Soldier Soldier

Soldier Soldier
Genre Military drama
Created by Lucy Gannon
Starring Robson Green
Jerome Flynn
Opening theme "Soldier Soldier"
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 7
No. of episodes 82
Executive producer(s) Ted Childs (Series 1–5)
Jonathan Powell (Series 6–7)
Running time 50 minutes
Production company(s) Central Independent Television
Distributor ITV Studios
Original network ITV
Picture format 4:3
Audio format Stereo
Original release 10 June 1991 (1991-06-10) – 9 December 1997 (1997-12-09)

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.[1]

Regular cast

Military personnel


Company Sergeant Majors

Non Commissioned Officers (NCOs)


Attached Arms



Series 1

1991. Following a six-month tour of duty in Northern Ireland, the King's Fusiliers Infantry Regiment

return to duty at their Midlands' headquarters.

  1. "All the King's Men" (10 June 1991)
  2. "Fun and Games" (17 June 1991)
  3. "Dirty Work" (24 June 1991)
  4. "Fighting Spirit" (1 July 1991)
  5. "Battlefields" (8 July 1991)
  6. "Loyal to the Corps" (15 July 1991)
  7. "Flying Colours" (22 July 1991)

Series 2

Series 2, 1992, was set in Hong Kong, apart from the first episode, which was about a training exercise in Wales.

  1. "A Man's Life" (21 September 1992)
  2. "Something Old, Something New" (28 September 1992)
  3. "A Touch of the Sun" (5 October 1992)
  4. "Lifelines" (12 October 1992)
  5. "Saving Face" (19 October 1992)
  6. "Lost and Found" (26 October 1992)
  7. "The Last Post" (2 November 1992)

Series 3

Series 3, 1993 was set in New Zealand & Germany.

  1. "Shifting Sands" (7 September 1993)
  2. "Live Fire" (14 September 1993)
  3. "Base Details" (21 September 1993)
  4. "Fall Out" (28 September 1993)
  5. "Disintegration" (5 October 1993)
  6. "Hide and Seek" (12 October 1993)
  7. "Trouble and Strife" (19 October 1993)
  8. "Hard Knocks" (26 October 1993)
  9. "Camouflage" (2 November 1993)
  10. "Staying Together" (9 November 1993)
  11. "Dutch Courage" (16 November 1993)
  12. "Stand by Me" (23 November 1993)
  13. "Leaving" (30 November 1993)

Series 4

Series 4, 1994, saw the Fusiliers move to Cyprus.

  1. "Stormy Weather" (20 September 1994)
  2. "Away Games" (27 September 1994)
  3. "Damage" (4 October 1994)
  4. "Second Sight" (11 October 1994)
  5. "Over the Top" (18 October 1994)
  6. "Proud Man" (25 October 1994)
  7. "Further Education" (1 November 1994)
  8. "Baby Love" (8 November 1994)
  9. "Band of Gold" (15 November 1994)
  10. "Going Back" (22 November 1994)
  11. "Poles Apart" (29 November 1994)
  12. "Bombshell" (6 December 1994)
  13. "Changing the Guard" (13 December 1994)

Series 5

Series 5, 1995 was set in Australia, UK & South Africa.

  1. "For Better, For Worse" (5 September 1995)
  2. "Second Chances" (12 September 1995)
  3. "Love Not Money" (19 September 1995)
  4. "Bushed" (26 September 1995)
  5. "Far Away" (3 October 1995)
  6. "Ill Wind" (10 October 1995)
  7. "Sweet Revenge" (17 October 1995)
  8. "The Army Game" (24 October 1995)
  9. "Love and War" (31 October 1995)
  10. "Leaving" (7 November 1995)
  11. "Hard Lessons" (14 November 1995)
  12. "Stick Together" (21 November 1995)
  13. "Under the Sun" (28 November 1995)
  14. "Baptism of Fire" (5 December 1995)
  15. "Twist of Fate" (12 December 1995)

Series 6

  1. "River Deep" (3 September 1996)
  2. "Divided Loyalties" (10 September 1996)
  3. "All for One" (17 September 1996)
  4. "Walking on Air" (24 September 1996)
  5. "Under the Gooseberry Bush" (1 October 1996)
  6. "Flash Point" (8 October 1996)
  7. "Money For Nothing" (15 October 1996)
  8. "Dear Joe" (22 October 1996)
  9. "Asking for it?" (29 October 1996)
  10. "Delayed Action" (5 November 1996)
  11. "Beast" (12 November 1996)
  12. "Fall for Love" (19 November 1996)
  13. "War Path" (26 November 1996)
  14. "Deliver us from Evil" (3 December 1996)
  15. "Hell and High Water" (10 December 1996)

Series 7

  1. "Divided We Fall" (23 September 1997)
  2. "Things Can Only Get Better!" (30 September 1997)
  3. "Line of Departure" (7 October 1997)
  4. "Under Fire" (14 October 1997)
  5. "Friends and Lovers" (21 October 1997)
  6. "How Was it for You?" (28 October 1997)
  7. "The Road to Damascus" (4 November 1997)
  8. "Out" (11 November 1997)
  9. "Fit to Explode" (18 November 1997)
  10. "Chain of Command" (25 November 1997)
  11. "Sounds of War" (2 December 1997)
  12. "No Pain, No Gain!" (9 December 1997)


The King's Own Fusiliers

Cap badge of the King's Own Fusiliers
Active 1993-
Country United Kingdom
Branch Army
Type Line Infantry
Role Air Assault Infantry
(at end of series)
Size One battalion
Part of King's Division
Garrison/HQ 1st Battalion - Aldershot
(at end of series)
Motto(s) Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense (Shamed Be He Who Thinks Ill Of It)
Hackle Blue over White
From King's Fusiliers

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:

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.

Recruiting area

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.

Commanding officers

See also


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