Frank Williams In Profile

Frank Williams, 1931 – 2022

Sadly we lost Frank just a short while ago leaving just Ian Lavender from the original cast.

Frank Williams will be always best remembered for his role as the Reverend Timothy Farthing in the TV series Dad’s Army, a role he reprised in the radio series, original movie and 2016 re-make.  Whilst Dad’s Army is his best remembered role he did pop up as a vicar in a number of roles over the years.

Quick Bio

Frank Williams was born in Edgware, Middlesex, on 2 July 1931, the only child to parents were William Williams, a Welsh nonconformist and Alice (née Myles).

Williams was educated at a school which temporarily functioned in St Andrew’s Church, Edgware, and two private schools before he attended Ardingly College in West Sussex, and Hendon County School (still there today but now just Hendon School )

As an only child we Frank Williams bought his first house it was only one and a half miles away from his parents’ home.

Williams would live in his hometown of Edgware until his death.

Like his Dad’s Army character Williams was a lifetime Christian, he was until 2000 a member of the House of Laity in the General Synod of the Church of England.  He was opposed to the ordination of women and attacks on gay people.

Sadly aged 90 Frank Williams dies on 26th June 2022, he was one of only two of the original cast members still alive.


Williams started his acting career in rep and worked with the Watford Palace Theatre, which was being run by Jimmy Perry, who would go to create Dads Army some years later.  It was here he would also meet many of his future co-stars.

Williams decided he wanted to get into television , at the time the industry was still in it’s infancy.  He made several television appearances throughout the 1950’s, during the first series of The Army Game he made various small appearances and in 1957 was invited back as a regular character, the commanding officer Captain Pocket.




Williams continued to play the role until the series ended in 1960. In total, he appeared in 116 episodes of The Army Game.  He also appeared in a number of films the first of which was The Story of Gilbert and Sullivan in 1953 he would go on to appear in films throughout the 1950’s to the 1980’s including three with Norman Wisdom and his final film appearance was in 1980’s Oh Heavenly Dog.

However it was TV that made him a household name and Dad’s Army in particular.  Making his debut in 1969 (by now Dad’s Army was in series 3) in an episode entitled “The Armoured Might Of Corporal Jones.”

He would go on to appear in half of the 80 episodes and both feature films (including the 2016 re-make).  Williams later said of his time working on Dad’s Army that “it was the happiest period of my professional life.”

Other TV appearances included

Appearing alongside Tessie O’Shea in the short-lived sitcom As Good Cooks Go (1970).  Other TV appearances included All Gas and Gaitors as one of the vicars choral in episodes broadcast in 1967 and 1971.

At the height of his Dad’s Army fame, he had a cameo role in another cult comedy series Monty python’s Flying Circus in 1972 , later (1978) appearing as a record producer in the Rutles movie All You Need Is Cash.

It was fitting given that the original Radio series was a Dad’s Army spin off that Williams made an appearance in the short-lived television sitcom High and Dry as a bank clerk,

and he made a cameo appearance in ‘Minder’, playing a tobacconist. He had a recurring role in You Rang , M’Lord? a later series written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft. Williams played Lord Bishop Charles appearing in 14 out of a total of 26 episodes.

He appeared on the BBC’s Daytime live to mark 21 years since Dad’s Army first aired in 1989




Sharing The Memory

In 1993, Williams co-founded the Dad’s Army Appreciation Society alongside former co-star Bill Pertwee who became president.  Williams served as vice president until Pertwee’s death in 2013 after which he became president, attending many society events until his death.

In 2002 Frank Williams published his autobiography “Vicar to Dad’s Army: the Frank Williams story”

He continued to share his Dad’s Army memories when in 2008 he was a guest on both This Morning and Jonathan Ross in 2008 talking about Dad’s Army.

Dad’s Army had a a Royal fan in  Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.  On the occasion of her 100th Birthday parade Frank Williams alongside other surviving members of the Dad’s Army he walked in the parade, as Dad’s Army was her favourite programme.

Other Work

He was the author of several plays, including The Playing Fields and Murder Weekend, some of which have been performed in the pro-amateur theatre.




One Last Stand For The Vicar

Williams reprised his role of the vicar for the 2016 reboot of Dad’s Army.  Recalling his time on set of the new film: “It meant four days work, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The film was pretty successful but received a mixed reaction from Dad’s Army fans because seeing other people playing roles made famous by the likes of Arthur and John wasn’t easy to accept.”