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Soldier Soldier

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Soldier Soldier
GenreMilitary drama
Created byLucy Gannon
StarringRobson Green
Jerome Flynn
Gary Love
Rosie Rowell
Holly Aird
Annabelle Apsion
Ben Nealon
Alex Leam
Theme music composerJim Parker
Opening theme"Soldier Soldier"
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series7
No. of episodes82
Executive producersTed Childs (Series 1–5)
Jonathan Powell (Series 6–7)
Running time50 minutes
Production companyCentral Independent Television
Original release
Release10 June 1991 (1991-06-10) –
9 December 1997 (1997-12-09)

Soldier Soldier is a British television drama series. Created by Lucy Gannon, produced by Central Television and broadcast on the ITV network, it ran for a total of seven series and 82 episodes from 10 June 1991 to 9 December 1997. It featured the daily lives of a group of soldiers in 'A' Company, 1st Battalion The King's Fusiliers, a fictional British Army infantry regiment loosely based on the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.[1] The title comes from a traditional song of the same name, "Soldier, Soldier, Won't You Marry Me?", an instrumental version of which is used as its theme music.


Set in the immediate aftermath of the Cold War, it is a dramatisation of army life in the early to mid-1990s, when the British Army was undergoing significant change. This is perhaps best demonstrated during the third series, around 1994, when a significant number of real regiments were forced into amalgamations with one another due to downsizing of the army. Within the world of Soldier Soldier, the King's Fusiliers are forced to amalgamate with the Cumbrian Regiment, another fictional regiment, becoming the King's Own Fusiliers. At the time Soldier Soldier was broadcast, the fatality rate was low, with most casualties due to training accidents and suicides. The military as a whole was assigned to performing more peacekeeping missions than actually doing any fighting. As a consequence, the show served well to portray the army, despite the domestic problems that could occur, in a fairly good light.


Although many well known and not so well known actors appeared in Soldier Soldier over the period it was broadcast, perhaps the best known are Robson Green and Jerome Flynn, who portrayed Fusilier Dave Tucker and Sergeant Paddy Garvey respectively. It was their performance of "Unchained Melody" in an episode of the 4th series that propelled them to stardom, giving them several number one songs and a best selling album.[2] At the end of the fifth series in 1995, both actors left the show.[3] After a decline in viewing figures (following their departure), 1997 saw the decision to end the drama after seven series.

TV presenter Chris Kelly wrote and produced some episodes of the series.[4]

Regular cast[edit]

Military personnel[edit]


Warrant officers[edit]

Non-commissioned officers (NCOs)[edit]


  • Winston Crooke as Fusilier Joe Meakin (Series 1)
  • Alex Leam as Simon Radcliffe (Series 1–5); also provided backing vocals to "Unchained Melody"
  • Robson Green as Fusilier (later briefly Lance Corporal) David "Dave" Tucker (Series 1–5)
  • Mo Sesay as Fusilier Michael "Midnight" Rawlings (Series 2–3)
  • Akim Mogaji as Fusilier Luke Roberts (Series 3)
  • Jack Deam as Fusilier Vinny Bowles (Series 3)
  • David Groves as Fusilier Joe Farrell (Series 4–6)
  • Paterson Joseph as Fusilier Eddie "Horatio" Nelson (Series 4)
  • Danny Cunningham as Fusilier Andy Butcher (Series 5–7)
  • Simon Sherlock as Fusilier Mel Briggs (Series 5–6)
  • Thomas Craig as Fusilier Jacko Barton (Series 7)
  • Chris Gascoyne as Fusilier Tony Rossi (Series 7)
  • Simon Lyndon as Fusilier Michael Vickers (1 episode)

Attached arms[edit]

  • Richard Hampton as Reverend (CF3) Simon Armstrong RAChD (Series 1–2)
  • John McGlynn as Major James McCudden (Series 4)
  • Lucy Cohu as Major Jessica Bailey AGC (Series 7)
  • Sophie Dix as Captain Sadie Williams RAMC (Series 5)
  • Lesley Vickerage as Second Lieutenant (later Lieutenant, and then Captain) Kate Butler (later Voce) AGC (Series 2–4)
  • Biddy Hodson as Second Lieutenant Samantha Sheridan AGC (Series 6)
  • Debra Beaumont as Sergeant Sally Hawkins (Series 4)
  • Fiona Bell as Sergeant Angela McCleod AGC (Series 6–7)
  • Holly Aird as Corporal (later Sergeant) Nancy Thorpe (later Garvey, then Thorpe, then Garvey) RMP (Series 1–3, 5)
  • Ross O'Hennessy as Corporal Dando APTC (series 5 & 7)
  • Kate O'Malley as Private Stacey Grey (later Butcher) RLC (Series 6–7)



Series 1[edit]

1991. Following a six-month tour in Northern Ireland, the King's Fusiliers return to duty at their Midlands headquarters.

No.EpisodeDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"All the King's Men"Laurence MoodyLucy Gannon10 June 1991 (1991-06-10)
2"Fun and Games"Laurence MoodyLucy Gannon17 June 1991 (1991-06-17)
3"Dirty Work"Zelda BarronLucy Gannon24 June 1991 (1991-06-24)
4"Fighting Spirit"Laurence MoodyGarry Lyons1 July 1991 (1991-07-01)
5"Battlefields"Laurence MoodyLucy Gannon8 July 1991 (1991-07-08)
6"Loyal to the Corps"Laurence MoodyJane Hollowood15 July 1991 (1991-07-15)
7"Flying Colours" Laurence MoodyLucy Gannon22 July 1991 (1991-07-22)

Series 2[edit]

Series 2, 1992, was set in Hong Kong, apart from the first two episodes.

No.EpisodeDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"A Man's Life"Laurence MoodyLucy Gannon21 September 1992 (1992-09-21)
2"Something Old, Something New"Laurence MoodyLucy Gannon28 September 1992 (1992-09-28)
3"A Touch of the Sun"Laurence MoodyJane Hollowood5 October 1992 (1992-10-05)
4"Lifelines"Nick HammLucy Gannon12 October 1992 (1992-10-12)
5"Saving Face"Nick HammJack Chaney19 October 1992 (1992-10-19)
6"Lost and Found"Laurence MoodyBilly Hamon26 October 1992 (1992-10-26)
7"The Last Post"Nick HammLucy Gannon2 November 1992 (1992-11-02)

Series 3[edit]

Series 3, 1993, was set in New Zealand and Germany.

No.EpisodeDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"Shifting Sands"Anthony GarnerHeidi Thomas, from an idea by Chris Kelly7 September 1993 (1993-09-07)
2"Live Fire"Ian MuneHeidi Thomas14 September 1993 (1993-09-14)
3"Base Details"Anthony GarnerVictoria Taylor21 September 1993 (1993-09-21)
4"Fall Out"Sarah HellingsJulian Jones28 September 1993 (1993-09-28)
5"Disintegration"Suri KrishnammaPeter Barwood5 October 1993 (1993-10-05)
6"Hide and Seek"Rodney BennettBill Gallagher12 October 1993 (1993-10-12)
7"Trouble and Strife"Anthony GarnerPeter Barwood19 October 1993 (1993-10-19)
8"Hard Knocks"Jan SargentBilly Hamon26 October 1993 (1993-10-26)
9"Camouflage"Anthony GarnerRoy MacGregor2 November 1993 (1993-11-02)
10"Staying Together"Rodney BennettSam Snape9 November 1993 (1993-11-09)
11"Dutch Courage"Michael BrayshawJesse Carr Martindale16 November 1993 (1993-11-16)
12"Stand by Me"Michael BrayshawHeidi Thomas23 November 1993 (1993-11-23)
13"Leaving"Anthony GarnerRoy MacGregor30 November 1993 (1993-11-30)

Series 4[edit]

Series 4, 1994, was set in Cyprus, Germany and the UK.

No.EpisodeDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"Stormy Weather"Rodney BennettHeidi Thomas20 September 1994 (1994-09-20)
2"Away Games"Rodney BennettMichael Jenner27 September 1994 (1994-09-27)
3"Damage"Michael BrayshawHeidi Thomas4 October 1994 (1994-10-04)
4"Second Sight"Anthony GarnerPeter Barwood11 October 1994 (1994-10-11)
5"Over the Top"Anthony GarnerLen Collin18 October 1994 (1994-10-18)
6"Proud Man"Anthony GarnerLen Collin25 October 1994 (1994-10-25)
7"Further Education"Michael BrayshawPeter Barwood1 November 1994 (1994-11-01)
8"Baby Love"Anthony GarnerMichael Jenner8 November 1994 (1994-11-08)
9"Band of Gold"Graham MooreHeidi Thomas15 November 1994 (1994-11-15)
10"Going Back"Anthony GarnerPeter Barwood22 November 1994 (1994-11-22)
11"Poles Apart"Michael BrayshawMichael Jenner29 November 1994 (1994-11-29)
12"Bombshell"Michael BrayshawChris Ould6 December 1994 (1994-12-06)
13"Changing the Guard"Graham MoorePeter Barwood13 December 1994 (1994-12-13)

Series 5[edit]

Series 5, 1995, was set in Australia, the UK and South Africa.

No.EpisodeDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"For Better, For Worse"Bruce MacDonaldPeter Barwood5 September 1995 (1995-09-05)
2"Second Chances"Bruce MacDonaldPeter Barwood12 September 1995 (1995-09-12)
3"Love Not Money"Paul BrownJo O'Keefe19 September 1995 (1995-09-19)
4"Bushed"Ken HannamPeter Barwood26 September 1995 (1995-09-26)
5"Far Away"Ken HannamAnn Brown3 October 1995 (1995-10-03)
6"Ill Wind"Ken HannamAnn Brown10 October 1995 (1995-10-10)
7"Sweet Revenge"Geoff HarrisJo O'Keefe17 October 1995 (1995-10-17)
8"The Army Game"Graham MooreShaun Prendergast24 October 1995 (1995-10-24)
9"Love and War"Michael BrayshawChris Lang31 October 1995 (1995-10-31)
10"Leaving"Michael BrayshawChris Lang7 November 1995 (1995-11-07)
11"Hard Lessons"Graham MooreJames Clare14 November 1995 (1995-11-14)
12"Stick Together"Bruce MacDonaldJo O'Keefe21 November 1995 (1995-11-21)
13"Under the Sun"Alan GrintPeter Barwood28 November 1995 (1995-11-28)
14"Baptism of Fire"Alan GrintPeter Barwood5 December 1995 (1995-12-05)
15"Twist of Fate"Alan GrintPeter Barwood12 December 1995 (1995-12-12)

Series 6[edit]

Series 6, 1996, was set in the UK, except the penultimate episode, which was set on a fictional island in the South Atlantic.

No.EpisodeDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"River Deep"Patrick LauChris Lang3 September 1996 (1996-09-03)
2"Divided Loyalties"Paul BrownAnn Brown10 September 1996 (1996-09-10)
3"All for One"Michael BrayshawSimon Andrew Stirling17 September 1996 (1996-09-17)
4"Walking on Air"Catherine MorsheadPeter Barwood24 September 1996 (1996-09-24)
5"Under the Gooseberry Bush"Michael BrayshawLen Collin1 October 1996 (1996-10-01)
6"Flash Point"Paul BrownPeter Barwood8 October 1996 (1996-10-08)
7"Money For Nothing"Graham MooreChris Lang15 October 1996 (1996-10-15)
8"Dear Joe"Douglas MackinnonJames Quirk22 October 1996 (1996-10-22)
9"Asking for it?"Michael BrayshawLen Collin29 October 1996 (1996-10-29)
10"Delayed Action"Graham MooreTed Childs5 November 1996 (1996-11-05)
11"Beast"Paul BrownPeter Barwood12 November 1996 (1996-11-12)
12"Fall for Love"Douglas MackinnonJames Quirk19 November 1996 (1996-11-19)
13"War Path"Michael BrayshawMark Holloway26 November 1996 (1996-11-26)
14"Deliver us from Evil"Douglas MackinnonChris Lang3 December 1996 (1996-12-03)
15"Hell and High Water"Paul BrownLen Collin10 December 1996 (1996-12-10)

Series 7[edit]

Series 7, 1997, was set in the UK, except episode 10, which was set in Africa.

No.EpisodeDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"Divided We Fall"Paul BrownJames Quirk23 September 1997 (1997-09-23)
2"Things Can Only Get Better!"Graham MooreNicholas Martin30 September 1997 (1997-09-30)
3"Line of Departure"Paul BrownBernadette Davis7 October 1997 (1997-10-07)
4"Under Fire"Christopher KingNicholas Martin14 October 1997 (1997-10-14)
5"Friends and Lovers"Christopher KingRichard McBrien21 October 1997 (1997-10-21)
6"How Was it for You?"Graham MooreNicholas Martin28 October 1997 (1997-10-28)
7"The Road to Damascus"Christopher KingLen Collin4 November 1997 (1997-11-04)
8"Out"Crispin ReeceMark Holloway11 November 1997 (1997-11-11)
9"Fit to Explode"Graham MooreShaun Prendergast18 November 1997 (1997-11-18)
10"Chain of Command"Roger TuckerRob Gittins25 November 1997 (1997-11-25)
11"Sounds of War"Graham MooreBilly Hamon2 December 1997 (1997-12-02)
12"No Pain, No Gain!"Paul BrownNicholas Martin9 December 1997 (1997-12-09)


The King's Own Fusiliers
Cap badge of the King's Own Fusiliers
CountryUnited Kingdom
TypeLine Infantry
RoleAir Assault Infantry
(at end of series)
SizeOne battalion
Part ofKing's Division
Garrison/HQ1st Battalion – Aldershot
(at end of series)
Motto(s)Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense (Shamed Be He Who Thinks Ill Of It)
HackleBlue over White
From King's Fusiliers

The King's Own Fusiliers, originally the King's Fusiliers, is the infantry regiment portrayed in the series. Like all fusilier regiments, both the "King's" and the "King's Own" wear a hackle in its head-dress; this is coloured dark blue over white. During the third series of Soldier Soldier, which took place during the Options for Change military reforms, the King's Fusiliers was forced to amalgamate with another regiment, "The Cumbrians (Duke of Rutland's Own)", mimicking the real life amalgamation of the King's Own Royal Regiment (Lancaster) and the Cumbrian based Border Regiment in 1959 to form the King's Own Royal Border Regiment.

During negotiations with the commanding officer of the other regiment to be merged (over which customs and traditions should be carried over to the new regiment), attempts were made by the Cumbrians to keep the new regiment as an ordinary infantry regiment, rather than a fusilier regiment, which would also see the loss of the King's hackle. However, research by the regimental commander of the King's Fusiliers, Lt Col Osbourne, found that, during the Cumbrians' (fictional) service in the Crimea, the Cumbrians had worn the hackle and served as fusiliers for six months in honour of the fusiliers that had served alongside them. As a result, the new regiment was named "The King's Own Fusiliers".

The cap badge of the King's Own Fusiliers features the lion surmounting the crown, which is the recognised symbol of the British Army, within the circlet of the Order of the Garter. Surmounting the garter is the traditional flame that indicates a fusilier regiment. (Coincidentally, in series 1 episode 2 of Red Cap, the Royal Cambrian Fusiliers wore the same cap badge and hackle as the King's Own Fusiliers.)


As an ordinary infantry battalion, the King's Fusiliers/King's Own Fusiliers was in the arms plot rotation, and thus participated in a number of different roles:

During its time in Windsor, in addition to other duties, the King's Own Fusiliers provided the guard at Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and Windsor Castle.

Recruiting area[edit]

As the King's Fusiliers/King's Own Fusiliers has no geographical location in its name, it can only be speculated what recruiting area it represents. In early episodes, the senior officers discuss the possibility of being amalgamated with other regiments from the Midlands. During series 1, the possibility of merging or disbanding regiments is discussed, and, at that point, the Cumbrians and the Rutlands are expected to be amalgamated. During the final episode of series 2, the regiment's commanding officer announces orders for the King's Fusiliers to form a new "Midlands Regiment" along with the Cumbrians and the Rutlands, though, in later episodes, the other regiment to be merged is referred to as The Cumbrians (Duke of Rutland's Own).

Other anecdotal references in the series pointing to the regiment's location being in the Midlands include the use of a Midlands commercial radio station, BRMB, being played by various characters, and a local, specifically Birmingham, telephone area code on signage and vehicles. However, given that the series was made in the Midlands by the "Central Films" division of Central Television, these local references can be expected.

Commanding officers[edit]

  • 1st Battalion, King's Fusiliers
    • Lt Col D Fortune (1991–1992) (Miles Anderson, series 1 and 2). A mild mannered man who is nonetheless a firm disciplinarian. Fortune is a widower, having lost, off-screen, his first wife to cancer. Between series 1 and 2, he meets and then, in series 2, marries a journalist, Rachel Elliot. After receiving orders for the regiment to be amalgamated, he decides to retire from the Army.
    • Lt Col M Osbourne (1992–1993) (Patrick Drury, series 3). Succeeding Lt Col Fortune, his command of the regiment mainly occurs during the time between series; he appears in three episodes of series 3. After helping to negotiate the regimental merger, he resigns his commission to spend more time with his daughter.
  • 1st Battalion, King's Own Fusiliers
    • Lt Col N Hammond (1993–1994) (Robert Gwilym, series 3). A keen and ambitious officer, who takes command of the new King's Own Fusiliers during their posting in Germany. A no-nonsense man who makes his mark by having LCpl Tucker demoted for bringing the regiment into disrepute. After taking the regiment to Bosnia on NATO peacekeeping duties, he hands over control to Lt Col Jennings.
    • Lt Col I Jennings (1994–1995) (John Bowe, series 4). Jennings assumes command from Hammond upon the regiment's return from Bosnia. His first task is presenting the UN medals; the major assignment that follows is the regiment's relocation from Munster to Windsor. The regiment is later assigned to public duties, guarding locations such as Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London.
    • Lt Col P Philips (1995–1996) (Duncan Bell, series 5). The regiment's youngest commanding officer, Philips is an approachable man, but a stickler for regulations, adhering rigidly to the Army's anti-gay stance on discovering that two of his men are in a relationship. Despite this, he bends the rules himself by starting a relationship with Capt Sadie Williams, the medical officer.
    • Lt Col M Eastwood (1996–1997) (Philip Bowen, series 6). An older man who is married with stepchildren, Eastwood has an avuncular nature and takes on something of a fatherly role to the men. He leads the regiment into combat when the British protectorate Deliverance Island is invaded, but loses a leg to a land mine during the operation, and retires soon afterwards.
    • Lt Col P Drysdale (1997) (James Cosmo, series 7). A combat veteran, Drysdale alienates most of the other officers and some of the men with his brusque style, especially when he withholds information during an exercise that leads to a civilian volunteer being injured. After a disastrous peacekeeping operation in Zokindi, where his decisions result in a group being captured and three men killed, he is court martialled for failing to follow the chain of command, and resigns.

Fictional regiments featured in Soldier Soldier[edit]

  • The King's Fusiliers (later the King's Own Fusiliers)
  • The Cumbrians (Duke of Rutland's Own) – amalgamates with the King's Fusiliers
  • The Malvern Regiment – exercises with the King's Fusiliers during their time in Germany

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Soldier Soldier". Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  2. ^ "Robson & Jerome". Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  3. ^ "Soldier Soldier comes to the Drama channel". Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  4. ^ "Chris Kelly". IMDb.com. Retrieved 20 January 2018.

External links[edit]