10 June 1991
| 6.7/10 |
9 December 1997
| Robson Green Jerome Flynn|
Robson Green, Jerome Flynn, Rosie Rowell, Ben Nealon, Gary Love
Soldier Soldier is a British television drama series. The title comes from a traditional song of the same name - "Soldier, soldier will you marry me, with your musket, fife and drum?" - an instrumental version of which was used as its theme music.
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 'B' Company, 1st Battalion The King's Fusiliers, a fictional British Army infantry regiment loosely based on the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. 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. At the end of the fifth series in 1995, both actors left the show. 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.
Soldier Soldier Wikipedia
OfficersMiles Anderson as Lieutenant Colonel Dan Fortune (Series 1-2)Patrick Drury as Lieutenant Colonel Mark Osbourne (Series 3)Robert Gwilym as Lieutenant Colonel Nick Hammond (Series 3)John Bowe as Lieutenant Colonel Ian Jennings (Series 4)Duncan Bell as Lieutenant Colonel Paul Philips (Series 5)Philip Bowen as Lieutenant Colonel Mike Eastwood (Series 6)James Cosmo as Lieutenant Colonel Philip Drysdale (Series 7)David Haig as Major Tom Cadman (Series 1)Simon Donald as Major Bob Cochrane (Series 2)Adrian Rawlins as Major Tim Radley (Series 3)Dorian Healy as Captain (later Major) Kieran Voce (Series 3-4)Dougray Scott as Major Rory Taylor (Series 5)James Callis as Major Tim Forrester (Series 6)Ben Nealon as Second Lieutenant (later Lieutenant then Captain) Jeremy Forsythe (Series 4-7)Peter Wingfield as Lieutenant Nick Pasco (Series 1)Angus Macfadyen as Second Lieutenant Alex Pereira (Series 2)
Company Sergeant MajorsSean Baker as Company Sergeant Major Chick Henwood (Series 1)Rob Spendlove as Company Sergeant Major (later Regimental Sergeant Major then Lieutenant) Michael Stubbs (Series 3-5)Conor Mullen as Company Sergeant Major Alan Fitzpatrick (Series 7)
Non Commissioned Officers (NCOs)Robert Glenister as Colour Sergeant (later Lieutenant) Ian Anderson (Series 1)Gary Love as Corporal (later Sergeant and then Corporal again) Anthony "Tony" Wilton (Series 1-4)Jerome Flynn as Lance Corporal (later Corporal and then Sergeant and then Corporal again) Patrick "Paddy" Garvey (Series 1-5)Debra Beaumont as Sergeant Sally Hawkins (Series 4)Richard Dillane as Sergeant Brad Connor (Series 5)Jonathan Guy Lewis as Sergeant Chris McCleod (Series 6-7)Ian Curtis as Corporal Mark Hobbs (Series 6-7)Shaun Dingwall as Lance Corporal Steve Evans (Series 5-6)Ross O'Hennessy as Cpl Dando P.T.I. Instructor (series 5 + 7)
FusiliersRobson Green as Fusilier (later briefly Lance Corporal) David "Dave" Tucker (Series 1-5)Winston Crooke as Fusilier Joe Meakin (Series 1)Mo Sesay as Fusilier Michael "Midnight" Rawlings (Series 2-3)Akim Mogaji as Fusilier Luke Roberts (Series 3)David Groves as Fusilier Joe Farrell (Series 4-6)Paterson Joseph as Fusilier Eddie Nelson (Series 4)Simon Sherlock as Fusilier Mel Briggs (Series 5-6)Danny Cunningham as Fusilier Andy Butcher (Series 5-7)Thomas Craig as Fusilier Jacko Barton (Series 7)Chris Gascoyne as Fusilier Tony Rossi (Series 7)
Attached ArmsJohn McGlynn as Major James McCudden (Series 4)Lucy Cohu as Major Jessica Bailey AGC (Series 7)Richard Hampton as Reverend Simon Armstrong CF RAChD (Series 1-2)Lesley Vickerage as Second Lieutenant (later Lieutenant and then Captain) Kate Butler (later Voce) AGC (Series 2-4)Sophie Dix as Captain Sadie Williams RAMC (Series 5)Biddy Hodson as Second Lieutenant Samantha Sheridan AGC (Series 6)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)Kate O'Malley as Private Stacey Grey (later Butcher) RLC (Series 6-7)Rosie Rowell as Donna Tucker (Series 1-5)Annabelle Apsion as Joy Wilton (Series 1-5)Matthew Beard/David Gallivan/Sonny Dudley/Luke Burt as Matthew Wilton (Series 1-5)Melanie Kilburn as Carol Anderson (Series 1)Samantha Morton as Clare Anderson (Series 1)Gareth Parrington as James Anderson (Series 1)Cathryn Harrison as Laura Cadman (Series 1)Susan Franklyn as Juliet Grant (Series 1)Lesley Manville as Rachel Fortune (née Elliot) (Series 2)Suzanne Burden as Sandra Radley (Series 3)Rakie Ayola as Bernie Roberts (Series 3)Denise Welch as Marsha Stubbs (Series 3-5)William Ash as Jack Stubbs (Series 3-4)Tara Simpson as Sarah Stubbs (Series 3-4)Angela Clarke as Colette Daly (Series 4-5)Gabrielle Reidy as Isabelle Jennings (Series 4)Ellis Fernandez/Milo Taylor as Macaulay Tucker (Series 4-5)Nthati Moshesh as Lilian Malanje (later Forsythe) (Series 5-7)Alison Skilbeck as Dr Sarah Eastwood (Series 6)Kate Ashfield as Cate Hobbs (Series 6)Kelly Hunter as Jackie Reece (Series 6)Laura Howard as Deborah Osbourne (later Briggs) (Series 6)Joanna Phillips-Lane as Karen Fitzpatrick (Series 7)Lee Ingleby as Kevin Fitzpatrick (Series 7)Sarah Smart as Lucy Fitzpatrick (Series 7)Michelle Butterly as Julie Oldroyd (Series 7)
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)". 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 (LtCol Osbourne) found that, during the Cumbrians [fictional] service in the Crimea, the Cumbrians had worn the hackle and served as fusiliers for 6 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 band of the Order of the Garter. Surmounting the garter band 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:1st Battalion, King's FusiliersLight infantry battalion in the UKResident infantry battalion in Hong Kong (with training deployment to New Zealand)1st Battalion, King's Own FusiliersArmoured infantry battalion with 4th (Armoured) Brigade in GermanyUnited Nations peacekeepers with UNPROFOR in BosniaPublic duties battalion in WindsorInfantry training battalion WarminsterAir assault infantry battalion with 5th (Airborne) Brigade
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.
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 also point to the regiment's location being in the Midlands include the use of a midland's commercial radio station being played by various characters (BRMB) and 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.1st Battalion, King's FusiliersLt Colonel D. Fortune (1991–1992) (Miles Anderson (Series 1 & 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 the 1st & 2nd series, he meets and then (in series 2) marries a journalist (Rachel Fortune (née Elliot)). After receiving orders for the regiment to be amalgamated, he decides to retire from the Army.Lt Colonel M. Osbourne (1992–1993) (Patrick Drury (Series 3)) Succeeding Lt Col Fortune, his command of the regiment mainly occurs during the time off-screen between series (only appearing in 3 episodes of series 3). After helping negotiate the regimental merger, he resigns his commission in order to spend more time with his daughter.1st Battalion, King's Own FusiliersLt Colonel N. Hammond (1993–1994) (Robert Gwilliem (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 Colonel I. Jennings (1994–1995) (John Bowe (Series 4)) Jennings assumes command from Hammond upon the regiment's return from Bosnia. His first task being the presentation of the UN Medals. The major assignment being the regiments relocation from Munster in Germany to Windsor. Also the Regiment is assigned to Public Duties Guarding locations such as Buckingham Palace and The Tower of London.Lt Colonel P. Philips (1995–1996) (Duncan Bell (Series 5))Lt Colonel M. Eastwood (1996–1997) (Philip Bowen (Series 6))Lt Colonel P. Drysdale (1997-) (James Cosmo (Series 7))The King's Fusiliers (later the King's Own Fusiliers)The Cumbrians (Duke of Rutland's Own) - amalgamates with the King's FusiliersThe Malvern Regiment - exercises with the King's Fusiliers during their time in Germany