The Duchess of Duke Street (1976–1977): Season 2, Episode 8 - The Reluctant Warrior - full transcript

The war comes home to roost so to speak when a bomb lands on the Bentinck hotel. No one is injured but Mr. Starr's dog was in the mews when the bomb hit and Fred is nowhere to be found. A Sergeant soon arrives to assess the situation and his assistant, a conscientious objector, forms a close relationship with Ethel. A newly married young couple, a Canadian Lieutenant and a young woman who had stayed at the Bentinck some years previously with her parents, arrive on their honeymoon.

Out you go, Fred,
and do your duty.

Now, I'll leave the door open.

I don't want to see you back

till you've done it, all right?

Oh, he don't like
these cold mornings.

He's getting on
a bit, old Fred is,

and that's a fact.

Mr. Starr, it's ever so cold.

Mr. Starr, you're
letting all the fog in.

Don't want to complain
about the fog, Mrs. C.

If we'd had
moonlight last night,

we'd have had the Gothas over.

Now, better fog than bombs, eh?

Anyway, it's clearing now.

Any chance for a
cup of tea, Mary?

MARY: Can't you see I'm busy?

Help yourself, if it's
not too much trouble.

Blooming dog is more trouble

than all the guests
put together!

General's kidneys
are ready, Mary.

Keep them hot for a minute,
Mrs. Cochrane, will you?

LOUISA: Why can't
they go straight up?

Because Lord Pratt's
herrings are ready,

and I've got them to do first.

Doing all the breakfasts
yourself, are you?

Where's Merriman, if I
might make so bold as to ask?

He was up half the night

with that young
officer's supper party.

He's not the only one,
so why isn't he down here?

STARR: Here, Fred,
you back already?

I'm not sure you've
done your duty...

out and back in the
shake of a dog's tail.

That's not quite
good enough, old son.

No mind - 'tis a bit nippy.

Tell you something else
that ain't good enough at all,

and that's the general getting
his kidneys warmed over.

MARY: He's lucky
he's getting them at all,

living here at his ease

and sending boys off
to die in the trenches.

Oh, for God's sake!

Ethel, you dish up them kidneys,

send them up the dispense.

I'll make the tea,
take it up meself.

If there's one thing we're
not going short of in this hotel,

it's standards, whatever
else we may go short of.

along, Fred, old son.



It's not like Mary to fly
off the handle like that.

I suppose, madam,
losing one of her brothers

at the front like that...

Oh, come on. She
hardly knew him.

She must have left home

when he was 5 or 6 years old.

Enough grief and
misery in this war

without carrying on over
someone you hardly know.

Stay there.

Oh, thank you, my dear.

Thank you.

Oh, uh, one from
France, madam...

from his lordship.

Oh, yeah. Ta.

The general's kidneys, madam.

Damn the general's kidneys.

Is his lordship
all right, madam?


Well, he was when...

"We expect to return

to the front-line
trenches tomorrow."

Did he get the hamper all right?

Yeah. He said the
wine and the game pies

went down a treat.

I see Captain Tanqueray

in the casualty
list this morning.

Oh, yeah? I haven't read it yet.

Is he missing or killed?


Did you see what
they say here, madam?

There were 750,000
casualties in the Somme battle.

That makes you
think, doesn't it?


And I'll tell you what
it makes me think...

it makes me think

we'll give them a good
time while they're here.

That's one thing we can do.

MAN: No. Just put it down there.

WOMAN: Oh! Mind the hatbox.

Who the hell's that?

If it's someone wanting a room,

you can tell them we're full up.

Is that right?

That's right.

And this is for you.

STARR: Here, just a minute.

Hold on. Don't go.

I'm very sorry, sir, but if
you was wanting a room...

Yeah. My wife and
I would like a room

and a private sitting room.

Ian! It's ok.

I'm very sorry, sir.
We're full right up.

I...I see.

Uh, look, we don't
know anyone in London.

I wonder, could you perhaps
recommend somewhere else?

Well, sir, it isn't easy

to get accommodation
in London at the moment.

I mean, what with
staff being hard to find,

I'm afraid all the hotels
are rather booked up.

Oh, Ian, what are
we going to do?

It's all right,
Fay. Don't worry.

Maybe the taxi driver
knows somewhere quiet.

It's just that we knew
of this place, you see.

All right, Starr.

I'm Mrs. Trotter.

Oh, hi.

I'm Captain Mclean,
and this is my wife.

Don't I know you?

Oh, no, no, I don't think so.

Oh, that's funny.

I don't usually forget a face.

How long did you
want to stay, then?

We would like to
stay for a week or so,

but if you could fit
us in just for tonight...

We just traveled
down from Scotland.

My wife's rather tired.

On leave from France, are you?

Yeah, that's right.

Oh, well, in that case,

better see what we can do.


STARR: Madam?

LOUISA: Put Captain
and Mrs. Mclean

in number 7.

Yes, madam.

Come on, then.

It's beautiful!

I'm sure this is one
of their best rooms.


Oh, Ian, are you sure?

I know the Bentinck
is terribly expensive.

Listen, I don't care
if it costs a million.

I got two whole, wonderful weeks

with my own darling,
wonderful little wife.

I still don't quite believe it.

Neither do they...the
people in the hotel, I mean.

I don't think they
believe we're married.

Oh, Ian, that's awful!

I was only joking.

I'll show them that.

Then they'll know.

You're such a
funny little thing.


Why am I?

Oh, excuse me, sir, madam.

Compliments Mrs. Trotter.

IAN: Well, now.

What do you think
of that, my dear?

Thank you. Thank you very much.

Oh, and please thank
Mrs. Trotter for me.

MARY: Oh, I will,
sir. Thank you.


Do you think she saw it?

Sure she did. Yeah.


Champagne in the morning!

We're not really going
to drink it, are we?

Well, certainly we are.

We are going to eat,
drink, and be merry.



Merriman, I want
a word with you.

Yes, ma'am. Shall
I just attend to the...

That bloody dog!


You ought to be
ashamed of yourself, Fred,

letting me down like that.

This time, you
can just stay there

until you have done your duty.

What's more, I'm
not having my staff

coming downstairs
later than the guests.

And don't tell me
there's a war on.

There is a lot of
extra work, ma'am...

yes, a great deal,
and short-staffed...

I'm paying you good wages...

a darn sight more

than you'd have
got before the war.

If you're not up to the job,

you just let me know,

and you can clear
off here and now.

Yeah, well,

don't want to
make too much of it.

Just so long as...

it sounds like that
taxi's coming...

that's an airplane.
It's flying low.

It can't be, not
in broad daylight.

Must be one of ours.

Oh, no, it ain't!

Oh! That...what the...



Gawd Struth!

Here, are you all right?

Oh, yes, ma'am.
I seem to have...

here, put your
napkin over your head.

Hold it. Don't get the
blood on the carpet.

Hey? What?

Cor blimey. Hang on.
Here. Sit down here.

Oh, my Lord.

There you go. Sit down.

Hang on. I'll go and get
a bandage or something.

Oh, blimey.

Mary! Mary, get some bandages.

Merriman's gone and cut himself.

Over there, Mr. Starr.

Are you all right, ma'am?

Yeah, thanks to
him, bloody old fool.

WOMAN: I cannot understand

what has happened.

Someone has broken
the windows in my room.

I should think what's
happened, Mrs. Peterborough,

is Jerry's dropped a few bombs,

and we caught one of them.

Oh, is that it?

Broad daylight? Disgraceful.

It's all that...

Here. Come here.

Come and sit down
here. Mary will deal with it.

IAN: Is there anything I can do?

LOUISA: No, it's all
right, Captain Mclean.

It's nothing serious.

FAY: What is it?
What's happened?

Mrs. Trotter, I
think there's a bomb

fallen in the yard!

It's blown in the kitchen door,

and Ethel's having hysterics!

LOUISA: You don't
have to tell me that.

Here, what about my cellars?

My God. My God!

MARY: Keep calm, Mr. Merriman.

It's all right. This won't hurt.


Help! Oh, please don't
make me go downstairs!


Where are you, boy? Fred?


MAN: Here, here.

Mind what you're doing.

Hey? What?

Don't touch that,
whatever you do.

Don't touch that rubble.

Why not?

Because I order you not to.

Now, now, now. This is my hotel,

this is my yard,
this is my porter,

and I give the orders here,

so you just clear
off like a good chap.

But, madam, I...

I happened to observe the
bombs as they descended.

Oh? That must have
been nice for you.

I was standing at the
junction of Duke Street

and Ryder street at the time,

and I observed two
bombs fall into this yard.

You can't see this
yard from Duke Street.

In the direction of this yard.


Now, only one bomb exploded,

so it is my opinion

there is an unexploded
bomb under that pile of rubble.

I don't believe you.

And if you are the
proprietor, madam,

I would recommend that
you evacuate this hotel.

Oh, yes?

And where do you recommend

we should all go, then?

Well, the guests can
go to another hotel, and...

For your information,

there ain't another hotel

like the Bentinck.

Apart from that,
they're all full.

What else?

Well... Some volunteer ladies

have set up a rest
center behind Harrods...

Oh, that does
sound nice, that does.

Oh, yes, that's just the ticket

for a deaf old dowager
and a couple of generals

and a honeymoon couple

and half a dozen
officers on leave

and a dotty old
waiter ain't worked

anywhere else since
God knows when.

How long do you recommend

we should stay there?

Well, I...

I suggest that you
should stay there

until the army have sent
some trained personnel

to dig out the bomb
and render it harmless.

Well, the army
can do what it likes,

but I'm not going nowhere.

As for the staff and the guests,

well, that's up
to them, isn't it?

Right. I shall
report to the army.

Good idea.

Right. Come along,
you youngsters.

Move along, now.
Hurry on safely.

Come on, move along.
Other side of the road.

Quickly, quickly. Come along.

Madam, that special constable...

he's just a cashier in
the bank of St. James.

He don't know no
more about bombs

than what I do,

so you'd better
leave it, just in case.

Wait for the army.

He'd have gone running off

when he heard the
planes coming over.

Come scampering
back any minute now,

you mark my words.

But, madam, he...

Leave it.

I'll keep the hotel
going, of course,

but I shall quite understand

if any of my guests
would rather leave.

We'll stay. Won't we, Ian?

I don't know, darling.

If anything happened to
you, I'd never forgive myself.

If there really is a bomb...

Mrs. Trotter,

it was very good of
you to find room for us...

Oh, Ian, how can you?

Of course we're not leaving.

It's exciting.

Look, honey,

there's really nothing
exciting about a bomb.

We're staying!

I know you. You're Bushy's girl.

No, I'm not.

Sir Rodney Bush.

He brought you here
to tea 2 or 3 years ago,

you and your little brother.

Little Boy Blue, I called him.

You was going to the Pantomime.

So what's going on, then?

You won't tell him, will you?

I don't know what
to tell him yet.

Where does he think you are?

In Scotland,

staying with my sister.

He sent me there as soon as

the first zeppelin came over.

He sent you there
to keep you safe.

That's why I'm worried.

So what's the rest of the story?

Ian's grandfather

went to Canada from Scotland,

so Ian came to the village

to look for his family, and...

You met and fell in love.

Well, we met in the church.

Ian was trying to read
the parish registers,

and I helped him.

Then Ian went away to France.

Fay wrote to me
every single week.

I didn't get too many
letters, you see.

Oh, I see.

So then, when Ian came on leave,

he came and
stayed in the village.

And we decided to run away

and get married at Gretna Green.

You didn't think
of asking your dad

and doing it properly?

I wanted to, but
Fay wouldn't let me.

I knew he wouldn't agree.

He'd have said I was too young.

He thinks I'm still a
child. He does, really.

He does, does he?
And how old are you?

I'm 18.

You've been in the
nursery and the schoolroom,

and thanks to the war,
you never came out, eh?


Oh, Mrs. Trotter, don't
tell papa we're here.

Please say you won't.

Well, it's none of
my business, is it?

Mind you, I don't say

I'd lie to him if he asked me.

But I don't suppose
he would, would you?

Oh, thank you!


You just let me know

if you change your
minds about staying on.

Oh, we shan't.

Darling, we are going to
have to tell your dad sometime.

Oh, but not yet.

I'm so glad Mrs. Trotter knows.

Now we can stay here
all through your leave.

We can pretend

this is our own
dear little home.

And the bomb makes
everything perfect!

The bomb?

Yes. Don't you see?

Now I can share
the danger with you.

And when you go
back to the trenches,

I shall know
exactly what it's like.

Let's go and have
lunch at the Ritz!

Oh, yes!

These grouse are
covered in dust,

but there doesn't seem to
be any broken glass on them.

They're just nicely hung.

Think they'll be all right
when they're plucked.

Too late to get any meat
for dinner, I know that.

Oh, Ethel.

I can't help it.

I'm all of a tremble.

Here, there's somebody
messing about in the yard.

Go and see who it is, Ethel.

Supposing the bomb goes off?

I should imagine it would

if children start
clambering all over it.

Aah! Ooh.

What's that?

It's certainly not the
bomb knocking at the door.

Now, come on.

Pull yourself together,
Ethel, and see who it is.


MRS. COCHRANE: Who is it, Ethel?

It's a soldier.

Sorry to disturb you, miss.

Oh, that's all right. Come in.

MAN: Afternoon.

MRS. COCHRANE: Good afternoon.

Just having a look at your
spot of bother out there.

Had a few casualties, I see.


carry that for you, sir?

Thanks. It goes in the dustbin.

Going to shift that
bomb, are you?

I'm afraid it's
not quite as easy

as all that.

MARY: Mrs. Trotter said
the army have just arrived.

Did they find the...

Oh. Did you find the bomb?

No, miss.

I'm afraid we have
got a nasty one here.

MRS. COCHRANE: Oh, dear.

Not visible, you see.
That's the trouble.

Here! You watch what
you're doing out there!

The least vibration
could set it off.

Very delicate
mechanism, you know.

MRS. COCHRANE: Oh, dear me.

Supposing it goes off

with all of us in here?

It won't, madam... not
while I'm here, it won't.

Leave an unexploded bomb alone,

do not fiddle with
it, it will not go off.

Like they used to say
in India with the tigers,

"Don't bite them,
they won't bite you."

Would you like a cup of tea?

Don't want to make you short.

We're going to be
here for a few days.

I daresay we could
provide a few army rations.

A few days?

It won't take as
long as that, will it,

before you can move it?

Well, the trouble is...

Look, do you mind if I sit down?

This damp weather
plays up my old wound.

Of course not. Here.

Make that tea, Ethel.

ETHEL: Yes, Mrs. Cochrane.


Trouble is, you see,

I cannot ascertain what
kind of explosive device it is.

That's the top and bottom of it.

If it were visible
to the naked eye,

I would be able to
assess the situation

and take appropriate action.

Makes it very
difficult, that does...

it not being exposed to sight.

With all that rubble
laying on the top of it,

I cannot judge to what depth
it may have penetrated to.

So, unfortunately, I cannot
rely on me own judgment,

which I would
otherwise be able to do.

Oh, I see. So what will you do?

Well, I shall be obliged
to call in the experts,

let them have a look at it
before taking any action.

I can't risk blowing up
all you nice people, can I?

But how long will that take?

Our porter Mr. Starr...

his little dog was out in
the yard when it happened,

and he might be buried
alive under all that rubble.

Oh, I see.

That's very unfortunate.

Of course, if it
was a human being,

I might have to risk it.

Or if it was just meself,

I might take a chance
even for a dumb animal.

But, you see...

I don't mind putting meself
in danger. That's my job.

But when there are
civilians involved,

that's another matter.

MARY: Oh, I see.

MRS. COCHRANE: Well, I think

you must have the
courage of a lion,

both of you.

I mean, most people
would run a mile

when they came across a bomb,

but you have to
go right up to it

and make it safe
for the rest of us.

Where's that tea for
the sergeant? Ethel!

It's just coming, Mrs. Cochrane.

MERRIMAN: I suppose
you have to volunteer

for this line of work.

Some do. Some don't.

MARY: I wish you could
set Mr. Starr's mind at rest

one way or the other.

He's very fond
of his little dog.

He really is.

Yeah. All right.

I'll tell you what I'll do.

I'll expedite matters

as far as I possibly can.

You know, it's amazing

how long a little dog

can last buried alive.

One of our officers
up at the front

had a little terrier.

It was in a trench

that got a direct
hit from a shell.

Now, do you know how long it was

before we dug
that little dog out?

3 weeks.

3 weeks, and not
a scratch on him.

In the meantime,

I will take full responsibility

for that bomb while I'm here.

Hey, you. Nip out there

and board up that back gate.

ETHEL: He hasn't
had his tea yet.

Oh, that's all right.

Take a piece of cake with you.

I'll not have him
eating on duty!

Go on, get out there.

Yes, sergeant.

That's a shame.


You were a bit hard
on him, sergeant.

SERGEANT: Him? Ha ha!

Here. Ta.

You know what he is?

He's a conshie.


What's he doing
in uniform, then?

Ah. Well, he come
up before the tribunal,

and they soon sent
him to the right-abouts.

They said he wasn't
fit for active service.

Seconded him to the
noncombatant corps

for bomb clearance
and stretcher-bearing,

so that is how I've got the
pleasure of his company.

Well, I never.

I think that's a disgrace.

Give them classes
what to say to them.

MARY: Who do?

The peace movement people.

Oh, yes, well-known, that is.

Set up mock tribunals

and teach all these pacifists

how to get away with it.

Whatever next?

I think they should all be sent

to prison, the whole ot of them!

So they should, the cowards!

I tell you one thing.

If Mrs. Trotter
knew what he was,

she wouldn't have
him in the place.

No more, she would.

I'll tell you one
thing, sergeant.

There's not one
person in this hotel

who isn't heart and
soul in the war effort.

I'm very glad to
hear that, madam.

Oh, well...

No peace for the wicked.

I'd better get back and
report to my headquarters.

Oh, perhaps I should
see the proprietor first

and explain the
situation to her.

I'll take you up.

No, that's all right.
Find me own way.

Mrs. Trotter doesn't like people

wandering about the hotel.

Ah. Rightio.

MERRIMAN: If you ask me,

that sergeant reckons he's found

a cushy billet,
and he don't mean

to move on before he has to.

Wonder where he was wounded.

I could make a guess.

I noticed he fancied
a nice, soft cushion

to sit on.

Mr. Merriman, you
shouldn't say such things.

Didn't you notice all the
medals he was wearing?

Oh, yeah, I noticed.

He went through
all those campaigns

and always knew enough

to keep himself
out of harm's way.

Just my luck.

What is?

First time a soldier
comes to the hotel,

and he has to be a conshie.

♪ Nothing else would
matter in the world that day ♪

♪ We would go on loving
in the same old way ♪

♪ A garden of eden
just made for two ♪

♪ With nothing to mar our joy ♪

♪ If you were the
only girl in the world ♪

♪ and I was the only boy ♪

Come on, darling.

Well, Starr, that's
the last of them.

You can lock up now.

Oh, yes.

Will that be all, sir?

Hmm? Oh, yes, thank you.

Darling, breakfast.

FAY: Oh, yes. Just coming.

Thank you so much.


Coffee, darling?

I'll pour.



Yeah, just a... just a little.

And one lump of sugar.

Uh, two, please.

Oh, yes.


Are you sure that's
how it's supposed to be?


Oh, God, Fay, I
feel such a brute.

I thought you knew...


I thought it was just...
kissing or something.


I wouldn't have hurt or
upset you for the world.

I don't want to talk about it.

No. I was just going
to say that I won't...

I won't touch you again...


May I come in?

Oh, yes. Yes, of course.

Just thought I'd let you know

we're going to have our bomb

a bit longer than
what we thought.

Oh, I see.

So I'm afraid the hotel
won't be very comfortable.

Can't get anyone to
put the windows back,

we'll be short staffed,
and what with the U-boats,

the food ain't
what it used to be.

So I just thought you
might rather move out.

Well, uh...

It won't go off, so they say.

FAY: Oh, no, we'll stay.

We like it here.


Ah. Well...

By the way, had a telegram
from Sir Rodney this morning.

He had a bit more savvy
than what we thought.

You won't tell him we're here?

He did ask if you was here.

Oh, don't tell him!

I don't want him to
know, him or mother.

I don't want them here.

I reckon that telegram got
hit by a bomb, don't you?

Thanks. Thank you.

We'll make you as
comfortable as we can.

Just let me know if
you change your minds.

Are you sure you don't want to

go back home to your parents?


No, of course not.

I want to give you
a wonderful leave.

We still can,
can't we? I mean...

Oh, yes, of course.

I mean, that's not
all that matters.

That other side of things

is not all that important.



Do you mind if I boil a kettle?

Do what you like.

You can use that teapot.


Would you like a cup?

No, thanks.

Where's Mrs. Cochrane?

She goes out Sunday night.

She's gone to see
her spiritualist friend.


Her nephew's missing in action,

like a few other
people I could mention.

She's trying to get
in touch with him.

Ethel, don't you think...

I'll thank you

to call me Miss Pettifer.


Don't I think what?

Don't you think I ought
to do what I think is right?


Why should you
think you're right

and everyone else is wrong?

Not everyone.

There's this
gentleman... Mr. Russell.

I heard him speak once.

And Clifford Allen.

He's the chairman of the
no-conscription fellowship.

Now, they're pacifists,

and they went
to prison for it...

Hard labor.

They must have
thought they were right.

I daresay they did, but...

Thank you.


What happened

when you went up
before the tribunal?

They asked me
if I went to church,

and I said I did...
well, chapel, anyway.

Then they said

that the bishops
said we ought to fight.

And I said, "I can't help
what the bishops say.

I have to follow my
own conscience."

Well, why can't your conscience

tell you to fight the Germans?

They were wrong, weren't they,

invading Belgium and everything?

I thought you was meant to
be looking after that bomb.

They want to make peace.

Who do?

The Germans.

Oh. They?

Well, I... I didn't know that.

Anyway, they carry on
fighting just the same.

But maybe they wouldn't if...

Well, if there's Germans
that think as I do,

and we all got together...

Well, you see what
I mean, don't you?

We shouldn't go on
fighting just for the sake of it.

Why do you have to be different?

Why can't you just...just...

Go out there and kill Germans?

That's what you
want me to do, isn't it?


I think you're a coward, if
you really want to know...

a dirty, rotten coward.

What are you doing?

What you doing?

Take it. What?

Kill me. Go on.

What do you mean?

You think I'm wrong.
Well, then, take it.

Go on, kill me.

I couldn't. I couldn't do that.

Well, then, now
you know how I feel.

If they put a bayonet in my hand

and told me to stab a
German in the stomach,

I couldn't do it.

I'd kill myself first.

Don't talk like that.

Don't worry.

I'd probably be
afraid to, anyway.

That's the worst of it.

The other fellows,

they know one way
or the other, but me...

Maybe it's like they said.

Being a pacifist
is just an excuse.

Maybe I really am a coward.

You're not.

I know you're not.

LOUISA: Ethel?

What's going on here?

I thought you was supposed
to be guarding that bomb.


SOLDIER: Yes, madam.

Ethel, I'm ashamed of you,

hobnobbing with a conshie.

He thinks what he's
doing is right, Mrs. Trotter.

Oh, he does, does he?

And he says there are others

who think the same.

There's a Mr. Russell
and another gentleman,

and they're both in
prison doing hard labor.

Bertie Russell doing hard
labor? That'll be the day.

He asked for special
treatment, and he got it.

He's sitting in there
comfy as you please,

having his own food sent
in and writing his books.

I reckon that young
man of yours...

Here, he's not been
making advances, has he?

No, he hasn't.

No, he's got lovely
manners, he has, really.

And, ma'am, that
being a pacifist...

well, he really
does believe in it.

Oh, yeah, I'm sure he does,

sitting in here
in a cushy billet

while better men than
him are getting killed.

Shan't need you
any more tonight.

Better get off to bed now.

Yes, Mrs. Trotter.

She's right.

If I really believe in it,

I ought to be
ready to die for it.

Oh, no.


Oh, no!

Mary, what is it?


Here, it's that
letter. Have a look.

I don't like to.

Mary, what is it?

Mary, pull yourself together.

STARR: It's that letter,
madam. She got a letter, and...

She's had bad news.

- Come on, now.
- Get scarce, both of you.

Here, come on now.

What is it, hey?

He...he's been killed!

Gareth's been killed.

First Davie, and now Gareth.

Yeah, well, I'm
ever so sorry, Mary.

Let's face it.

You didn't really
know him, did you?

I mean, it's not like
you was that close.

Perhaps that's a comfort, eh?

No, it's not.

I never knew him.
That's the worst of it.

I never knew him.

When Davie died, I thought,

"I never really knew him,

"And I won't let this
happen with Gareth.

"When he comes home
on leave," I thought,

"I'll spend some
time with him...

"Go home with
him, get to know him.

You ought to know
your own brother."

And now he's dead,

and I'll never see him again.

It can't be right, can it?

It can't be right.

First Davie, and now Gareth.

There's 16 boys
gone from one village...

all in the same regiment,

all in the same battle.

It can't be right.

Well, no, I suppose not.

At least they was together...

comrades, like.

But what about those
that's left behind...

mothers and
sweethearts and sisters?

Now, Mary, you mustn't
upset yourself like this.

I know it's very hard,
but you know my motto...

life must go on.

Is that what you'd say

if Lord Haslemere was killed?

Oh, I'm sorry.

I shouldn't have said that.

Yeah. It's all right.

Do you think I don't know?

Every telegram that
comes makes me wonder.

No, I shouldn't have.

I'm going to give
you a glass of brandy,

and you know what
I'm going to do with you?

I'm going to send you
home to Wales for a few days

to see the family,
have a good cry,

and get it all out
of your system.

How are you getting
on, then, sergeant?


Out there. How
are you getting on?

Oh! Oh, yes.

Yeah, well, unfortunately,

there's been a big
demand for bomb experts.

What with the zeppelins
and the moonlight Gothas

and now these daylight raids...
very unexpected, they was...

Yeah, I'm afraid they've
rather got us on the hop.

When do you expect
your expert, then?

Oh, the officer from
Royal Ordnance Corps, eh?

Well, I have put in my
request, in triplicate,

but from what I
can understand...

naturally, our boys at the front

must come first, mustn't they?

Oh, yes, I suppose so.

Still, I do expect a response

from headquarters any day now.

I did request them to expedite.

Poor Mr. Starr.

Every minute he gets off,

he's out there
searching the streets.

If you ask me,
poor Fred's a goner.

ETHEL: It's like "Missing,
believed killed," ain't it?

Be better for Mr. Starr
if he knew the truth

one way or another.

MERRIMAN: Hey, we're
going to be short-handed tonight

and tomorrow night.

Mrs. Trotter is sending
Mary off to Wales.

Oh, that's a good idea,

Mr. Merriman.

Give her a chance to
get over her bereavement.

Very thoughtful.

I daresay very thoughtful,

but it'll all come back on us.

Oh, yes, I know that.

What's that?

ETHEL: Clive!

Clive, stop it!


Here, what are you doing?

Hey, you leave that alone!

Just looking to see
if there is a bomb.

No. You leave it alone.

I order you to leave that alone!

I'm not taking your orders.

I'm not a soldier. You
keep telling me that.


He'll get us all killed!

Fasten the door, Ethel, quick.


better tell Mrs. Trotter

to keep the guests
away from the windows

in case it goes off.

STARR: What's that?

Mr. Starr...

ETHEL: Clive!

It's all right.
There isn't a bomb,

just a lot of bricks
knocked down.

Must have been the one
that fell across the way

that brought the wall down.

Might be a bomb underneath it.

There isn't. I've been right
down to the cobblestones.

Oh, what a relief.

I'm sorry, Mr. Starr.

I'm afraid your little dog...

It wouldn't have
made any difference

if we'd found him any sooner.

He must have died at once.


Well, I'll just...

I put a piece of
sacking over him.

Perhaps you'd like me to...

No. I'll see to it.

Thank you all the same.

Me and Fred...

We've always looked
out for each other.

SERGEANT: You might
have got us all killed!

I'll have you
court-martialed for this.

MRS. COCHRANE: Sergeant!

You won't, will you?

MERRIMAN: I shouldn't think so.

After all, we'd all have to
give evidence, wouldn't we?

LOUISA: Oh, yeah.

I'd be prepared to give
them all time off for that.

As far as I'm concerned,
be a pleasure, sergeant.

Uh, well...

I have to consider that,
in the circumstances.

I will reconsider it,

and I might just give
him one more chance,

just this once.

I'll put it down to,
uh, excessive zeal.

Oh, there.

That's all the hot-water
bottles in the beds.

I gave Mrs. Peterborough
her camomile tea.

She hadn't got her glasses on,

so she tipped me. Look.

You'd better pass it on.

That's not bad,

considering what a
mean old devil she is.

It's very good of you to help.

Well, I'm glad I can be useful.

LOUISA: And Captain Mclean's

not a bad assistant
waiter, neither,

apart from being a bit buffy.

That's a common
fault among waiters.

I am not buffy.

That's what they all say.

IAN: I may have had a
few drinks, but I'm not buffy.

Shove the bottle over.
We'll all have a glass.

With pleasure.

Oh. Ta.

Funny to think that
this time next week,

I'll be back in France.

Funny is the word, huh?
You have to laugh, eh?

I mean, you do.
You have to laugh.

Yeah, the worse things are,

the more you have to laugh.

Wouldn't get through
them otherwise.

You must have been in
the trenches, Mrs. Trotter.

No, I can't say I have, not yet.

There you are out there
in the forward trench,

stooping along,

trying to keep your head
down below the parapet

because you're scared to
death of getting it blown off...

that's pretty funny, too,
right? Scared to death?



there you are,

stooping along,

and there's this soldier leaning
against the parapet, see?

And you knock into
him, and he falls over.

But the fellow behind
is shoving along, too,

because he's scared to death

of getting his
head shot off, too,

so you tread on the soldier...

only your foot goes
right through him,

and this awful smell comes up.

Oh, no. the fellow behind
makes some bad joke about it.

Well, what else can you do?

You can't help the poor bugger.

Well, you can't, can you?


No, of course not.

You know, one
morning we looked out,

and, uh...

There was this fellow
caught on the barbed wire.

Must have been out in
the raid the night before.

Only the trouble
was, he wasn't dead,

and the more he
tried to free himself,

the more tangled up he got. So... know what we did?

We laughed.

Ha ha!

Well, we laughed at him.


And then the Germans
started taking potshots at him,

and we laughed even more.

Only you can't help...

You can't help wondering if
you'll get caught the next time

and whether the other
fellows will try to rescue you

or just laugh, you know?


Come on, I shouldn't
be talking like this.

I mean, you're not
supposed to mention

things like this at home.

I should not be talking
like this in front of Fay.

You don't want
to worry about her.

She's old Bushy's girl...

A lot stronger than
what she looks.

That's what made
me spot her first.

All right. Come on, you two...

off to bed.

Can't have my staff
getting blind drunk

in the dispense.

Mrs. Trotter, you're a trump!

Oh, go on, get along with you.

You colonials are all the same.

Go on.

Ha ha!

Just a minute.

Here, you take that.

Don't let him have too much,

and you take a drop yourself.

Just you hold him in your arms,

and don't you worry
about nothing else.

He's scared to
death of going back.


What you doing here?

I came to see you.


I just wanted to tell you,

I've volunteered
to go to France.

Oh, Clive, you haven't!

Well, only for digging out mines

and shells or stretcher-bearing.

I can't kill anyone, Ethel.

I can't, really.

Oh, Clive, I'm glad you can't.

Are you?

Are you really?

Is this for me?


I've just been plucking a goose.

I've never been given
one of these before.

I'll keep it as a souvenir.

You'd better not.

Someone might
get the wrong idea.

I'll keep it to
remind me of you.


You'd better keep this with it.


Belonged to me gran.

You know, she brought me up.

It came to me when she died.


But that's...

I mean, that would mean...

Does that mean that...

We're engaged?

Well, it might, mightn't it?


Oh, Clive!

Only, uh...

There's something
you ought to know.

If I get...ill or
anything in France,

I don't get a pension

on account of being a
conscientious objector...

refusing active service.

But you weren't fit for
active service anyway.

You could have just said nothing

and failed your medical.

But that wouldn't
have been right, Ethel.

Oh, Clive.

You and your
blooming conscience.

Oh, Ian, here. This is for you.

Don't let them drop it.

It's got a couple
of bottles in it.

Well, thanks, Louisa. Wonderful.

I've had the best leave
a fellow could ask for.

Well, I'm glad to hear it.

Say, I haven't had my bill yet.

There's no bill.
Ain't no charge.

Oh, no, Louisa.

I can't charge the staff

for staying here, can I?

Thanks, Louisa.
That's real good of you.

Take care of yourself.

No one but officers to stay,
and she won't charge them.

At this rate, it really
will be her ruination.

Oh, yes, ruination.

Thank you for everything.

And if there is a baby,

I hope you'll be the godmother.

Oh, well, I'm not
quite suited to that,

but I'll come to
the christening.

Where are you off to now, then?

As soon as I've seen
Ian off, I'm going home.

Give my regards to your pa.



Come on, darling.

Here, you can tell him

his telegram
arrived this morning.

I can't think how
it got delayed.

IAN: Thanks again! Bye-bye!

Mr. Merriman?

Mr. Merriman!

Hey! What? Hey?

Time for the ceremony,

Mr. Merriman.

Oh. Oh.

There you are, then, Fred.

Nice bit of engraving for you.

"In memory of Fred,

"A fox terrier.

He died for his country."

May he rest in peace.

Yeah, well...

That's it, then.


Could I have a word with you,

please, madam, with Ethel?

Yeah. Come in.

What's up, then?

Ethel has something
to say to you, madam.

Go on, Ethel.

Please, madam.

I want to give in my notice.

You what?!

You can't leave me now,

not when I'm
short-handed like this.

She's going into munitions.

Well, you must be mad.

What do you want to go
and do a thing like that for,

after all the trouble I took

to make sure everyone in
this hotel would be exempt?

We're doing important work here.

Members of the government,

admirals, generals,
officers on leave...

they got to have
somewhere to come,

somewhere safe where
they'll be looked after

and no one will blab.

Now, why should you
suddenly decide to leave?

You tell Mrs. Trotter
the rest, Ethel.

She's gone and
got herself engaged.

Engaged? Who t...

Don't tell me.

Yes, it's that
young Clive Baker.

Oh, Ethel.

I don't know about you.

I don't, really.

You're going into munitions,

you're engaged to a conshie.

He's not a conshie.

He's a conscientious objector.

And he's volunteered
for the front,

and I want to get
this war over with

before he gets killed.

Yeah, well, I still think

you'd be more useful here.

If you've made up your mind,

I suppose there's
nothing to be done.

You let me know
when you want to leave.

I'll get your wages made up.

I might even put in a bit extra
for an engagement present.

Thank you, Mrs. Trotter.

Yeah, well, you'd better
go and do some work

while you are here.

Yes, Mrs. Trotter.

That was a nice thing to do.

Not much else I could do.

If she's leaving, she's leaving.

No, I meant about the plaque.

I'm sure Mr. Starr
really appreciated it.

Poor little Fred.

Oh, yeah. Well...

If there's one good
thing that bomb did,

it was getting rid
of that bloody dog.

I never could stand him, meself.

What's that?

Now, now, now, Fred.

That's enough of that.

Come on.

This collar's too
big for you now,

and you haven't earned
the right to wear it,

but I hope in time
you'll grow into it.

Oh, cor blimey!