Mainwaring is preparing to march the platoon over to the recreation ground for a lecture on field craft. Wilson enters the office, informing him that Pike and Jones are ready for him to inspect their rifles, and Frazer is ready with the Lewis Gun. Mainwaring inspects Jones' rifle, and reminds him not to leave sausage skins in the magazine again! He also reminds Pike to let his mother clean it with a bath brick. Frazer is relieved to not have to clean the Lewis Gun again for three weeks, but Mainwaring notices that the butterfly spring is missing, and Frazer surmises that it is in his workshop.
Mainwaring marches the platoon to Frazer's workshop and Frazer searches for the box where he keeps his tools in, believing the spring is there, but it has gone. Mainwaring asks him what the box was like, and is shocked to learn that it's shaped like a coffin! Frazer tells him that when he was young, he used to learn how to make coffins and dentistry on the Isle of Mingulay. He remembers that Mr Drury, an undertaker, would probably have taken it, so the platoon head there.
Mr Drury is in a bit of a rush, and doesn't stop to talk to Frazer and Jones. They confront his secretary, Miss Baker, who confirms the use of the coffin. Frazer asks if it's still there, but Miss Baker confesses that it is now occupied by a Mr Horace Blewitt. Jones and Frazer are shocked, and are even more shocked to learn that his brother Sidney wanted him to rest in peace on his dining room table!
Jones and Frazer worm their way into Mr Blewitt's house, and Jones distracts Mr Blewitt while Frazer searches the coffin. Mr Blewitt tells Jones that he came home after buying best end of neck from Jones, looked at it, and cried: "Look at that! All bloody bone!" After he said that, he collapsed! Jones accuses Mr Blewitt of accusing him of doing in his brother, and drags Frazer out of the house, before he has had a chance to fully inspect the coffin.
Mainwaring rings GHQ about spare springs, but there aren't any in stock. Walker's friend who makes safes can't help them because he's in prison. So, Mainwaring decides that they should return to Mr Blewitt's house, and break in after Mr Blewitt has gone to bed. However, when Jones and Frazer climb into the dining room via the kitchen window, they are shocked to learn that the coffin lid is screwed down. They attempt to unscrew the coffin lid, but they are interrupted by Mr Blewitt coming down the stairs, and quickly make their exit.
Next morning, while Frazer's officiating Horace's funeral, the platoon arrive at the churchyard, just as the procession arrive at the grave. They stick a "Danger! Unexploded Bomb" sign in the ground, and warn the Vicar and the mourners that there's an unexploded bomb in the churchyard. However, it's just a ruse to clear the graveyard. Later, Jones' section arrive at the grave to retrieve the spring. Jones reluctantly climbs inside to check, but they are interrupted by the Verger, who has come to fill in Horace's hole. However, they are unable to remove Jones from the grave, so the Verger is understandably surprised when the earth he digs into the grave is flung back in his face!
The Verger confronts Mainwaring and Jones' section, who manage to cover up the whole thing until he leaves. Mainwaring admits he must report Frazer to GHQ for court-martial but, just in the nick of time, Frazer discovers the butterfly spring in his jacket pocket!
|Arthur Lowe||Captain Mainwaring|
|John Le Mesurier||Sergeant Wilson|
|Clive Dunn||Lance Corporal Jones|
|John Laurie||Private Frazer|
|James Beck||Private Walker|
|Arnold Ridley||Private Godfrey|
|Ian Lavender||Private Pike|
|Edward Sinclair||The Verger|
|Frank Williams||The Vicar|
|Harold Bennett||Mr Blewitt|
|Joan Cooper||Miss Baker|
|Ronnie Brandon||Mr Drury|