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The Armoured Might of Lance Corporal Jones
Series 3, Episode 1
The Armoured Might of L.Cprl Jones
Air Date 11 September 1969
Written by Jimmy Perry & David Croft
Director David Croft
Producer David Croft
Length 30 minutes
Original Audience Figures 10.5 Million
Previous episode Under Fire
Next episode Battle School
List of episodes

The Armoured Might of Lance-Corporal Jones is the first episode of the third series of Dad's Army, which was originally transmitted on Thursday 11 September 1969.


Lance Corporal Jones allows the platoon to use his butcher's van as an armoured car and Mainwaring meets the new Chief ARP Warden, Bill Hodges the greengrocer.


Following a lecture on the gases the enemy will use, Captain Mainwaring reads a communiqué sent by GHQ, which says that there is not enough communication between the ARP and the Home Guard, so the new Chief Warden is coming to discuss co-operation. Mainwaring is disgusted to learn from Wilson that the new Chief Warden is that 'common fellow' Mr Hodges. Mainwaring believes that Hodges' occupation (a greengrocer) does not entitle him to be Chief Warden. Wilson agrees by saying that he has dirty finger nails. When Hodges arrives, he and Mainwaring have a brief argument about who should get the church hall on which day.

Some time afterwards, Walker talks to Jones about his delivery van. He reckons that he should lend it to Mainwaring as platoon transport. Jones is suspicious, so Walker admits that it will help his black market activities, but offers Jones petrol coupons in return. Jones reluctantly agrees.

The next day, Mainwaring congratulates Jones and Walker on their efforts with the van. Jones tells Mainwaring that it not only serves as a troop carrier and armoured car, but it also serves as an ambulance. Wilson demonstrates with some of the platoon to Mainwaring, their new embarking and disembarking strategy and shooting with guns, which interrupts Hodges' ARP lecture. He demands to know the reason why, and is intrigued to learn that the van doubles up as an ambulance. He asks the men to come down to Saturday's air raid practice and act as stretcher-bearers for the ambulance. Mainwaring concludes the lecture by telling Jones and Walker that the van is being converted to gas.

Jones and Walker reluctantly travel to the church hall with a giant gas-bag on the roof. Jones' bayonet accidentally punctures the gas supply pipe and Jones and Walker succumb to the gas that makes them laugh and sing. When they recover, they learn that the gas bag is nearly empty. They reach the church hall to find it empty except for Frazer, who tells them that everyone is already at the practice. Frazer decides to use the Vicar's gas fire to refill the gas bag. The Vicar interrupts, but Frazer passes it off as filling the Vicar's gas fire.

The trio arrive at the practice, and they prepare to load an old man onto the back of the van, but Jones has left the keys at his shop. They attempt to put the old man through the window of the van, while Jones 'borrows' an irate man's bike to fetch the key. When he arrives, they prepare to load the old man into the van, but it drives off before they can fully load him on. After two unsuccessful attempts, the old man gets up off the stretcher, declaring he shall walk to the "flippin'" hospital.


  • This was the first episode to be made in colour. However it was initially transmitted in black and white as BBC One's colour service did not begin transmitting until 15 November 1969 and it was not until it was repeated that it was seen in colour. (The first episode to be transmitted in colour was "Branded".)
  • The character of the "angry man" was the first television appearance of Nigel Hawthorne.
  • This episode was the first to feature Reverend Timothy Farthing in person.
  • The old man on the stretcher is Mr Blewitt, as established in later episodes in a semi-regular role.