clock tower. They take their jackets off because of the heat in the tower. Because they are asked separately they do not see each other's stripes. As the rest of the platoon arrives there is confusion. Just before Wilson leaves, he asks Mainwaring if he wants to see him off. Mainwaring refuses, and another war of words ensues.

Just as Wilson is opening the bank and meeting the staff in his office on Monday morning, the air raid siren sounds. Everyone moves down to the shelter and while they are there, the Eastgate bank is destroyed by a bomb. In the debris afterwards, Wilson finds part of the office door bearing the nameplate A. Wilson / Manager. He looks at it wistfully for a moment, then tosses it aside and moves on.

The next day, Mainwaring receives a telephone call informing him that Head Office has decided to close that bank and will be transferring business to another branch for the duration, while Wilson has been transferred back to Walmington-on-Sea. Mainwaring tells Wilson to get his sergeant's stripes sewn back on his uniform by tonight, then dismisses him. As Wilson closes the office door behind him, he pauses briefly to run his fingers over the G. Mainwaring / Manager nameplate.



  • On 23 November 1983, eight days after the death of John Le Mesurier (who played Wilson), BBC One repeated this episode in tribute.