ARNOLD RIDLEY, OBE (7 January 1896 – 12 March 1984)
Born in Bath – and always a proud West Countryman – Arnold Ridley
is best known today for playing the part of Private Godfrey in Dad’s
Army. This came at the end of a long and varied career in the theatre.
He was a prolific playwright, a skilled stage and film director and a
versatile actor with a wide range of theatre, radio, television and film
In contrast to the gentle Private Godfrey, he fought in both the First and
Second World Wars and had the unusual distinction of being invalided
out of the British Army on two occasions. After being evacuated from
France in 1940, he joined the Local Defence Volunteers which later
became the Home Guard.
In addition to The Ghost Train, he wrote more than thirty plays
and a variety of short stories and newspaper and magazine articles.
His plays were described by The Guardian as: “tightly plotted,
witty, compassionate, often exciting, about ordinary people doing
Arnold Ridley died in 1984 and his ashes are buried in his parents’
grave in Bath Abbey Cemetery.
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