Thursday, July 06, 2006

Arnold Ridley

Almost certainly because of my lack of gravitas, the 90th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme has made me think of Arnold Ridley (Private Godfrey in Dad's Army).

Arnold Ridley was no where near as ineffectual as Pvt Godfrey affected to be.

He fought and was badly injured at the Battle of the Somme which amongst other things put paid to his career as a centre three-quarter for Bath although he did serve as club president in the Fifties.

He wrote a famous play "The Ghost Train" and founded a movie studio in the Thirties and then served at the rank of Major in World War II, but became immortal playing a character who:

never did very much at all, except for a period during the first World War when, as a stretcher bearer in France, he won the military medal. He never wears it because he feels it would embarrass Captain Mainwaring, who hasn't got any medals. And worked for Forty-five years in the gents outfitting at the Army and Navy stores, and returned to live in a small cottage with his two spinster sisters, Dolly and Cissy, at Walmington-on-Sea.
Maybe Godfrey and Ridley weren't so different after all? They were certainly both better men than us.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A Welsh born icon? As your link shows William Arnold Ridley was born in Bath (Somerset).