The Gardener

Notes on the text

(edited by Lisa Lewis)


[Page 399, line 5] rolled the stone away Matt. 28,2: “And behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled the stone from the door …”. See also Mark 16,4 and Luke, 24,2.

[Page 402, lines 14-5] prep. school short for preparatory school. Usually a boarding-school, designed to prepare boys of between 8 and 13 for the ‘Common Entrance’ examination, required for admission to the prestigious fee-paying schools known as “public schools.”

[Page 402, line 25] William the Conqueror King William I of England was the son of Duke Robert of Normandy and Arletta, the daughter of a tanner of Falaise. The Duke recognised him as heir and successor, but rival claimants tried to deny his right on the grounds of bastardy. Duke William successfully invaded England in 1066.

[Page 403, lines 22-3] into the Line At the outbreak of World War I (August 1914), thousands of young men from the universities and the top forms of the schools and many others rushed to volunteer for the ranks of the Army. They were killed as privates etc. before proper selection could be made from them as officers. However, it must not be forgotten that just as many would have been killed in any case, for the life of young officers at the front in France was a short one, certainly no longer than that of the rank and file soldiers.

[Page 403, line 23] O.T.C. Officers’ Training Corps. Most of the “public” schools had such corps, and they provided partially trained officers for the new armies of 1914-15 – including many who had not planned on joining the Army.

[Page 403, line 26] Army red In 1914 most of the infantry of the British Army had “walking-out” dress with scarlet tunics, as well as khaki working uniform. Khaki had been introduced during the South African war, since red coats had been found to be dangerously conspicuous.

[Page 404, line 9] K Field Marshal Lord Kitchener of Khartoum had been Secretary of State for War from the early days of August 1914.

[Page 404, line 20] distant service “Eastern service” in the Strand magazine version of the text.

[Page 404, line 24] Loos The battle of Loos, Sept.-Oct. 1915. Heavy British casualties included Kipling’s son.

[Page 404, line 27] Salient An area around Ypres where the allied front bulged into the territory held by the Germans.

[Page 404, line 28] Somme The battle of the Somme, July-Nov. 1916.

[Page 404, line 30] Armentières and Laventie Area south of Ypres, on the French side of the Franco-Belgian frontier.

[Page 406, line 30] Armistice Signed at 11 a.m. on 11th Nov. 1918.

[Page 407, line 13] Hagenzeele A fictitious name, apparently compounded from German Hag (hedge, but with poetic meaning grove or enclosure) and Seele (soul).

[Page 407, line 25] Mesopotamia …Gallipoli Mesopotamia was modern Iraq, Gallipoli a Turkish peninsula in Asia Minor. Both were unsuccessfully invaded by the Allies in 1915-6.

[Page 408, line 15] A.S.C. Army Service Corps. Roger Ayers, in “‘The Gardener’” [Kipling Journal 308, Dec. 2003, page 17] suggested that the Lancashire woman could have been “a Magdalen”:

for not knowing where a child was or what it had come to be called was the lot of many Magdalens who had given up, or had had taken from them, their illegitimate babies.

However in the earlier story “On Greenhow Hill” [Life’s Handicap, page 87] Kipling has a soldier complain that respectable working-class people saw enlistment in the Army as shameful.

[Page 408, lines 17-8] Dickiebush British soldiers’ version of a place just south of Ypres (‘Ieper’ in Flemish).

[Page 408, line 21] Cook’s Thomas Cook and Son Ltd, the original and famous travel agents and bankers.

[Page 408, line 30] Hooge Between Ypres and the Menin Gate in northern France.

[Page 409, line 32] Kodak A well-known make of camera.

[Page 414, line 9] supposing him to be the gardener See John, 20,15, another account of Mary Magdalene’s visit to Jesus’s tomb.

©Lisa Lewis 2004 All rights reserved