Minor characters in the Ukridge stories
The following is an incomplete compendium of the
fictional characters featured in the Ukridgestories of P. G. Wodehouse, in alphabetical order by surname.
The hired man at Ukridge's chicken farm in "
Love Among the Chickens"; a hardy and resourceful yokel, he works hard on the farm and does sterling work in defending it from Ukridge's creditors. His wife is a fine cook, even when limited to eggs and chicken. He has a large dog named Bob.
Wilberforce "Battling" Billson
A former trimmer on the
tramp steamer"Hyacinth", on which Ukridge once travelled, Billson is an enormous man with a broken nose, strong jaw, red hair and muscles like hawsers, famed for his ability to clean up against half a dozen able-bodied seamen in Marseillesbars. Falling in love with Florence "Flossie" Burns">Flossie, he decides to find work on land, and for a while Ukridge becomes his boxingmanager, but his sentimental nature often scuppers his career. At one point he is swayed by evangelists, becoming fiercely opposed to alcohol and violence, but this soon subsides. We learn that he later settles down with Flossie, becoming a seller of jellied eels.
Billson appears in several of the Ukridge shorts.
A former butler to the Earl of Oxted, turned proprietor of furnished apartments in south-west
London, wherein reside the likes of James "Corky" Corcoran">Jimmy Corcoran, Bowles is a portly man with a bald head, greenish eyes and an aura of dignified superiority. Generally disdainful of the somewhat Bohemian Corcoran, Bowles is mystifyingly in favour of Ukridge, and will invariably let him into his friend's apartment to borrow clothes, whisky, breakfast, or just to let boxers such as Wilberforce "Battling" Billson">Wilberforce "Battling" Billson snooze on the couch.
Bowles appears in several of the Ukridge shorts.
Florence "Flossie" Burns
A barmaid at the Crown in
Kenningtonwho falls for Wilberforce "Battling" Billson">"Battling" Billson, Flossie is a young girl with yellow hair and a predilection for pink dresses. She shocks George Tupper with her table talk on a night out, and at first helps Ukridge forward Billson's fighting career, but later impedes it, worrying that fighting may be bad for his face. She dreads nothing more than a visit from her plebiean mother, and ghoulish brother Cecil, from the North.
Flossie appears in several of the Ukridge shorts; in later stories her surname has changed to Dalrymple, and she is revealed to have settled down with Billson selling
J. G. "Looney" Coote
A friend of Ukridge and James "Corky" Corcoran">Jimmy Corcoran from their days at
Wrykyn, Coote is a superstitious soul who believes that all troubles come in threes, and often does well on the horses despite always betting based on recent events in his life. He acquires a splendid motor-car, but loses it for a time, in the short " The Long Arm of Looney Coote".
James "Corky" Corcoran
Resident at an apartment in Ebury Street near
Sloane Square, run by Bowles, Corky is a writer and an old school friend of Ukridge and George Tupper – they were all at Wrykyntogether. He has produced at least one novel, but mainly relies on magazine work. Despite the constant embarrassment and expense his friend causes him, Corky is always ready to stand by Ukridge, helping out his schemes with a well-placed loan or job of work. As a result, he develops a strong fear of Ukridge's Aunt Julia.
Corky narrates all of the Ukridge shorts.
Charles Percy Cuthbertson
A small, dapper old gentleman with a pointed white beard, who likes to wear spats and a gardenia, Mr Cuthbertson married Ukridge's stepmother's stepsister Alice, and returned from
Australiato look up his old family. Better known to Ukridge and friends as "the Old Stepper", he is an inveterate "scrounger" of all things, who makes himself unpopular with Ukridge by spoiling his chances with a pretty girl.
See Florence "Flossie" Burns">Florence "Flossie" Burns above.
Daughter of Professor Derrick, Phyllis is pretty young thing with brown hair and blue eyes, adored by Jeremy Garnet in "
Love Among the Chickens". She enjoys watercolour painting, and worries her father would be lost without her. She has a sister named Norah, and is a friend of Molly McEachern.
A haughty Irishman, a professor at
Dublin University, who is Ukridge's neighbour in " Love Among the Chickens", and father of Phyllis and Norah. Known to be touchy on the Irish question, he is a keen trencherman, fond of fishing and golf, at which sport he exhibits more luck than skill.
Narrator of "
Love Among the Chickens", Garnet is an old comrade of Ukridge (they were masters together at a private school), who is bullied into helping set up Ukridge's chicken farm. His rich uncle is withholding his inheritance until he marries. A writer and keen golfer, he falls for Phyllis Derrick, who has read his novel "The Manoeuvres of Arthur" and is staying near the farm, and woos her despite Ukridge's presence on the scene, using many an ingenious trick. He has also written "The Outsider".
A simple yokel of Combe Regis in "
Love Among the Chickens", Mr Hawk hires out his boat, and services as crew, to holidaymakers wishing to fish in the bay. Willing to upset his customers on receipt of a hefty bribe, his conscience may let down any co-conspirators, who may find their names leaked to the public. A gigantic fellow, fond of a pot of ale, he comes to be known to many, after his client-spilling incident, as a "girt fule".
Lady Elizabeth Lakenheath
Millie Ukridge's rich aunt, a
parrot-lover who disapproves of Ukridge, describing him as a "guffin" and a "gaby".
Aunt Elizabeth is introduced in the short "
Ukridge Rounds a Nasty Corner", and has an important off-stage role in " Love Among the Chickens".
B. V. "Boko" Lawlor
An old pal of Ukridge from schooldays, Lawlor's candidacy in a by-election is announced at a
WrykynOld Boys' dinner, bringing Ukridge to the aid of his friend. However, when Lawlor's nickname becomes widely known, and comments about the size of his nose commonplace, his grip on the campaign begins to slip; despite an election song from the pen of James "Corky" Corcoran">Jimmy Corcoran, his chances seem slim.
Joe "the Lawyer"
bookmakerfriend of Ukridge, Joe is a stout fellow with a face like a haggis, well remembered for his ability to sell a dead dog twice. He travels the racecourses in his car, making a pretty penny at each, and stowing his takings in a satchel he carries about with him. In " The Level Business Head", however, he is undone by his fear of dogs.
secretaryand companion to Julia Ukridge, Dora loses her job when, after a night out with Ukridge, she finds herself locked out and is discovered by a policeman trying to enter via a bedroom window. She becomes partner in a typewriting agency, thanks to Ukridge's generous financial assistance.
Dora appears in the Ukridge shorts "
First Aid for Dora" and " Ukridge Sees Her Through".
One of Julia Ukridge's many butlers, Oakshott is, despite his dignified and impressive appearance and manner, a rather unprincipled man, fond of gambling. At one point, he attempts to ensure the failure of Wilberforce "Battling" Billson">"Battling" Billson by feeding him too much port; later on, he is involved in turning his mistress's house into a gambling den.
Also known as Isaac O'Brien, Izzy is a stout, dark, beady-eyed chap with an air of easy comradeship. He starts up a
bookmakingbusiness with Ukridge, thanks to funds left over from the "Pen and Ink Club" party (" Ukridge Sees Her Through"), which is sadly bankrupted by J. G. "Looney" Coote">Looney Coote. He later partners Ukridge again, organising a boxing match for Wilberforce "Battling" Billson">"Battling" Billson, but their friendship is soured when Izzy attempts to run away with the profits.
A friend of Ukridge and James "Corky" Corcoran">Jimmy Corcoran from
Wrykynschool, where he was head boy in their last year, Tupper has a successful career in the Foreign Office, and a sentimental, earnest heart, which makes him an easy touch when Ukridge is short of cash, and leads him to lend his sympathy to the wildest schemes. He does, however, object when Ukridge, dining on Tupper at the Regent Grill, brings along the gaudily-clad and plebiean Florence "Flossie" Burns">Flossie. He has a somewhat pointy head, making his top hats rather unsuitable for borrowing by the larger-headed Ukridge.
Tupper appears in several of the Ukridge shorts.
novelistand president of the Pen and Ink Club, Ukridge's Aunt Julia is resident Heath House near Wimbledon Common. She is a short woman with powdered grey hair and mild blue eyes, but despite appearances is a rather fearsome lady who makes Ukridge dress properly when he goes to live with her, and regularly sees through his schemes. She owns six Pekingese, which are kidnapped for a time to attend Ukridge's fledgling Dog College. She collects precious snuff boxes, many of which she loses on " Buttercup Day". She is often away on trips connected with her writing, enabling Ukridge to make her house a home from home, or, as in " The Come-back of Battling Billson", to rent the gardens to parties of folk dancers.
Despite frequently being so enraged at her nephew that she drives him out of the house, even disowning him after the Pen and Ink Club dance incident, Aunt Julia invariably seems to forgive him. She also has a cottage in the country, "Journey's End" at Market Deeping in
Sussex, which she lends to Ukridge on the memorable occasion of his meeting the Old Stepper. Her Wimbledon house is called The Cedars in some later stories; many butlers are employed there, including Barker, Baxter and the devious Oakshott.
Aunt Julia appears in many of the Ukridge shorts.
Wife to Ukridge in "
Love Among the Chickens", Millie is a small, extremely pretty young woman, often described as looking like a little girl. She has a cat named Edwin and a rich but miserly aunt named Elizabeth. The later short " Ukridge Rounds a Nasty Corner" describes Ukridge's wooing of Millie, in which she is shown to be very determined and resourceful, to the extent of helping kidnap her aunt's parrot.
Stanley Featherstonehaugh Ukridge
poetess, "Pen and Ink Club" member and good friend of Ukridge's Aunt Julia, Miss Vining is a gaunt, toothy female, who calls small dogs "tweetums". She invariably brings bad news to Ukridge, such as when she informs him his aunt is about to return early from her trip to find her house full of strangers (in " Ukridge and the Home from Home"), or when she wishes to borrow Julia's brooch after he has pawned it (in " The Level Business Head").
At one time a friend of Ukridge and James "Corky" Corcoran">Jimmy Corcoran, Weeks scuppers one of the only schemes dreamt up by Ukridge that looks like succeeding. A struggling actor, he is always convinced that all he needs is a decent outfit to convince an agent of his quality. Blessed with melting eyes, a mobile mouth, and corrugated hair, he trades on his good looks, and becomes a successful movie star, going under a more euphonious name. However, he treats his friends poorly, becoming highly abusive under the influence of free champagne, and ducking his responsibilities as a member of "
Ukridge's Accident Syndicate".
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