The Duchess of Duke Street (1976–1977): Season 2, Episode 6 - Your Country Needs You - full transcript

With the outbreak of the Great War, the staff are galvanized to help in the effort and keep the hotel running as usual. Louisa takes in a Belgian refugee, a master pastry chef. Charlie enlists and leaves a worried Louisa as he dep...

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LOUISA: It's all come so sudden.

Out of the blue, I mean, really.

MAJOR: Things like this

always happen at bank holidays.

Quite right, though.

Couldn't let our allies down.

Poor little Belgium.

No. I suppose not.

Still, last week
was all civil war

in Ireland.

Now it's war with Germany.



Never liked the Germans.

Sneaky lot.

Very arrogant.

Yeah, well, we just got to

knuckle to and make the
most of it. That's all there is to it.

Yes. That's about it.

It's that bloody Kaiser.

He's jealous of us.
Always has been.

Wish I'd put
strychnine in his soup,

last time I cooked
his dinner for him.

Starr!

Yes, madam.

Get the staff up here.

Up here, ma'am?



Up here, in the hall.

Right, madam.

Oh, and, uh, Starr?

Uh, yes? Yes?

Bring us a hammer
and some nails.

Yes...madam.

You'll be too old

to fight in a war, I suppose.

Oh, I don't know.

Probably find
something for me to do.

Pull a few strings
at the war house,

my old dugout.

Yeah, well, you can start

by obliging me by
taking that picture

down off the
wall, if you please.

Delighted.

Right. Now, follow me.

And him.

Oh!

Well, come on, everyone.

Follow me.

Where are we going?

Don't know.

Upstairs.

Thank you, Starr.

I'm sorry, madam.

I've somehow mislaid the hammer.

Oh, God. Don't
matter. Give us a nail.

All right.

Picture.

Come on.

Thank you.

Right. That's the only throne

you're going to
get in this hotel,

your Imperial Bloody Majesty.

This hotel is at
war with Germany

and everyone in it.

Clear?

Yes, madam.

Right. Back to work, then.

Go on.

Starr.

Yes, madam?

You was an army man, wasn't you?

Yes, madam.

Then put up the medals.

But, madam...

You heard what I said.

Oh...run out of khaki
wool around here.

I had to go as far as Gorringes.

Yeah.

I'll have to teach you to knit.

Oh, I can knit,
all right, and sew.

You had to be handy
in the army in my day.

Once sewed on a man's finger.

Frenchman, he was, half frozen.

Ooh, Mr. Merriman.

Eh?

You know, I think
it's an awful cheek,

her ordering Mr. Starr
to wear his medals.

She's a general,
or she thinks she is.

I mean, our clothes
are her concern,

but not medals.

I don't know why he just
doesn't tell her the truth...

Ahem!

Well?

Making a fool of
that dog, as usual?

Smart. Quite an excitement,

this war starting, isn't it?

Everybody's so jolly.

Jolly, is it,

watching one half
of the human race

trying to kill the
other half? Jolly. Ha.

Well, you know what
I mean, Mr. Merriman.

He doesn't.

Oh, Major.

You look like a real major.

You do, really.

But I am a real major.

Oh, yeah, I know,
but seeing is believing,

if you know what I mean.

Oh, Merriman, fetch us a
bottle of wine, would you?

Oh, very good, ma'am.

Come on, then... Major.

So, you're back in harness, eh?

Yes.

So we got something
to celebrate,

even if we are
retreating from Huns.

Old war-horse, you know.

The war office is
stiff with generals

I remember as troop
leaders in my day.

They were all very friendly.

Offered me a job straight away.

Oh, yeah? Doing what?

Oh, you know, this and that.

Sort of general dogsbody,
rather like I am here.

Actually, my first job
is trying to find billets

for those Belgian refugees.

Uh, they're pouring in.

I was wondering...

Yeah, well, you
can stop wondering.

This is a hotel,
not a refugee camp.

Plenty of lovely rich ladies

in London with
big, empty houses,

only too willing.

I'm patriotic, all right,

but I'm not having
no dirty refugees.

That's not my
kind of patriotism.

I'll have foreign officers,
any shape, size, or creed,

but I draw the line at refugees.

3 guesses.

Seen a Russian with
snow on his boots.

No. No, I've taken
the King's shilling.

Whose shilling?

My dear chap, you've joined up!

Joined up?

Yes. I've just been to
see the lieutenant colonel

of the Coldstream Guards,
and he's agreed to take me on.

You see before you...
Ensign Haslemere.

Well, almost.

Coldstreams?

No, Louisa. It is not.

It is either Coldstream Guards,

Coldstream, or
Coldstreamers, if you must,

but not, never, Coldstreams.

Sorry.

And I've been to my tailor,

ordered my uniform and my sword.

Until then, we have
to drill in plain clothes.

MAJOR: In mufti, eh?

No, Major. In the
Brigade of Guards,

we call them "plain clothes."

And what's all the rush?

Don't you understand, Louisa,

unless I'm quick, I shall
miss this whole year.

Oh, that's all right,
Merriman. I'll do that.

And it's bound to be
over by Christmas.

Not what you think,
Merriman? Is it?

Well, no, ma'am. It isn't.

Beg your pardon, my lord,
but every war I can remember

was meant to be over by
Christmas, but it never was.

Now, take the Crimea...

The Coldstream were there.

- Inkerman.
- So were the 17th,

The Charge of the Light Brigade.

That's right, sir.

I was there myself that day,

standing near Lord
Raglan on the heights.

The 17th Lancers led the charge

on the left.

700 men went in, 30 came out.

Oh, I shall never
forget that day.

Upon my word, I won't.

"Death or Glory," our motto.

Ours is nulli secundus,
second to none.

I've heard it translated

"second to the grenadiers."

By a grenadier, no doubt.

Now, now, gentlemen, remember,
we're all on the same side.

To victory.

Victory. Victory.

So what's the real
news from France?

The papers have been doctored.

That's obvious already.

I suppose on the face
of it, it isn't too good.

The Germans do seem to
have us rather on the run,

and there's a nasty gap
opened up between us and the...

..and the French north of Paris.

So, reculer a mieux
sauter, as the froggies say.

What the hell does that mean?

We're just retreating

to let the Germans
overreach themselves.

Then we'll really hit them.

Right.

Hmm. I must get
back to my refugees.

So why didn't you tell me

you was rushing out to join up?

Well, I thought you of
all people would approve.

Anyway, everyone who's
worth anything is joining up.

You haven't seen the
posters, read the papers?

Yeah, well, that's the
young ones, isn't it?

Of course they got to go

because if they won't,
they'd be made to go,

conscripted, like in
France and Germany.

You're not all that young.

Well, I'm not
exactly in my dotage.

Besides, I passed my
medical with flying colors...A-1.

Well, that's no
excuse for behaving

like an overexcited schoolboy.

Anyway, you won't
be in it by Christmas,

and as you said, it
will all be over by then.

You really are
the most illogical,

stupid, annoying woman
sometimes, Louisa.

I mean, you drink to victory,

you beat the drum,
you curse the Kaiser,

and then you're angry
when I join the army.

Well, all I said was
wait a bit. Look around.

See where you're most
needed. Use your nut.

Louisa...

Look at me.

If you were a man,

would you be joining up or not?

Well, how would I
know, not being a man?

I haven't got all day to sit
around arguing with you.

Oh, push off, for God's sake.

What are you doing, wearing
them things, Merriman?

Oh, my medals, ma'am,
from when I was serving...

We all know that.

You look like the Swami
of Swat or something.

Take it off.

But I thought,
ma'am, with the war,

it was your wish...

Not with your soup and fish.

Give them to Starr.

He's the one who
needs his medals.

Mrs. Trotter...

Ah, I'm only joking.

They're historical, I know.

You should
all be in a museum.

You take 'em off,
you polish 'em up,

and your putting 'em away.

I'll see that they
get put in your coffin

with your baton
and your cocked hat.

What about you? Don't
say you not got any.

Well, madam, it's
a delicate situation.

If you lost them or hocked them,

you go out and get
some more, and I'll pay.

I want all these
officers and ladies

to be proud of this hotel.

Yes, ma'am.

All right.

I don't know, Fred.

I'm not enjoying this war.

Well, when the rifle brigade

got back to Malta after
the Battle of Omdurman,

Starr found his
young wife was, um...

was, uh...

Oh, yeah, I can
guess what she was.

Yes, well, another soldier.

Caught them,

half killed him.

Court-martial,
dishonorable discharge,

a year or so in prison,
medals taken away.

And why haven't I
heard all this before?

Well, Starr's very
touchy about it, naturally.

And you're his
father confessor, eh?

Well, the whole thing
blew up, actually,

several years ago when
you were staying in France.

The woman came
here. Awful trouble.

Some man keeping
her wanted money,

and she was found
dead in the Thames.

So it was thought best

to forget about the whole thing.

Water under the... uh...

Yeah. I'm not so sure
about that, not at all.

My dear Louisa, I do beg you,

please don't be hard on Starr.

The last thing I
meant was to tell tales.

I was only trying to help.

I think you are,
and you can go on.

- With what?
- Helping.

I think Starr deserved another
medal for what he done,

not a court-martial.

Well, you know the army.
All rules and regulations.

Yeah. Well, they
can be twisted a bit,

can't they?

What?

You know, interpreted.

Especially by some of your
generals who was your troop leaders,

sitting on their
gold-braided asses

back there at the war office.

I mean, you're a man of
experience now, Major.

Must be.

But I don't quite see how, um...

Job it.

Fiddle it a little. Fix it.

Oh...

Pull strings.

Oh, well, I'll try.

Um...I'll try...

But I make a bargain with you.

Bargain? What's this?

I get Starr back his medals,

you take on a refugee.

Ooh, you're getting quite sharp

in your old age, ain't you?

Right. Done.

But medals first,
refugee second.

They want some
Champagne in number 6.

Fiddling while Rome burns.

Hey, what do you call
that thing you're knitting?

They call it a balaclava helmet.

Bala...ha. If we'd had
things like that at Balaclava,

they would have put
us under arrest. Sloppy.

Whole army look
like a lot of babies.

Good gracious me.

Good heavens.

I got a letter from the army,

from the Judge Advocate
General's department.

My case has been reconsidered.

What case?

Reinstated rank of
full sergeant, retired.

All privileges of the rank.

Oh, Mr. Starr!

That's typical, isn't it?

Takes a war to get
him back his medals.

Oh, but that's
marvelous, Mr. Starr!

It's one good thing
this war has done,

if nothing else.
Congratulations.

Well, I've done my
side of the bargain.

I think it's only fair.

All right, all right.

I'll have your refugee for you,

as long as he fits the bill.

I don't quite understand.

Well, he or she is
going to fit in this place.

I want that clear.

You want a nobleman
or something?

No, I do not. I don't
want a fancy foreigner

sitting on his backside,
ogling the servants,

drinking wine all
day, and I don't want

a dirty peasant,
neither, smelling of garlic.

Going to be difficult to please.

I always am.

So why don't you come
and choose for yourself?

I've got the bus
waiting outside.

Oh, blimey, no.

Refugees are your
problem, not mine.

Hmm.

Where do you keep
them all hidden, anyway?

Earl's court stadium.

Earl's court? Crikey.

Well, it's an ideal
place...big, empty.

Oh, um, before I go,

I've got something
confidential to ask you.

Go on, then.

Well, the Minister of
War, Lord Kitchener...

Yeah, even I knew that.

Well, the M.A. to the C.O.S.

approached me...

Eh?

Lord Kitchener
wants to give a series

of informal luncheons
to very important people

where they can talk
about the war without fear...

Right. Got it.

Not at his club.
Not in a restaurant.

Not at his office.

You tell me when and how many.

He'll have the best
food in London,

and there will be no talk.

Splendid.

Well, Major, I
hope you're better

at picking refugees

than you are at
backing racehorses.

I've got a marvelous eye for it.

Everyone says so.

Your dinner all
right, Mr. Merriman?

Done your best, no
doubt, Mrs. Cochrane,

but never did fancy
shepherd's pie.

Never trust mince.

You can trust Mrs.
Cochrane's mince.

Done-up leftovers.

Not my idea of food, still.

I can't help it. You
can't make a silk purse...

It's not Mrs. Cochrane's
fault there's a war on.

I had to queue
for those potatoes.

Actually queue.
People are hoarding.

There's a shortage on.

You ought to be grateful you
still have good, nourishing food.

That's what I say, with
all of Europe up in flames.

And the soldiers and
sailors must come first.

I done my bit

fighting for this country.

Got no thanks for it, neither.

Mrs. Trotter says I ought to be

in a museum,
laughs at me medals.

There's gratitude for you. Ha!

Patriotism.

It's every man for himself

in this game. I know that.

You won't see many thin generals

or starving admirals.

That I can tell you.

And you've heard
the latest, I suppose.

Mrs. Trotter came
down here and told me

we've got to do a lot of
special luncheons for Lord...

You're not supposed to
say who for, Mrs. Cochrane.

I know who they're for.
We all know who they're for.

How am I supposed to dish up

a lot of special luncheons?

On top of all the other
cooking, there's only

me and Ethel left
to run the kitchen.

What about me
trying to run the hotel

practically single-handed?

Ask her to take on more staff.

You can't get servants
for love nor money,

not any longer.

MRS. COCHRANE: Lot
of hotels and restaurants

have shut down.

I wish we could shut down.

I really do. I'm so tired.

We're all tired,
Ethel, and I expect

the troops out in
France are tired, too.

I don't think we
should be going on

the same as what we
do in peacetime, anyway.

Who asked you?

No one. But I wish I was

helping the soldiers more,

making guns or bullets

or something.

Not feeding fat generals.

Ethel!

Don't ever let me hear
you talking like that again,

not in my kitchen.

Any guns you make,
Ethel, would blow up.

I can tell you that.

Well, at least we have

the froggies on our side.

Even if they can't fight,

they can still make wine.

Mr. Merriman!
What a thing to say.

Oh? I thought we were meant

to be looking on
the bright side.

Wait here.

Your car is waiting, admiral.

Come.

Monsieur Gaspard, Mrs. Trotter.

Madame.

Hmm, well,

he's not the hand-kissing sort.

Thank heaven for small mercies.

How doyou do,
Monsieur Gaspard?

I'm afraid he doesn't
speak any English.

The woman down at Earl's
Court, the interpreter woman,

said he'd had a bit of
experience in Belgium,

that sort of thing. Quite
a bit of experience.

It's queer he don't
speak no English.

Usually pick up a word or two.

Oh, well. I'll just have
to try me kitchen French.

Monsieur Gaspard, ahem...

Do you have any
experience in a hotel?

Ah, yes, madam.

My father owned a small hotel in
Lovain that catered to traveling merchants.

When he sold his hotel, I worked at
a Hotel at the train station in Liege.

And I also worked in
many other small hotels.

Yeah. Um...

What things can you do?

Things, madam?

Don't you understand?

Uh, no, madam.

Can you polish boots?

Um...

Ah, polish boots?

Ah, yes. Now I understand.

Yes, madam.

I have much experience in all
those things, concierge, porter,

well, all you need.

Like the dining room?

The dining room -
yes madame. Yes, yes.

Well, that's a start.

Now what do we do?

I also work in the kitchen.

Oh. Cuisine, eh?

Yes. I prepared pastry.

Oh, yeah. Belgians always
was real good with pastry.

Pardon, madame?

Wait. You'll see.

Starr! Ooh. There you are.

This is Monsieur Gaspard.

Comes from poor little Belgium.

Monsieur.

He's about your size.

Get him kitted out, would you?

And tell Mary he's to
have a bath and that.

Madam.

Madame. Monsieur.

Well, what do you think?

Is he worth Starr's
medals, you mean?

Well, we'll have
to see, won't we?

The proof of the
pudding is in the manger,

as they say.

Monsieur.

Come on, Ethel.
You're meant to be

making that spinach into
a puree, if you remember.

You said I was to
help Monsieur Gaspard.

I said, if he wanted anything,

you was to get it.

Hasn't he got
marvelous, quick hands?

I mean, look at that.

He may have
marvelous, quick hands,

but you just keep
away from them,

or he'll have you in
them. I know foreigners.

Mrs. Cochrane.

I mean it!

Angelique.

Monsieur Gaspard,

you mustn't say
things like that.

Angelique.

Really! (can't you get it?)

I'm sorry, I...

Non compris.

Ah.

He means Angelica!

Here it is.

Oh! Ha ha ha! Sorry.

I thought... I thought you...

Here it is.

Thank you, miss.

You are very sweet.

Hmm!

It looks tres bon.

Merci. Tres bon, madame.

Voila.

You must try.

Merci.

Specialty from Liege.

Magnifique.

Merci, madame.

Mmm - bit rich for me.

Oh, he's a useful boy
to have around, Mrs. C.

All right if you can afford him.

He uses 4 pints of
cream to my one.

Yeah, I can tell
that, all right.

I thought you'd
have been grateful

to have a real good
pastry cook in the kitchen.

If by that, madam,
you're implying...

No, I'm not implying.

I'm saying.

If he's going to be pastry chef,

I'm not standing for it.
We're not fighting this war

for a load of foreigners
to come over here.

Monsieur Gaspard
ain't gonna take

one tit nor tottle of
the honor and glory

you earn as head cook
of the Bentinck Hotel,

Mrs. Cochrane.

Let's be grateful
for small mercies.

Let's have a bit less
of you complaining

how short-handed you are.

And have you got that
stuff I asked you to get?

I have ordered it, madam,

and Mr. Mather was none
too agreeable about it.

Like it says in the paper,

we're not meant to be hoarding.

Look, I run this hotel, not you,

nor Mr. Cocky mather.

I got half the
generals and admirals

running the war
come to this hotel,

and they're going to be fed

and fed proper.

Yes, madam.

Yeah, that gives me an idea.

Monsieur Gaspard.

Madame.

Lord Kitchener, who is the Minister of...?

- ..of War.
- War. Yes.

He's coming for lunch here...

..Friday.

Friday?

Friday. Yes.

Can you make
something special for him?

Something special?

Madam, it would be an honor!

Oh, good.

If I could use 3 pints of cream

and a pound of sugar
and as much butter

as I liked every
time I made a cake,

I could make something
better than he could.

But we're meant
to be economizing,

or so I'm told.

He's just her new little
pet. That's all he is.

"Poor little Belgium"
she calls him.

Ha. Like a baby
with a new rattle.

I've seen enough of
these foreign waiters

in my time.

Flouncing and flapping
around like pet poodles.

All fiddle-faddle and no do.

Right. The major's boots.
There's an example for you.

Yesterday,

he spent 4 hours cleaning
the major's field boots.

Of course, the major
was strutting about

like a peacock this
morning, telling everyone.

But when do I have 4
hours free to clean boots?

We know what sort
this Belgie bloke is,

don't we, Mr. Merriman?

We had a name for
his sort in the army.

Start growing his hair

and putting on scent before
long. You mark my words.

I really don't like to
leave him alone with Ethel.

I think she's quite safe.

"Poor little Belgium," indeed.

Why wasn't he fighting?

He's young enough.

Probably just skulking around

with the women and
children, I suppose.

How could he join the army?

There wasn't time.
The Huns just pounced,

killing and raping and shooting.

The Belgians didn't
have a chance.

They didn't manage to hold
the great fort of Liege for long.

I'll say that.

Because they were betrayed.

Poor Monsieur Gaspard
had a most dreadful time.

His mother was killed
by a shell on the road.

He doesn't know
where his family is.

He barely escaped with his life.

How do you know that?

From what he's told me.

I didn't know you
could talk the lingo.

There's some things even
you don't know, Mr. Starr.

MARY: He's got photographs,

and he's very
expressive with his hands.

He's got very nice hands.

We understand
each other pretty well.

STARR: Both being
foreigners, as you might say.

Your medals

seem to have gone
to your head, Mr. Starr.

I think Monsieur Gaspard
is a very nice young man...

Monsieur Merri,

Madam is asking for the wine.

- Yes, yes. All right.
- Right now.

I know, I know.

Here, here! Bring back the
wine! Hey, you, Gaspard!

You'll have to run
to catch up with him.

An elephant drinks 25
gallons of water a day,

an ox...8 gallons,

and a sheep or pig... 6-8 pints.

The sound of the explosion

overtakes the
modern pointed bullet

at 2,000 yards.

LOUISA: And how do
you know all this, then?

That's our bible.

Every officer has to carry one.

MERRIMAN: Champagne
you ordered, madam.

LOUISA: Oh, yeah.
Thank you, Merriman.

Here. Give me that wine there.

Let Gaspard do that.

Don't be selfish.

"Slinging a camel."

"The camel should
be made to kneel down

"Under the crane.

"The man holding the nose rope

"Then blindfolds the animal.

"2 other men stand...
one on each forearm...

to prevent it rising."

Crikey. Poor animal.

They're going to
win us the war, then?

Dear, oh, dear.

Thank you, Merriman.

You can put that
down to Lord Kitchener.

Oh, he's taken the
pledge not to touch alcohol

until the war's over.
Hadn't you heard?

Well, I haven't taken
no blooming pledge.

Better put it down to me, then.

Very good, madam.
Come on. Come on.

Who's that marvelous waiter?

He's really quite a find.

He's my refugee.
Poor little Belgium.

Works like a coal-heaver,

and I don't have to pay
next to nothing for him.

Poor old Merriman's
nose will be put out of joint.

It is already.

Sharpened the
old fool up no end.

Well, if this is
your bible, Tich,

who's your God, then, your C.O.?

Oh, Lord, no.

Drill sergeant Robinson.

Definitely drill
sergeant Robinson.

And who's he when he's at home?

He never is. He
lives in his uniform.

He's about 6' 10".

The smartest man
in the regiment.

With a voice like...

Shh. You'll waken the staff.

You know, this
morning he said to me,

"We got 2 things
in common, milord.

"We both got crowns. You
wear yours on your head,

"and I wear mine on me arm,

and this is the
one what counts."

He told me I was marching
like a pregnant duck

with collywobbles,

and that if I didn't get
my shoulders back,

I'd do myself a
permanent injury and might

prejudice my chances
of ever becoming a father.

WILLIE: Or words to that effect.

Crippen! I say,
Tich, we're pushed

for inspecting the guard.

We really must go. Thank
you for a lovely drink.

We've both been
given 6 extra pickets

for putting a thunder flash
under the adjutant's horse.

We shouldn't
really be here at all.

Come on, you idle
man. On your feet.

1, 2, 3!

TOGETHER: ♪ Old King
Cole was a merry old soul, ♪

♪ and a merry old soul was he. ♪

♪ He called for his pipe
and he called for his bowl ♪

♪ and he called
for his first C.G. ♪

Left turn.

♪ "What's the next
command?" said the major, ♪

♪ "I want 6-month's
leave," said the captain, ♪

♪ "We do all the work,"
said the subalterns, ♪

♪ "Put him in the book,"
said the sergeant major, ♪

♪ "Move to the right in
fours," said the sergeant, ♪

♪ "Left, right, left, right,
left," said the corporal, ♪

♪ "We want jam for tea,"
said the guardsmen, ♪

♪ merry, merry men are we. ♪

♪ There's none so
fair as can compare ♪

♪ with the men
of the first C.G. ♪

Bravo.

Good morning, Field Marshal.

Your luncheon is in number 3.

Up the stairs, on the right, sir.

Hmph! Quite rebellious.

Our country needs us.

I hope they won't get tied
to the wheel of a gun for that.

Oh, I think even Lord Kitchener

has risen above
that sort of thing.

Well, he will have,

when he's eaten the
dinner I've prepared for him.

They're nice boys...
Tich and Hoppy.

I remember that Tich when he
was really wet behind the ears.

He was one of the
boys who introduced me

to that nice professor...Stubbs.

Ah, the ancient lover

you were going to run
away with to America.

You don't forget much, do you?

Jealous, was you?

Frantically.

Those boys make
me feel quite old.

They make me feel quite young.

You know, I
don't think I've felt

so jolly well, and, well,

pip-pip for years,
even in my dotage.

You get some
exercise for a change.

Got your liver moving.

Probably.

But I think it's
having something

worthwhile to do,
a reason for living.

I mean, I know it's all nonsense
about your country needing you

and all that puff,
but it is, well...

Nice to be needed.

Well, it's something
to aim at, isn't it?

And they're such a splendid lot.

What, drill sergeant Robinson?

Oh, marvelous man.

I think that's it. You know,

everything having
to be just right.

We're the best,

and that's the way it has to be.

It is hard to
describe it to you.

I know it, Charlie. I ought to.

That's how I think
about me cooking.

It's a pig at the time.
Makes you sweat like hell,

but it's worth it afterwards.

I'm glad you're doing all right.

Still a lot of training to do,

I suppose.

Oh, a bit. All
the field training,

but, well, it won't be
too long now, I hope.

Don't you go jumping
the queue, Charlie.

There's still a
lot of young ones

to go ahead of you.

Well, don't you think they are

really the valuable ones?
The next generation.

Oh, blimey.
Talking like grandpa.

No. You let them go first.

You get the major to fix you up

with something interesting...

training the others or in
the war office or something.

Louisa, you still
don't seem to have

the foggiest idea of
why I joined the army.

It was to beat the Germans,
not mess about on some staff,

being the laughingstock
of my friends.

That's all that
worries you, is it,

what your friends
will think of you?

No, it isn't.

Oh, well. I must go and cook

me crepes Bentincks
for K. and Co.

Charlie...

You're right, you know.

I suppose it was just

me being a bit selfish.

PHONOGRAPH:
♪ Oh! we don't want to lose you ♪

♪ to lose you ♪

♪ but we think you ♪

♪ ought to go ♪

♪ For your King ♪

♪ and your Country ♪

♪ both need you so; ♪

MERRIMAN:
5 minutes, Mrs. Trotter.

Right. Thank you, Ethel.

Those strawberries
ready, are they?

MRS. COCHRANE:
Just dredging them.

And remember, it's got
to be flambeed upstairs.

Let Gaspard do them.

- He knows what's what.
- Yeah.

Don't grunt at me.

Wake up, Ethel.
There's a war on.

They enjoying it?

Couldn't say, ma'am.
They're eating everything.

What are they talking about?

Ah, Gallipoli mostly.
The Turkish menace.

Very interesting for me...

It's your business
to serve dinner,

not tell Lord Kitchener
how to run the war,

not to go earwigging where
it don't concern you, neither.

Right. I'll take that lot up.

A bit of the personal touch.

You bring the
strawberries in that.

Oh, Mrs. C., I want a
bunch of them feathers,

small ones, mind,
nice and clean.

Right.

A waste of time and
trouble, the whole thing.

What do you mean, Mr. Merriman?

Lord Kitchener didn't
used to care about his food,

not in the old days, he didn't.

Buffalo steak and hard tack

and a gulp of port or gin
was all he ever wanted.

I'm not cooking buffalo steaks

for nobody.

It could be quite tasty,
you beat them well.

Need good teeth
for them, though,

and keep the flies off. Ugh.

Don't listen to him, Ethel.

They had to eat dogs in
the Franco-Prussian war.

We might have to do
the same in this war

before we're finished.

Poor Fred.

Oh, quite a bit of meat on Fred.

What's this young
chappie's name, huh?

He's called Fred, sir.

Fred, huh?

We gave the Madhi a
proper drubbing out there,

didn't we, sergeant?

We certainly did, milord.

Very good. We'll
get along. Come on.

Mr. Starr, I never
thought to see that,

not in all my life...

Lord Kitchener

shaking you by the hand.

Why not, Mary? Nothing
unusual about that.

Old comrades in arms.

We was together at Omdurman.

- Good morning, sir.
- Good morning.

I'd like a room, a good room.

Yes, sir.

MAN: Something quiet with a bath

and away from the street.

Yes, sir. This gentleman
requires a room, madam.

Something nice and quiet
and away from the street.

Oh, he does, does he? I'm afraid

we haven't got a
room for you, sir.

But we have got this,

which you can have free, gratis,

and for nothing.

And you can have your room

when you come back in uniform.

Thank you, madam.
I shall keep this

with the military cross
that I won on the Aisne,

when I lost my foot.

I'm sorry, sir.

It's quite all right.

I can get a room at my club.

Starr.

You said all young men
dressed in mufti, madam.

How was I to know?

He was limping, wasn't he?

Not when he come in, he wasn't.

And he had a blooming stick, didn't he?

Oh, I don't know.
I really don't.

This place is turning
into a real madhouse.

She'll be giving you
a white feather next

for not barking at them.

Would you like a bit of whiskey Mr. Merri?

Eh?

- a bit of whiskey?

Eh? What do you got? Eh?

Oh.

Oh, well, I suppose.

Merci.

Oh, why don't you sit here?

Good.

Over by Christmas, they said.

This war of yours is not
going so well, Mr. Starr.

So it's my war now, is it?

Don't I have enough on me hands
without running the war as well?

You and Lord Kitchener

is always flashing your
medals about together...

For heaven's sake.

He's getting senile, Fred.

That's our old friend's trouble.

Berlin or bust.

Stuck in the mud, they
are now good and proper

and likely to be.

Ah, you just wait
for the spring,

until the ground dries up a bit.

They'll be off again,

rifles leading.

Into their graves, no doubt.

Ruination.

We'll all be dead
or so exhausted,

it won't signify
before it's over.

Your friend Lord Kitchener
was right about that anyhow.

When did he ever say that?

I have opportunities
to hear things

not vouchsafed to all
and sundry, Mr. Starr.

Then you didn't
ought to repeat them.

You're worse than
a bleeding spy.

What're you doing
to help win this war?

Moaning. That's all.

I tell you what I'm
doing, Mr. Starr.

I'm going to go to lessons in
first aid with the Red Cross people,

and then I'm going to come
back here and teach all of you.

Whatever is the use of that?

You think the Germans are
going to invade us or something?

That wouldn't surprise me.

Rape, loot, murder...
just up their street.

No. But it's the bombardments.

Look at Scarborough
and Yarmouth and Dover.

It'll be London next,
with the zeppelins.

Everybody says so.

Well, we don't, do we, Fred?

Ruination, the old damn war.

And costing a fortune.

Oh, dear.

Well?

I'm going to take
you out to lunch.

Oh, yeah? What's that in aid of?

We've been told
to send our swords

to the armorer to be sharpened.

Be careful you
don't cut someone.

It means I'll be off soon.

Probably the next draft.

So it's marvelous news...

..the prospect of actually
doing something at last.

Yeah.

Well, a lot of my old regulars

seem to have copped it already.

Billy Renfold,

Fish Face,

Teddy Fuzzbuzz, you know,

always getting buffy
on creme de menthe.

He's the latest.

Yes, the old regular army

has taken a hell of a ribbing.

My regiment's had a hell
of a lot killed and wounded.

But once we new lot get
out there to help them -

and there are literally
hundreds of thousands of us -

it'll make all the difference.

Yeah.

What about putting on a hat?

Don't get yourself
killed, Charlie, will you?

Now, that's silly.

I'd rather have
a live, Charlie,

than a dead hero.

Don't you never think
of it? 'Cause I do...

Yes, I think about it.

Oh, we all think about it.

But we don't talk about it,

especially when the
casualty lists are coming in

and perhaps it's
someone one knows.

But the prospect
isn't very terrifying,

perhaps because we
don't know what we're in for.

Anyway, if one has to
be killed, it's better to die...

for king and country.

At least it's a cause
one believes in.

Yeah.

Well, I'm hungry. I'll
go and get me hat on.

Louisa...,

there's something else I'd
very much like you to wear...

..for me.

Oh, Charlie.

It's your...

Coldstream Star.

Oh, that's too good.

If you wear it,

it means that you're my girl.

You know that?

Well, I'll really be able to
swank around now, won't I?

Because everyone will
know my boyfriend's a soldier.

In the old days, the knights used
to give their wives or their girls

something to wear while
they were away at the crusades.

Oh, I thought they locked
them up in chastity belts.

First of all,

I want a volunteer
to act as a casualty.

You, Mr. Merriman.

I thought it was volunteers.

Just like the army:
you, you, and you.

Will you please try and
be cooperative, Mr. Starr?

This is vital war work.

Lie on the table,
please, Mr. Merriman.

- What?
- You heard.

Lie on the table.

Oh, very well.

Get some cushions
for him, will you, Ethel?

I would not be first usually...

Somebody else
should be doing this,

not the oldest
inhabitant, you know?

MARY: You are supposed to
be semiconscious, Mr. Merriman,

so, please, don't try to talk.

All right.

"The casualty has
been severely injured

"in a zeppelin raid.

"He has injuries to
the head and jaw,

and he has a
suspected broken pelvis."

Oh, dear.

"He's in a state of shock.

"Breathing is
flaccid and gasping.

Limbs cold, clammy,
and bloodless."

Mr. Merriman to the life.

Poor Mr. Merriman.

Now, what do you do
first, Mrs. Cochrane?

Oh, give him a cup
of hot sweet tea.

There's nothing like it.

First, reassure the patient

and allay his anxiety.

You'll be all right,
Mr. Merriman.

You'll pull through.

Thought I was meant
to be unconscious.

"Remove false teeth if any."

I've always wondered.

- Here, let's have a look.
- You keep your hands off of me...

MARY: Stop it, all of you.

You're behaving like
a lot of silly children,

and all the time,
the patient is dying.

It'll take more than that

to kill Mr. Merriman.

4 seats for Baby Mine.

So it shall be done.

I say, how about a box? Oh.

Very jolly, the boxes
at the Vaudeville.

Where the hell is Starr?

Oh. I said I'd hold
the fort for him...

I'm not having uniformed
majors acting hall porter.

It's not dignified.

4 seats...

Vaudeville...

Tuesday.

And lift.

What in the hell?

Careful with the patient!

LOUISA: This is a hotel,
not a casualty clearing station.

Oh, God. Undo him.

It was your idea, ma'am.

But not for all
the staff at once.

Supposing a bomb fell.

Then it wouldn't
matter, would it?

There wouldn't be no
hotel to worry about.

Poor old Merriman.

Why do you have to pick on him?

He was the one
most like a corpse.

I thought you were
supposed to be

saving the living, not the dead.

Trussed up like a loin of lamb.

And if I don't go and
truss my guinea fowl,

there won't be no
luncheon for Mr. Asquith.

Off you go, then.
And you, Starr.

Oh, leave the dog.
Mary, if you want

to practice, you
can practice on Fred.

Oh, no, you don't.

What?

My teeth!

His teeth.

Where's his teeth?

I hope to God it never happens.

That's all I can say.

Travel much lighter

than I did in my
days of campaigning.

Yes, Major.

Why don't you let me
take you both in the bus?

No. I'll drop him
off at the barracks,

and then I'll meet him
again at the station.

Good-bye, Mary.

Ethel.

Mrs. Cochrane.

Mrs. Cochrane: Take care.

Bye, Merriman.

Bye, milord.

Starr.

Good-bye, milord.

Bye, Gaspard.

Bonne chance, monsieur.

Best of luck, Governor.

Bye, Fred.

Come on, everybody.
Back to work.

Mr. Starr.

Although I say it myself, Major,

sooner him than me.

Hmm.

Poison gas.

They say the Huns are using
it against our troops at Ypres.

I can't really believe
that, can you?

It's probably just
another of them rumors.

It's true, Starr, I'm afraid.

Absolutely devilish.

A year ago, who
would have dreamt

that one lot of human beings,

if you can call them that...

would try to kill off another
lot by choking them with...

..poison gas?

It's not our kind of
war at all, is it, Starr?

No, it is not, Major.

Charlie was leading
his detachment.

He looked marvelous, you know.

All his men were ever so big...

about 6' 9", I should think.

There was a band,

and everyone cheered.

You could tell it was
the guards a mile off.

Charlie smiled at me,

and his colonel was
there and some officers,

young Tich, Hoppy Hubbard.

They were going, too.

And there were some
mums and some wives.

They were ever so nice
to me, not a bit snooty.

And then they was all
told to get in the train,

and the soldiers'
wives was blubbing

and holding up the kids, and...

Well, we didn't
do much of that, being...

officers' ladies.

A stiff upper
lip... traditional.

Yeah, mine wasn't
so stiff as all that,

I tell you.

On the way back,
I went in a church

and prayed he'd be all right.

I don't suppose it
will do much good.

I mean, how the hell can God
keep an eye on 7 million blokes?

What else can you do, eh?

Best thing, a bit of comfort.

Yeah, suddenly, I don't feel
so bleeding patriotic as I did.

I know what you mean.

Now we have a boy at the front.

It's puts a very different
complexion on things.

You know, I feel a bit
like an uncle to old Charlie.

I don't know what I am to him,

but I know I won't
have a moment's peace

until he comes back safe.

That's what's so nice
about the Bentinck.

We're really just a big family.

I wish you'd come, ma'am.

Mr. Starr has had a telegram.

MERRIMAN: ♪ Oh! We
don't want to lose you ♪

♪ but we think you ought to go ♪

♪ For your King
and your Country ♪

♪ both need you... ♪

What's up, then?

I hear you've had a telegram.

I've been called up, madam.

Called up?

Crikey.

"Report...depot Winchester.

"Duties...

recruiting sergeant"?

Recruiting sergeant.

Old posting. Ain't you
proud of him, ma'am?

And you cut out
your lip, Merriman,

or you won't get called
up. You'll get chucked out.

You come with me.

Come on.

Whatever would we
do without Mr. Starr?

There's always
"Poor little Belgium."

Major!

Starr has been called up.

Oh...yes.

Do you mean you knew
about it all the time?

Uh, yes, I did.
I'm afraid with...

what with one thing
and another, you know...

No. I do not know.

You don't want to be
called up, do you, Starr?

Well, madam, I mean...

No. So, what are you
going to do about it?

Oh, I've... done something
about it...actually.

Thank you.

"From Special Assistant to
the D.A.A.G., London district.

"Confidential.

"Number 74825-- sergeant Starr,

"J.A. Rifle Brigade.

"Posted... Special
Duties, London,

as defined by the S.A. Ord."

Who the hell's he?

They're both me,
actually. Different hats.

What special duties

had you in mind, Major?

Oh, I thought, perhaps,

um, firstly,

looking after Fred,

you know, grooming
him and all that,

according to king's regulations,

and, secondly, taking
charge of guard duties

on the door of the Bentinck
Hotel on Duke Street.

Well, thank you, sir,

and on behalf of Fred.

That's all right, Starr.

...more use here.

Will he have to wear a uniform?

Well, he is wearing
a uniform, isn't he?

Don't want to waste
money at a time like this.

The prime minister
said so only yesterday.

You should be out there
commanding the army

instead of Sir John French.

That's where you
should be, Major.

Starr, tell Merriman to fetch
the bottle of wine, would you?

Yes, madam.