Bill Pertwee

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William Desmond Anthony Pertwee MBE (born 21 July 1926) is an English comedy actor. He is best known for playing the part of antagonist ARP Warden Hodges in the popular sitcom Dad's Army.


Early and personal life

Pertwee was born in Amersham, Buckinghamshire. His mother was Brazilian and his British father travelled the country as a salesman until he became ill and died when Pertwee was 12. The family moved home many times during Pertwee's childhood and he lived in Hereford, Glasbury, Colnbrook, Newbury, Erith, Belvedere, Blackheath, Storrington, Westcliff-on-Sea, Wilmington and Worthing. His education was disrupted by the moves and he attended many schools including an independent convent school, a small independent school, followed by Frensham Heights School in Surrey, Dartford Technical College and Southend College.

Pertwee's brother James (known as "Jiggy") was an RAF Whitley Bomber pilot who was killed in a crash following a leaflet drop over Dortmund, Germany in June 1941. Pertwee left school during World War II and worked for a company that made parts for Spitfire cannons. He was declared unfit for RAF service as he was on medication following a swimming accident, but was a member of the Air Training Corps (UK Air Cadets). He later worked as an accounts clerk at the Stock Exchange and as a salesman for the clothing retailer Burberry in London.

Petwee has a son, Jonathan James Pertwee (b. 1966), who has been in various programmes.[2] He is the godfather to of one of the sons of Dad's Army co-star Ian Lavender. Following the death of his wife, he now lives in Surrey, England. He was awarded an MBE in the Queen's 2007 Birthday Honours list for his services to charity. He is vice-president of the "Railway Ramblers".[3]

He is a distant cousin of former Doctor Who actor Jon Pertwee being second cousin of Jon Pertwee's father, screenwriter and actor Roland Pertwee.

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