Untitled Sketch

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"Present Arms"
Dad's Army episode
Directed by David Croft
Story by Jimmy Perry and David Croft
Produced by David Croft
Original air date Wednesday 25/12/68
(recorded Sunday 27/10/68)
Running time ??
Episode chronology
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"1969: Resisting the Aggressor Down the Ages"

Present Arms is the first Christmas Night with the Stars insert of the British comedy series Dad's Army that was originally transmitted on Wednesday 25 December 1968.


It's Christmas and Mainwaring can't forget his sense of duty. especially when GHQ come up with an idea of exercise, using telegraph poles...


Although it's Christmas Day 1940, Mainwaring can't drop his sense of duty for even one day. He orders his men to parade and Wilson, being more relaxed about the whole affair, says they can wear civvies, but Mainwaring doesn't like the sergeant's sudden burst of decision making.

The men arrive all dressed as Father Christmas, with various reasons why, Mainwaring views this as proof that you cannot be seen to let discipline drop for one moment.

GHQ has come up with an idea of using telegraph poles as a means of exercise and Mainwaring runs through the instructions with his men and, as usual, forgets the age of some of them, especially when he shouts 'jump' to the aged Godfrey and expects him to sit cross-legged on the floor. Eventually Mainwaring has to show them how it's done but he's saved by the bell as the Major phones through to the office with his seasonal greetings.

Mainwaring returns to the hall and delivers a speech which show how confident he is regarding the outcome of the war. In return, the men show their respect and affection for him as they wish each other a Merry Christmas.


  1. Present Arms is currently missing from the BBC television archives. Another insert, The Cornish Floral Dance is also missing.

However in 2008 the soundtrack of this 1968 insert was returned to the BBC after several years, But there is still no picture.