TV history puts `Dad's Army' in firing line

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WARTIME members of the Home Guard - butt of the television comedy series Dad's Army - last night angrily rejected allegations that they were incompetent and accident-prone, writes Diana Blamires.

Channel 4's Secret History: Dad's Army, to be screened next month, claims some volunteers were so incompetent that they were responsible for the deaths of 50 members of the public.

Sir James Spicer, a former Tory MP who joined the Home Guard aged 15, said: "I am dismayed that more than half-a-century on from the formation of the Home Guard, a so-called expert should dredge up facts and figures to suggest that the Home Guard was a shower."

Veteran Les Dinning said: "I think the criticism is very unfair. Of course, many members were untrained and either very old or very young because they were the only ones left. But in the circumstances they did an excellent job."