Santa On Patrol

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"Santa On Patrol"
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 10 mins
Episode chronology
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"Resisting the Aggressor Down the Ages"

Santa On Patrol [1]is the first Christmas Night with the Stars sketch from the British comedy series Dad's Army that was originally transmitted on Christmas Day (Wednesday, 25 December) 1968.[2] Although audio recordings and clips of the Sketch exist, it is not known to have survived the BBC junking policy.


It's Christmas but 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, Captain Mainwaring can't forget his sense of duty and orders his men to parade as normal. Sergeant Wilson, being more relaxed about the festive affair, says they can wear civvies. Mainwaring doesn't like the sergeant's sudden burst of decision making and subsequently, the men arrive at the parade 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 have 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 Private Godfrey and expects him to sit cross-legged on the floor. Eventually Mainwaring has to show them how it's done, but everyone is 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 him and each other a Merry Christmas.


  1. This sketch is sometimes referred to as "Present Arms", although confusingly that is the name of a Dad's Army radio episode (number 021) which has a completely different plot.
  2. This episode no longer exists in television video archives, most likely due to the re-use of the then expensive videotape.[2] However, a home-made audio recording of this special was discovered and can be heard on the "Dad's Army: The Lost Tapes" CD.


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Pertwee, Bill (7 September 2009). Dad's Army (The Making of a Television Legend). Conway. p. 181. ISBN 978-1844861057.