|Private Frank Pike|
|Affiliated||Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard|
|First Seen||The Man and the Hour|
|Last Seen||Never Too Old|
"Whistle while you work,
Hitler is a twerp
He's half barmy!
So's his army,
Whistle while you work"
Frank Pike - The Deadly Attachment
Frank Pike was born in 1922, by far the youngest member of the platoon. He was a bank clerk who worked at Swallow Bank in Walmington-On-Sea, the town where he also lived with his mother. He later became a private in the Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard.
Pike is the youngest of the Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard. Aged 17 when the series begins, he is not old enough for the army, although he has reached his 18th birthday (particularly as several series earlier, Private Frazer declared that "it took Jonesy a whole year to get it (the drill) right" in Room at the Bottom, and Wilson describes Pike as "going on 19" in War Dance a few episodes later) when he is about to receive call-up papers in When You've Got To Go; in the event, it is revealed that he possesses a rare blood-type that excludes him from military service.
He lives in the shadow of his bossy, over-protective but well-meaning mother Mavis Pike, who is in a semi-secret relationship with Arthur Wilson, referred to by Pike as "Uncle Arthur". He is frequently hinted to be Pike's father. If so, he also has an older half-sister by Wilson's estranged wife. The series' writers, Jimmy Perry and David Croft, confirmed after the series that Wilson was Pike's father. Pike also has an aunt living in Scotland, whom he sometimes contacts via the bank's telephone, because his mother does not like him using public telephones due to the risk of "catching things off of the reciever" (The Lion Has Phones). It is common for Pike to threaten to set his mum on either Captain Mainwaring (his commanding officer) or Sergeant Wilson if he is shouted at or forced to do something. Although naive, Pike is aware something is going on with his mother and Wilson:
- Pike: "By the time we finish supper, it's so late, you never leave our house until after I've gone to bed and you're back early for breakfast before I'm awake. But what I don't understand is that I never hear you leave at night and I never hear you come back in."
- Wilson: "I let myself in and out very quietly"
- Pike: "You never do anything else quietly!"
- — Pike and Wilson talking
Pike could be very idiotic at times and, as shown in Battle School when he treats the journey to an application test to join at JHQ as if it is a school trip, displayed in the qute I was so looking forward to this and now, as it turns out, this is rotten. That's what it is, rotten!.
He is also very selfish and gleefully, but dishonestly, brags to his girlfriend that he was going to be part of 'secret service'.
Although Pike comes up with sensible solutions to problems encountered by the platoon, he treats "everything as if it's a game", to quote Mainwaring in All is Safely Gathered In. Notably, in The Deadly Attachment, Pike was put on an ominous 'list' by a German U-Boat captain due to Mainwaring's incompetence at preventing the German from learning Pike's name ("Don't tell him, Pike!"), spelling his doom should the Germans win the war; however, as Pike had sung a childish song about Adolf Hitler in front of this officer, it is his own fault in refusing to take the situation seriously. He would rather play at being a Chicago gangster with the platoon's grenades or Tommy gun. He exasperates Mainwaring but he is humoured by other members (particularly Lance-Corporal Jones, Private Godfrey and Private Walker). Pike one of the most timid members of the group but first in the series to fire on a suspected enemy (The Enemy Within The Gates) even though it turned out to be a swan.
Pike is sickly and unhealthy. An army doctor proclaimed him healthy when he received his calling up papers, though it then appears that he has a rare blood-type that excludes him from military service. But most 'illnesses' stem from his mother's protectiveness . Pike wears a scarf, usually claret and blue, with Home Guard uniform. This is because it prevents his croup, even though only infants and, apparently, chickens are supposed to get it (Menace from the Deep).
Pike is a fan of the cinema and relates the plots of films that relate to the platoon , even if the relationship is hazy. When the film example does mirror reality, he picks scenarios which end in death. In Asleep in the Deep, the platoon are about to draw lots as to who will be at the head of a rubble clearing party when and he relates to Sergeant Wilson how this is done in a film and in which the sergeant is chosen.
In The Big Parade Pike falls in a pit of soft mud and starts sinking. As the rest try to get him out he says "I saw this in a Tarzan movie once."
Pike makes pointless comments while attempting to help; this is illustrated in Absent Friends. Jones, Mainwaring, Pike and Wilson are searching for an escaped convict, with the help of the police.
- Jones: "Perhaps they're hidin' behind the bushes, sir. They do a lot of hidin' behind bushes, do policemen. Especially when they're knockin' people off."
- Mainwaring: "I don't think that's very likely, Jones."
- Pike: "In that film, "Public Enemy Number One", they hid behind cars. But there aren't any here."
Behind the ScenesEdit
Pike's name is a reference to the spear-like weapons issued to the Home Guard in 1942, generating 'an almost universal feeling of anger and disgust from the ranks'.
Ian Lavender was invited to choose Pike's scarf from the BBC costume department. As a supporter of Aston Villa F.C., he chose the team's colours - resulting in many people mistaking it for a West Ham scarf, who share the same claret and blue colours.
Family and FriendsEdit
Mavis Pike - Mother
Wilson - Father Figure