Cpl. Ted Horsfall: [remembering his last night at home, before leaving for France, as he finishes a glass of beer at a farewell party]
Ahhhhh. Beer isn't what it used to be.
Pvt. Don Evans: I hope the French beer isn't what it used to be either. Remember the last time, Ted? Cpl. Ted Horsfall: Yeah. I remember something even better than beer too. Cpl. Ted Horsfall: [offering beer] Anyone for any more? Di Evans: No, thank you. Pvt. Don Evans: [looks at clock] It's nearly twelve. We've got to be at the depot at seven. [motions to his wife] Pvt. Don Evans: Come on home. Flo Horsfall: We'll have them both back before you can turn around. The war will be over by Christmas. Cpl. Ted Horsfall: The war will be over by Christmas. Where have I heard *that* before? Pvt. Don Evans: [indicates sign for their construction business] It's a shame we've got to close the business, Ted. Cpl. Ted Horsfall: Why, it's this habit we've gotten into; fighting the same war every twenty years. Flo Horsfall: Nasty habit too. Maj. 'Ossy' Dalrymple: [sees the camp approaching and decides he and his men will enter smartly] March to attention! Pvt. Don Evans: [writing a letter home] How do you spell "sufficient"? Cpl. Ted Horsfall: Same as a Sergeant-Major's blessing. Two "f"'s and one "c". Pvt. Mathews: [having a hard time adjusting to POW life after two months] What a sucker I was, joining the ruddy Army. I pictured myself cutting it loose with some roundie old French dames. And here I am, shut up in this place until I'll be past it. Cpl. Ted Horsfall: You should have joined the Navy and let the world see you. [gently] Cpl. Ted Horsfall: Now son, it's no use you blowing off. Take things as you find them. That's always been my motto. And the way I look at it... Pvt. Mathews: Awwww. Drip! Drip! Drip! You burn me up. You're worse than a woman! Cpl. Ted Horsfall: [warning] Now, knock it sonny. I was swinging a rifle when your nappies were swinging on the line Capt. Jim Grayson: I wonder how Jane is getting on these days? Capt. Karel Hasek, alias Geoffrey Mitchell: Who's Jane? Your girl? Capt. Jim Grayson: No, no. *The* Jane. The strip in the "Mirror". Capt. Karel Hasek, alias Geoffrey Mitchell: [realizing he's made a mistake] Oh, yes, the strip in the mirror. Pvt. Mathews: [discussing his escape plans with Horsfall and Evans] Why, all I have to do is stow away in one of those garbage bins or something. Why, it's as easy as kiss your... [sees Mitchell approach] Capt. Karel Hasek, alias Geoffrey Mitchell:
If you're planning an escape, Mathews, may I give you a piece of advice? Individual escapes hardly ever succeed. These things have to be very carefully planned and co-ordinated by a whole group.
Pvt. Mathews: All the same, sir, I'm going to have a go at it. If you have no objections! Capt. Karel Hasek, alias Geoffrey Mitchell: Well... Good luck to you. [walks off] Pvt. Mathews: Good luck... Two-faced bleeder. Cpl. Ted Horsfall: I don't know what it is, but there's something phony about that bloke. Lt. Stephen Harley: [as Christmas of 1940 approaches] Last Christmas I had my first concert. It was where I met Caroline. Capt. Karel Hasek, alias Geoffrey Mitchell: Last Christmas I was in Dachau Concentration Camp. Christmas Eve a new batch of prisoners came in. One of them brought me news of my family. They'd been caught giving food to a Polish Jew. They were taken out and shot. My father, my mother, all of them. The Chaplain: [awaits news about his prospective eye operation. Sits up as he hears the Padre come out of a room with a German doctor] Well, lad, it's me again. Lt. David Lennox: Yes, Padre? The Chaplain: David... They can't operate. Lt. David Lennox: [stunned] Not... ever? The Chaplain: No, David. Lt. David Lennox: I won't ever see again? [gets upset] Lt. David Lennox: I don't believe it. It's that German doctor! When I get back to Scotland... The Chaplain: No! David, it's no use. You've got to face it. Lt. David Lennox: I'll not need this any more. [removes bandages from around eyes] The Chaplain: You feel now there's nothing left to live for. And that feeling will go on for a long time. But then you'll begin to remember things that are left. You'll begin to realize that this darkness of yours is not absolute. David, the things that make life worthwhile for all of us -kindness, affection, companionship. The loss of your sight can never rob you of those things, David. We're your friends here. We offer you our help and understanding. And waiting to welcome you home, when all this is over, are your own folk who love you. Cpl. Ted Horsfall: I've had a letter, Don. Pvt. Don Evans: The mail's in? Perhaps there's a letter for me, with news of the baby. Cpl. Ted Horsfall: [downcast] There's no letter for you. There *is* news. Pvt. Don Evans: Flo's all right? Not them raids...? Cpl. Ted Horsfall: She's OK. The letter's from her. Don, it's a baby girl. She's doing nice. Dillis... You'll hear it sooner or later. It seemed the doctor warned her about it being dangerous, because of her age. But she wouldn't be put off. Flo was with her at the end. It went quite quickly. Flo's gonna look after the baby until you get back. Capt. Karel Hasek, alias Geoffrey Mitchell: [writing a letter to Celia in November of 1942]
"Our third winter is approaching, bringing with it a new enemy. It is not the duration but the indefiniteness of duration. For if a man knew the length of his sentence, he could plan accordingly. Afterwards in our memories, we shall relive only the sunny days. The pleasant scenes. The freedom of mind, and the comradeship. We shall forget the wet days... the wet weeks... Those days when it seemed an effort to do nothing and our bunks were the only release. Deep down in the hearts of all of us there dwells a lonely ache, a desperate yearning for those we love, and a fear. A fear of becoming forgotten men. Write to me again soon, Celia. You never know how great the comfort is that your letters bring. They give me strength, and hope, and happiness. You will never know how much they mean to me."
Cpl. Ted Horsfall: [watches as Evans begins planting his vegetable garden in the spring of 1944] Trying leeks again this year? Pvt. Don Evans: I was thinking of trying some asparagus. Cpl. Ted Horsfall: Asparagus? That takes seven years, Don. Pvt. Don Evans: [sadly] Aye. Cpl. Ted Horsfall: [referring to the war] I don't give it more than another year, meself. Pvt. Don Evans: Another year? Meredith will be four. Cpl. Ted Horsfall: Flo's hair's gone all white, she says. Pvt. Don Evans: Everything's changing. Do you think we'll be able to pick it up? The business, and everything? Cpl. Ted Horsfall: Search me. We're not as young as we were. Pvt. Don Evans: No. We're not as young as we were.