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Sons of the Sea
Series 3, Episode 14
Air Date 11th December 1969
Written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft
Director David Croft
Producer David Croft
Length 30 minutes
Original Audience Figures Unknown
Previous episode No Spring for Frazer
Next episode The Big Parade
List of episodes

Sons of the Sea is the fourteenth and final episode of the third series of' Dad's Army, which was originally transmitted on Thursday 11th December 1969.


When the bank inherits a boat, the platoon is able to mount a river patrol—and ends up lost in the English Channel.


Mr Maxwell, the solicitor for the late Mr Johnson, tells Mainwaring and Wilson that the only thing he left of any value are the clothes he stood up in, and his boat The Naughty Jane. Wilson adds that Mr Johnson's account was overdrawn to the extent of £33 12s 6d. Mainwaring admits that that means the boat becomes the property of the bank, and can be used to offset the overdraft.

Just as Mr Maxwell leaves, Mainwaring has an idea, much to Wilson's panic; the platoon can use that boat for river patrols, and tells him that half a dozen determined men, armed to the teeth, can play havoc with the Nazis if they invade. Wilson tells Mainwaring that the platoon work hard enough as it is, and deserve a rest. Mainwaring tells Wilson that he only wants to test it out and decides to call for volunteers. He chooses Jones, Pike, Walker, Desmond, Godfrey and Frazer.

They hold a practice in the church hall using chairs and brooms. Mainwaring's lack of nautical knowledge annoys Frazer, who holds the most claim to being an experienced sailor. It is not long before they get it out on the open water. Mainwaring says they shall just row up to the mouth of the river and turn back. However, it soon turns foggy, and Mainwaring decides to turn round. It is not long before Mainwaring takes charge completely, and Frazer goes into a sulk.

Night falls, and Mainwaring says they must be well up-stream by now. Pike is ill, and wants a drink; Walker scoops up some water with his forage cap and gives it to Pike, who promptly spits it out because it is salty. They are in the middle of the English Channel! Frazer refuses to help, still stung after being spurned by Mainwaring, so the men have to come up with their own ideas of finding north, with little success. Mainwaring is proud of the men's loyalty, and Frazer, realising his stupidity, apologises to Mainwaring, and he accepts his apology. Mainwaring asks him where the North is, but Frazer does not know either!

As dawn breaks, Jones hears voices from the shore. Elated, they row there, and prepare to call out, but are interrupted by French singing! Mainwaring believes that they must have drifted into France! They sneak into an empty railway truck, and make themselves comfortable, so they can escape the next night.

Jones is woken by the sound of wheels turning, and is shocked when he opens the truck door and sees the train is moving. He alerts Mainwaring, who in turn wakens the platoon, and they prepare to jump off, stop by stop, and make their way back to the coast to get back to England. They throw their rifle bolts and the Lewis gun's butterfly spring out the door, and stuff their hats and jackets up their tunics. As the train stops, they open the door, and spot a man on the station! Using schoolboy French, they attempt to bluff their way out of it. However, it turns out they are at Eastbourne Station! They prepare to join the man on the train heading back to Walmington-on-Sea in time for lunch, but Mainwaring bursts their bubble by reminding them they have to pick up the rifle bolts!


  • This was one of five episodes on 'The Very Best of Dad's Army' DVD.