325 out of bounds for officers
In the British Army, areas were allotted in local towns for the other ranks to use. No officers would go there; this was the domain only of private soldiers and military policemen. If there was only one place of entertainment (as in Flyte St Mary) it would go to the soldiers for the sake of general harmony. Officers had their messes.

325 Naafi
or NAAFI (acronym for ‘Navy, Army, and Air Force Institutes’). This was an organization, first started in early 1921, that provided canteens and shops for Britain’s three military services. In the Second World War, it boasted approximately 10,000 facilities worldwide. By tradition the Naafi was always considered inadequate, but in fact it did a good job in maintaining morale. For a start it gave ordinary men something approximating to what they would expect at home.

325 first concern of company officers
Once again it is noticeable how even this C.O. considers the men first.

325 M.O.
Medical Officer

325 scrimshankers
men who avoid work. The word contains all the contempt a soldier in the field feels for staff at Headquarters.

325 Quartering Commandant
A quartermaster is responsible for finding food, clothing and housing for the soldiers. A Quartering Commandant is responsible for doing the same for the senior staff and all the equipment.

325 recce
army slang for ‘reconnaissance’ (pronounced ‘recky’), an examination of an area to gather information

326 retired, re-appointed
Many retired officers did of course return to the forces when war was declared though they were too old or rickety for active service. They filled important secondary positions where their expertise would be invaluable, such as in quartering and training.

326 blitzed R.C. padre
A bomb, we learn, made Father Membling homeless, and since he was in his house when it was destroyed, he has not fully recovered his nerves. There is no hint that he was an army chaplain.

326 Mottram, the Minister of whatever-it-is
So Rex has made his breakthrough in politics. He backed the right side in the end. The fact that the Quartering Commandant cannot remember his portfolio is not necessarily a slur; there was a multiplicity of new ministries and responsibilities in wartime.

326 rough on the boys
We knew, of course, that Brideshead would go to Julia. At this point it seems that there may still be two ‘boys’ - i.e. that Sebastian may still be alive; but the phrase is not conclusive.

327 another painted room … modern work
This is where we hear of the fate of Charles’s murals. The soldiers have vandalised them.

327 costlier knocking-shops … “Maison Japonaise
Lord Marchmain’s Chinese Drawing-Room and the Queen’s Bed seem to the Quartering Commandant to resemble a brothel decorated in oriental style. So much for Lord Marchmain’s folie des grandeurs at the end of his life.

327 That fountain is rather a tender spot with our landlady
The reason, one thinks, must be because it was where she and Charles had many tender moments (and one or two fraught ones).

329 Mr Mottram doing so well? And so many of his friends
They have all done well in the war despite (or because of) their asinine opinions. They backed the right side.

329 Mr Wilcox
Probably, the butler has retired and now lives in the local town.

329 Palestine
These three Flytes have ended up in the Holy Land. We are not told where Sebastian is; nor does Charles ask Mrs Hawkins about him. Perhaps Charles already knows that he is dead. In the terms of the novel’s working-out, Cordelia has after all already described his death.
There is some historical interest in pondering Sebastian’s fate. If he was still alive and had stayed at the monastery at Carthage for the period of the war, he would have found himself in enemy hands, first Italian and then conceivably German. I am inclined to believe that he must have died shortly before the war reached him.

330 hotted
Hooper has been fooled by his platoon again (slang).

330 cook-house bugle sounded
The bugle is calling the soldiers to their mid-day meal.

331 Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.
A phrase from the Book of Ecclesiastes indicating the utter impossibility of human concerns - youth, health, wealth, etc. - having any ultimate importance when faced with the reality of God.

331 Pick-em-up …
the rhythm of the bugle call

331 a small red flame
the flame of the chapel’s sanctuary lamp. It is alight because the chapel is in use and the Sacrament is reserved there again.

331 Acre or Jerusalem
Cities of the Holy Land where epic battles of the Crusades were fought more than seven hundred years before. The faith is maintained in unexpected ways.

331 the builders and the tragedians
The builders of the great house and the people who lived and loved in it (including Julia and Charles) have had some part in transmitting the faith and giving it a more central place in the lives of others, however unwittingly. Tragedians is used in the old sense of actors.

331 You’re looking unusually cheerful today
Charles has allied himself with what is eternally valuable, with what is always spiritually renewable. He has realised that the Church’s faith (and his) counts for much in a world of war and suffering. Love does emerge from suffering, as Cordelia had stated. The love that Charles has found is the love of God.


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