Windsor Davies - RIP

#82
Beats death by PowerPoint anyday.
RIP
How good was that video eh!
Absolutely brilliant - he made that type of character role his own.

Now when are they going to do the rerun of It Ain't Half Hot Mum?...........I know, I know but one can hope. Brought back lots of good memories.

RiP Sarn't Major sahib!
 
Last edited:

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#84
he was called up for regular service and ended up in India and Burma with the Royal Artillery, eventually in a concert party.
There's every possibility my Uncle Alan knew the real life Sergeant Major, having been conscripted into the RA and posted to Deolali, setting for IAHHM, where he spent 1945 waiting to board a ship to invade mainland Japan.
 
#85
Watching It ain't alf hot mum on TV as a kid put me off my dream of being in the Army, Windsor Davies portrayal of the Sgt was scary and made me cry, I had nightmares of him shouting at me in is shouty Welsh accent.

I now find that the Army wants Snowflakes but I'm too old to join. Can I get compensation from somebody?
Poof!
Shuuuutup
 
#86
Pretty sure that they had National Service NCOs.
And also many regular Sgt/WO 'Schoolies' until the RAEC was converted to an all officer corps circa 1962/3
Some regulars were offered commissions but a lot were made redundant.

Edited: Sorry, I see that I was beaten to it earlier.
 
Last edited:
#88
The BBC are hypocrites about this. Both Davies and Don Estelle needed the money from repeats but the BBC refused to repeat the series (too much non PC content). Now they mourn the loss, mis-characterise the show, and don't mention that they denied the actors money.
Don Estelle had a particularly tough time. Ill health and the lack of BBC repeats kept him out of a good living. I saw him selling his album in the Arndale centre Manchester in the late 80's. Ironically young comics loved him. Harry Hill and the League of gentlemen both gave him work and were pretty star struck.
 
#89
Everyone's favourite bsm/ csm / ssm
If there is such a thing, eh Chodmeister, what you say ?
RSM Yacker Yates of Op Crown and Gillman Bcks Fame ,will be waiting at the pearly gates for his new drinking buddy
 
#90
Don Estelle had a particularly tough time. Ill health and the lack of BBC repeats kept him out of a good living. I saw him selling his album in the Arndale centre Manchester in the late 80's. Ironically young comics loved him. Harry Hill and the League of gentlemen both gave him work and were pretty star struck.
He was a decent chap by all accounts. Very bitter at the BBC but understandably so. I get why the BBC wouldn't repeat the show (just too much hassle in this day and age) but the BBC has helped to create the culture that means it can't broadcast the show and, particularly on Radio 4 extra, some older comedies are broadcast by the corporation with similar themes/issues as those explored in 'It ain't half hot Mum' (the Potaniland Navy officers in The Navy Lark for example - one of whom was Michael Bates, interestingly).
Estelle's story is a tragedy. Very sad. It would make for a poignant drama.
 
#91
They did. My oldest friend's Dad was a NS RAEC Sgt in Palestine and Jordan in 1946-48.
I have heard that at this time a lot of Army people thought the RAEC Sgt's were in fact Int Corps operating 'semi-underground' - ie RAEC hat badge on well educated Sgt's. Could this have started when Int Corps formed and a lot of language qualified teacher types conscripted went to the new Int Corps but were not considered suitable or did not want commissions? Sgt was considered an appropriate rank for them.
 
Last edited:
#93
I have heard that at this time a lot of Army people thought the RAERC Sgt's were in fact Int Corps operating 'semi-underground' - ie RAEC hat badge on well educated Sgt's. Could this have started when Int Corps formed and a lot of language qualified teacher types conscripted went to the new Int Corps but were not considered suitable or did not want commissions? Sgt was considered an appropriate rank for them.
Quite possibly; there was a language training for NS men. One of my old Professors was a NS Russian linguist.
 
#94
As part of the in memoriam process on the BBC, they played a clip of Windsor Davies describing the origins of the Sgt Maj Shuttup character. Such was my familiarity with the deep, stentorian tones of BSM Williams, I was quite surprised to note that his normal speaking voice, while not what you might call screaming luvvie, was substantially different from that of the character.
 
#95
Don Estelle had a particularly tough time. Ill health and the lack of BBC repeats kept him out of a good living. I saw him selling his album in the Arndale centre Manchester in the late 80's. Ironically young comics loved him. Harry Hill and the League of gentlemen both gave him work and were pretty star struck.
There's no doubt that the BBC would probably come out looking bad from the situation, but actors cannot expect to live off the back of a single successful 70s sitcom for the rest of their lives. I remember seeing Don Estelle cutting the ribbon for something at a preserved railway in Bucks many years ago. Still the long shorts and the sola topi. He was typecast for ever more but fading from the public memory and reduced to less than lucrative public appearances.

That execrable novelty record, 'Whispering Grass' wouldn't have helped. It was a big hit at the time, but wouldn't have earned Estelle or Davies very much as neither held the rights to the song. To be brutally honest, apart from mugging furiously in the background on TOTP, Windsor Davies' contribution to the record was virtually nil. However, it would have served to further weld the pair to their alter egos. At the height of their public popularity this was all to the good. But it seems that they and their agents had were not alive to the fact that things move on.

Windsor Davies managed to recover things to a certain extent. Don Estelle never managed it.
 

Gout Man

LE
Book Reviewer
#97
The BBC are hypocrites about this. Both Davies and Don Estelle needed the money from repeats but the BBC refused to repeat the series (too much non PC content). Now they mourn the loss, mis-characterise the show, and don't mention that they denied the actors money.
See @Whiskybreath recent thread on letters.
Perhaps we should bombard the Beeb with letters insisting that our licence money be put to good use in dusting down the archives and broadcasting the show once more.
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#99
Those shoulder titles look like REME to me. Could by wrong . . .
The students are REME but the instructor's shoulder title is definitely RAEC.
 

ancienturion

LE
Book Reviewer
See @Whiskybreath recent thread on letters.
Perhaps we should bombard the Beeb with letters insisting that our licence money be put to good use in dusting down the archives and broadcasting the show once more.
Unfortunately they will have been erased or sold to some "third world" country which seems to be a common ploy of the BBC.
 

Similar threads


Latest Threads

Top