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Major Wilton Smythe (played by Peter Cellier), commonly known simply as "the major", only appears in the first two series, and hopelessly lusts after Hyacinth even though he is married to a never-seen wife, whom he refers to as "the ball and chain". He fought in World War II and is a veteran of the British North African Campaign against Erwin Rommel. In season 2, episode 4, it's stated that Major Smythe was wounded in the leg somewhere east of Susa, Libya, and he still has "some poxy foreign lead in there somewhere", which causes him to walk with a slight limp, but only if he's certain nobody is watching. He is brash and forceful, and disliked by Richard. In particular, Richard finds it odd that an "elderly" man like the major prefers whizzing about in a two-seat sports car convertible rather than driving in presumably a more sensible car - the major drives a Morgan Plus 4 (seen in Season 2, episode 4). Despite his irritating behaviour, his upper-class status means that Hyacinth refuses to sever contact with the man. At one point she admits "it's a good thing he's a Major... if he were a Sergeant, he wouldn't get a foot past the door!"

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