Dad's Army Wiki
Getting the Bird
Series 5, Episode 4
Air Date 27th October 1972
Written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft
Director David Croft
Producer David Croft
Length 30 minutes
Original Audience Figures Unknown
Previous episode A Soldier's Farewell
Next episode The Desperate Drive of Lance Corporal Jones
List of episodes

Getting the Bird is the fourth episode of the fifth series of Dad's Army, and was originally transmitted on 27th October 1972.


Wilson goes AWOL and is seen with his arm round a younger woman, while Walker acquires 250 pigeons for Jones to sell as "off the ration" meat.


The episode begins with rumours abounding that Sergeant Wilson has gone AWOL. The platoon inform Captain Mainwaring that after a particularly heavy night drinking, Wilson was seen about town with a young woman on his arm. Pike reveals that Wilson and his mother had an argument about something, so he is not calling Wilson "Uncle Arthur", and will not take orders from him. During this discussion, Wilson is found in the church hall, asleep behind the stage curtain.

While Mainwaring berates the still tipsy Wilson in his office, Wilson begins to see pigeons on Mainwaring's bookshelf. Both believe this to be the result of Wilson's drunken state until Pike enters the office and points them out. Immediately, the office is filled with pigeons.

It emerges that Walker had stored the birds in the boiler room and they had escaped. Walker had secretly proposes to Jones—whose butcher's shop is having trouble obtaining meat—to buy the pigeons from Walker to augment his supply of meat, and is persuaded to help Walker to hide them in the church.

However, Jones becomes suspicious when he hears on the radio that there is a sudden and unexplained shortage of pigeons in Trafalgar Square, and ends the agreement.

Just ahead of a church service we hear a conversation between Wilson and the young woman, where we discover that she is his daughter, from a failed marriage before Wilson moved to Walmington-on-Sea. This is reason for the argument between him and Mrs Pike. Frazer is the only person to overhear this, but he says he will keep quiet about it.

The hymns are ruined when the organ begins to play and dead pigeons are fired across the church; it is revealed that Walker has hidden the pigeons in the organ pipes!


To be added.