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Episodes cast for
"A Family at War" (1970) More at IMDbPro »

Season: 1 | 2 | 3
Year: 1970 | 1971 | 1972


Season 1


Season 1, Episode 1: The Facts of Life

14 April 1970
The adult children of the Ashton Family are preparing a surprise party for their parents, Edwin and Jean. The atmosphere is cheerful, but some underlying tensions within the family pop up now and then, and then there is the threat of a war that seems to be coming. Through his marriage 30 years ago Edwin shifted from working-class to middle-class, but at the cost of losing his self-respect. All these years he has been in the hands of his brother-in-law, Sefton Briggs, who rules the printing works where Edwin is employed, and even owns the house where Edwin and Jean live. The post as manager of the works is now vacant. Edwin is the obvious candidate for this position, but instead Sefton places his own son, Tony, there. This also dashes the hope of Edwin's eldest son, David, of getting a job at the works. David is tormented by not being able to earn enough money to maintain his wife Sheila and their two children without financial support by his parents. When all other possibilities have failed, he finally finds one solution: to join the RAF.

Season 1, Episode 2: To Die for Spain

21 April 1970

Season 1, Episode 3: Lines of Battle

28 April 1970

Season 1, Episode 4: The Summer Before the War

5 May 1970

Season 1, Episode 5: The Gate of the Year

12 May 1970

Season 1, Episode 6: The Breach in the Dyke

19 May 1970

Season 1, Episode 7: The War Office Regrets

26 May 1970

Season 1, Episode 8: For Strategic Reasons

30 June 1970

Keith Drinkel ... Philip Ashton
Michael Williams ... Eddie Chappell
Ray Smith ... Sergeant Connor

Prunella Ransome ... Dominique Brehaut
Marty Cruikshank ... Madeleine Brehaut
Derek Anders ... Lieutenant McCartney
Jeremy Wilkin ... Captain Leyland-Smith
Richard Vanstone ... Corporal Jenkins
Colin Prockter ... Private Galt
Bill Lyons ... Private Abrahams
Bill Jarvis ... Albert

James Bree ... Mr. Brehaut
Margaret Ward ... Mrs. Brehaut
Billie Hammerberg ... Frightened Woman
Debbie Bowers ... Marie

Season 1, Episode 9: The Night They Hit No. 8

7 July 1970

Season 1, Episode 10: One of Ours

14 July 1970

Season 1, Episode 11: Brothers in War

21 July 1970

Season 1, Episode 12: If It's Got Your Number on It

28 July 1970

Season 1, Episode 13: The End of the Beginning

4 August 1970


Season 2


Season 2, Episode 1: The Other Side of the Hill

11 November 1970

Season 2, Episode 2: I Can Be Happy, Can't I?

18 November 1970

Colin Douglas ... Edwin Ashton

Shelagh Fraser ... Jean Ashton
Lesley Nunnerley ... Margaret Porter

Barbara Flynn ... Freda Ashton
John McKelvey ... Sefton Briggs
T.R. Bowen ... Tony Briggs (as Trevor Bowen)
Judy Higgins ... Barbara Armstrong
Diana Davies ... Doris Jackson
Bill Waddington ... Ted Fiddler
Mark Jones ... Michael Armstrong
Penelope Davis ... Miss Walsh
Vivienne Moss ... Schoolgirl

Season 2, Episode 3: A Lesson in War

25 November 1970

Keith Drinkel ... Philip Ashton
David Swift ... Company Sergeant Major Basset
Bryan Marshall ... Stashek
Michael Blackham ... Private Hills
Richard Orlowski ... Franek
Stefan Gryff ... Jasiu

Edmund Pegge ... Aussie

Clifford Rose ... Colonel
Robert French ... Captain Carbury

John Hallam ... Lieutenant Prideaux
John Cording ... Private Evers
Geoffrey Hinsliff ... Corporal Short
Tony Vogel ... German Soldier

Chris Sullivan ... Wakeley
Colin Sherwood ... Robins

Season 2, Episode 4: Is Your Journey Really Necessary?

2 December 1970

Colin Douglas ... Edwin Ashton
John McKelvey ... Sefton Briggs
T.R. Bowen ... Tony Briggs (as Trevor Bowen)

Wanda Ventham ... Jenny Graham

Timothy Carlton ... Rupert Innes

John Savident ... George Askew
Sheila Manahan ... Noreen McDermott
Joan Heath ... Mary Foster
Alan Gerrard ... Stanley
Walter Horsbrugh ... Daniels
Roy Maxwell ... Ticket Collector
Mike Hayden ... Air-Raid Warden
Malcolm Stevens ... Serviceman
Veronica Kelly ... Girl

Season 2, Episode 5: The Forty-Eight Hour Pass

9 December 1970

Season 2, Episode 6: Hope Against Hope

16 December 1970
Liverpool, May 1941. Margaret is going to live with Michael Armstrong, but when she visits him an aerial bomb hits the house, and sets the whole building on fire. Margaret is seriously hurt and taken to the hospital, where members of her family soon turn up to visit her. She is four months pregnant and everybody worries about the baby's survival chances. At the same time Mrs. Porter is on her way to Liverpool. A British soldier has found a letter written by John at the battlefield in France, and has sent it to her. The soldier is back in Liverpool, and now she wants to get more information from him.
Colin Douglas ... Edwin Ashton

Shelagh Fraser ... Jean Ashton
Coral Atkins ... Sheila Ashton
Lesley Nunnerley ... Margaret Porter

Barbara Flynn ... Freda Ashton
David Dixon ... Robert Ashton
T.R. Bowen ... Tony Briggs (as Trevor Bowen)
Mark Jones ... Michael Armstrong
Margery Mason ... Celia Porter
Mark Edwards ... Owen Thomas
Lennard Pearce ... Cowking

Michael Craze ... Corporal
Harry Littlewood ... Air-Raid Warden
Sandra Downs ... Nurse

Season 2, Episode 7: A Time to Be Born

23 December 1970
Liverpool, October 1941. The rationing of food has led to the development of a black market. Sefton has a share in a pig, but wants to buy the other half of the pig as well. Harry Jenkins is reluctant to sell his part, but in the end he agrees. The next morning Harry tells Sefton that officers from the Ministry of Food have confiscated the dead pig, and that Sefton will probably be prosecuted for illegal slaughter. At the same time Margaret is taken to the hospital for her delivery, but the child is stillborn. And Freda confides under tears to Sheila that she has a crush on a married man, who doesn't know it and who she never can have.

Season 2, Episode 8: A Hero's Welcome

30 December 1970
Liverpool, December 1941. Sheila has brought her son Peter home for Christmas, but her daughter Janet didn't want to leave the Thomas family in Wales. Peter hasn't seen his father David since summer, and is now eagerly awaiting his arrival. In Peter's fantasy his father is a war hero, and he anticipates all the marvelous stories he's going to hear. When David finally arrives Peter is disappointed. His father doesn't want to talk about his war experiences, and just says that he and the other pilots are frightened all the time. He also starts criticizing his son for small faults in his behavior. When David leaves Liverpool again at Christmas Eve, Peter says that he hates his father.

Season 2, Episode 9: We Could Be a Lot Worse Off

6 January 1971
January 1942. Two security officers visit Edwin to gain information about John Porter. Some weeks ago they traced a transmitter in Belgium. When asking for name, rank and number of the person calling, the answer was John Porter followed by some personal details. It could be a trick by the Germans, but it could also be John, locked up by a resistant group, who uses his technical skills for their own purpose. At the same time Robert is crossing the Atlantic Ocean with his ship, who is escorting a tanker with aviation fuel from New York to England. German submarines discover the squadron and blow up several of the ships, including Robert's. After a long time in the cold water and in a lifeboat, Robert dies. His body is thrown into the sea.

Season 2, Episode 10: Lend Your Loving Arms

13 January 1971
Liverpool, January 1942. Freda has a crush on Michael Armstrong. She cannot reveal her feelings for him, but communicates them in a cryptic way by reciting some poetry. Freda tells Sheila that David has a leave and is coming home today or on Monday. With bitterness Sheila remarks that she probably has to share his leave with another woman as usual. She decides to give tit for tat, and joins Freda and Doris on a pleasure-trip to Southport. They go to a dance-hall with some soldiers, but Sheila doesn't enjoy herself, and leaves after a while. At the railway station she meets a man and they go for a drink. When they return the last train has already left, so they spend the night in the waiting room, talking with each other. When David doesn't find Sheila at home he gets furious. Sheila arrives in the morning, but she doesn't give him a clear picture of where she spent the night.

Season 2, Episode 11: Hazard

20 January 1971
March 1942 the Western desert. Phillip is sent on a 10 day mine sweeping course and he meets Sgt. Hazard...
Keith Drinkel ... Philip Ashton
Jeff Shankley ... Private Boakes (as Jeffrey Shankley)
Robert Booth ... Private Stone

James Hazeldine ... Lance Corporal Hattersley
Paul Chapman ... Major Steele
Donald Webster ... Sergeant Malone

Maurice Roëves ... Sergeant Jack Hazard
John Rolfe ... Royal Engineers Officer

Jonathan Adams ... QMSI Briggs
Ralph Watson ... Private Fuller
James Woolley ... Second Lieutenant Perkins
Ishia Bennison ... Mina

Season 2, Episode 12: Giving and Taking

27 January 1971

Season 2, Episode 13: Believed Killed

3 February 1971

Season 2, Episode 14: Into the Dark

10 February 1971

Colin Douglas ... Edwin Ashton

Shelagh Fraser ... Jean Ashton
Coral Atkins ... Sheila Ashton
Lesley Nunnerley ... Margaret Porter
Ian Thompson ... John Porter
Keith Drinkel ... Philip Ashton

Barbara Flynn ... Freda Ashton
John McKelvey ... Sefton Briggs
Mark Jones ... Michael Armstrong
Ian Stirling ... Corporal Grant

Tom Conti ... Lance Corporal Reynolds
David Simeon ... Jumbo
Margot Lawson ... Sister
Roger Heathcott ... Hospital Doctor
Paul Luty ... Cook - Mess Sergeant Smith
Diana Davies ... Doris Jackson
Derek Hockridge ... Family Doctor
Ben Grieve ... John George Porter (uncredited)

Season 2, Episode 15: The Straight and Narrow

17 February 1971

Season 2, Episode 16: Clash by Night

24 February 1971

John McKelvey ... Sefton Briggs
Keith Drinkel ... Philip Ashton
T.R. Bowen ... Tony Briggs (as Trevor Bowen)

Wanda Ventham ... Jenny Graham
John Ronane ... Parker
Joan Heath ... Mary Foster

Patrick Godfrey ... Stafford
Colin Edwynn ... Malley
Ingrid Hafner ... Sister
Michael De Frayne ... Todd

Frank Birch ... Business Man
Barrie Wilmore ... Orderley - Leggett (as Barry Wilmore)
Alick Hayes ... Doctor Willy

Season 2, Episode 17: Salute the Happy Morn

3 March 1971

Season 2, Episode 18: I Wanted to Be with You

10 March 1971

Season 2, Episode 19: A Separate Peace

17 March 1971


Season 3


Season 3, Episode 1: The Lucky Ones

6 October 1971

Season 3, Episode 2: For the Duration

13 October 1971

Season 3, Episode 3: Happy Returns

20 October 1971

Season 3, Episode 4: The Things You Never Told Me

27 October 1971

Season 3, Episode 5: You Can Choose Your Friends

3 November 1971

Season 3, Episode 6: Flesh and Blood

10 November 1971

T.R. Bowen ... Tony Briggs (as Trevor Bowen)
Colin Douglas ... Edwin Ashton
John McKelvey ... Sefton Briggs
Mel Martin ... Barbara

Jean Kent ... Dora Martin
Richard Leech ... Teddy Martin

Terrence Hardiman ... Tim Bernard

Harry Beety ... Naval Commander
Cynthia Michaelis ... Civilian Woman
Phillip Hammond ... Stevie

Season 3, Episode 7: Spread a Little Happiness

17 November 1971

Colin Douglas ... Edwin Ashton
Colin Campbell ... David Ashton
Coral Atkins ... Sheila Ashton

Barbara Flynn ... Freda Ashton
John McKelvey ... Sefton Briggs
T.R. Bowen ... Tony Briggs (as Trevor Bowen)

Georgine Anderson ... Helen Hughes
Diana Davies ... Doris Jackson
Joan Heath ... Mary Foster

John Nettles ... Ian MacKenzie
Joyce Heron ... Mrs. MacKenzie
Stephanie Bidmead ... Ada Down

Charles Carson ... Reverend Burdekin
Richard Pendrey ... Sergeant Lou Henniker
Linda Renwick ... Girl in Bar

Season 3, Episode 8: Take It on Trust

24 November 1971

Season 3, Episode 9: This Year, Next Year...

1 December 1971

Season 3, Episode 10: The Fundamental Things Apply

8 December 1971

Season 3, Episode 11: Thicker Than Water

15 December 1971

Season 3, Episode 12: Breaking Point

22 December 1971

Colin Campbell ... David Ashton

Richard Thorp ... Derek Robbins

John D. Collins ... Peter Bryant

Jennifer Hilary ... Jill Robbins
Richard Easton ... Jack Ridley
Constance Chapman ... Mrs. Crawford

Lynda Bellingham ... Chrissie
Stephen Jary ... Michael Robbins (as Stephen Jarry)
Tina Hurst ... Susan Robbins

Season 3, Episode 13: The Lost Ones

29 December 1971

Season 3, Episode 14: The Sensible Thing

5 January 1972

Season 3, Episode 15: Under New Management

12 January 1972

Season 3, Episode 16: Coming Home

19 January 1972

Season 3, Episode 17: A Faint Refrain

26 January 1972

Season 3, Episode 18: Two Fathers

2 February 1972

Colin Douglas ... Edwin Ashton

Keith Barron ... Major Harkness

Kenneth Colley ... Sergeant Jago
George Pravda ... Hellmut Regler
Gareth Hunt ... Corporal Cobb
William Marlowe ... Sergeant Oldcastle

Catherine Schell ... Erika
Izabella Telezynska ... Frau Regler
Lori Portugal ... Emma Regler
Poppy Lane ... Berta
William Simons ... Army Chaplain (as Bill Simons)

Season 3, Episode 19: The Old Order Changeth...

9 February 1972

Season 3, Episode 20: ...Yielding Place to New

16 February 1972


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