Rodney Foster

The Real 'Dad's Army'
  • The Real 'Dad's Army'

  • Rodney Foster's The Real Dad's Army is the true-life account of Britain's Home Guard and now the subject of the new film Dad's Army (Feb 2016).

    'Who do you think you are kidding Mr Hitler?' Not Colonel Rodney Foster, a platoon commander of the Kent Home Guard. Dad's Army, the iconic comedy series is as well-known today as it was forty years ago. But the reality of life in the Home Guard was often very different. Here, for the first time, is the full inside story of the Home Guard, the ragtag volunteer army that defended the coast of Britain from German invasion during the Second World War. Colonel Rodney Foster, who retired to Hythe in the south of England after a military career in British India, joined the Home Guard in 1940 and kept a diary every day - a highly illegal act at the time - and in it meticulously chronicled his service in the real Dad's Army.

    He records with a unique wit and wisdom the everyday details of family life during the war: the domestic routine dogged by air raid warnings, the antics of soldiers stationed nearby taking every chance to improve their lot, the quiet strength of a small community faced with great adversity.

    'It's magical' Dan Snow, The One Show

    'If you lament the demise of the stiff upper lip, this is the book for you' Dominic Sandbrook,Evening Standard

    Shaun Sewell is an avid antique dealer and social historian. Shaun lives and works in Northumberland.

    Rodney Foster was born in India in 1882 and spent his career in the Indian Army. In his retirement he went with his wife and daughter to live in Saltwood, near Hythe on the Kent coastline. Here in 1940 he enrolled in the Home Guard. He died in 1962.

Shaun Sewell is an avid antique dealer and social historian who brought the world of Thomas Cairns Livingstone to life when his diaries were published in 2008 and 2010. His next find was the diaries of Lt. Col. Rodney Foster who paints a rare picture of life in WWII through the eyes of the Home Guard platoon and company leader on the Kentish coastline. Shaun bought the diaries through an online auction in 2008 and was captivated by the dramatic accounts of this real life Dad's Army's Captain Mainwaring. Shaun lives and works in Northumberland. Rodney Foster was born in India in 1882 and spent his career in the Indian Army. In his retirement he went with his wife and daughter to live in Saltwood, near Hythe on the Kent coastline. Here in 1940 he enrolled in the Home Guard. He died in 1962.

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