Dad’s Army: Clive Dunn’s wife speaks on actor’s ‘harrowing’ memories of WW1

Dad’s Army: Clive Dunn’s wife speaks on actor’s ‘harrowing’ memories of WW1

Lance Corporal Jones star Clive Dunn was well-known for his comedic slap-stick role on the hit BBC series. Despite ending in 1977, fans of the show still turn back to their favourite band of army men for a hit of comedy. During the one-off Channel 5 special, Dad’s Army: Secret Lives and Scandals, fans were given an insight into what their lives were like outside of the show, with Clive Dunn’s wife Priscilla opening up about his “harrowing” memories of WW1.

Clive Dunn’s Lance Corporal Jones became one of the most important characters, and he had been given the show’s most iconic catchphrase.

While Jones was the very opposite to soldierly efficiency, in real life, Clive Dunn had a distinguished war record.

When fighting in Southern Europe, he was captured by the Nazis and spent four years in labour camps, as his wife Priscilla recalled.

She said: “He was caught in Greece, they were hoping to get to the south and be picked up by a British boat, but it never happened.

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“It must have been awful, but he always used to say that going to public school was the most perfect training for being a prisoner of war.”

Clive had become a committed pacifist, and his portrayal of Corporal Jones may have been influenced by his wartime suffering at the hands of the Germans.

Graham McCann, Author of Dad’s Army: The Story of a Very British Comedy, explained: “It was very tough.

“Sometimes very harrowing, he had many bits of memory really of wartime, and that gave a bit of an edge when it came to his playing of Lance Corporal Jones. because he had really seen the dark side of the war.”

As Clive was one of the only members of the Magnificent Seven under the age of 50, the writers made the most of Clive Dunn’s relatively young age.

Graham added: “One of the stipulations before he accepted the role, was to say he wanted all of the Joey Joey’s.

“Which meant all of the slapstick, all of the craft falls, all of the physical comedy, he wanted to monopolise.

“Croft and Perry were quite happy to let him do that because they realised he was very good at it!”

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“It must have been awful, but he always used to say that going to public school was the most perfect training for being a prisoner of war.”

Clive had become a committed pacifist, and his portrayal of Corporal Jones may have been influenced by his wartime suffering at the hands of the Germans.

Graham McCann, Author of Dad’s Army: The Story of a Very British Comedy, explained: “It was very tough.

“Sometimes very harrowing, he had many bits of memory really of wartime, and that gave a bit of an edge when it came to his playing of Lance Corporal Jones. because he had really seen the dark side of the war.”

Michael Knowles, a Dad’s Army Cast Member from 1969 to 1972, revealed: “Clive was great fun, he was in for anything, he would do anything.

“He was happy to do it, and he would volunteer, which meant we had to write a lot of extra stuff for Clive.”

While shooting the 1971 Dad’s Army feature film, Clive’s comic gifts were called on again, which his wife admitted would be a concern today.

The scene showed Corporal Jones, Captain Mannering (played by Arthur Lowe) and Sergeant Arthur Wilson (John Le Mesurier) on a raft with a while Stallion.

Published at Sat, 15 Jan 2022 15:43:00 +0000