(a) Nickname is the alternative name or the informal name given to a person depending upon his most prominent character traits. The nickname is generally given by friends and colleagues. Private Quelch was nicknamed as ‘Professor’. The other nicknames for him can be ‘Mr Intelligent’ or ‘Mr Nosey Parker’.
(b) Private Quelch looked like a Professor when the author first met him at the training depot as he had a lanky body and horn-rimmed spectacles. Moreover, his habit of sermonising on any topic was a trait found in university professors.
© The Sergeant was a man with great confidence and knowledge of the military. His sun-dried skin expressed that he had spent most of his time outdoors and was very experienced. His knowledge was acquired through his practical and personal experience in the field.’
(d) First of all, the Professor corrected and told the exact muzzle velocity of the rifle bullet to the Sergeant. Later on, the Sergeant put a series of questions to him, which were all answered by the Professor correctly. He answered the questions with perfect technical definitions, details about the parts of rifles, its uses and the ways to care for a rifle. This exposed his knowledge even further.
(e) By ‘intelligent reading’, the Professor meant reading thoroughly, not merely reading for the sake of reading. When one reads thoroughly and with full concentration, one is able to ’ understand each and every detail of the topic one has read.
(f) The Professor’s ambition in the army was to get a commission and as a first step, he meant to get a stripe. .
(g) Quelch’s goal was to become an officer in the army, which was veiy ambitious. But his day-to-day practices did not take him closer to this goal. The reason was that he displayed his vast knowledge by rudely interrupting his seniors when they were instructing the soldiers. In fact, he tried to ridicule the instructors, thus irritating them. We can make this out by the fact that he was transferred to the camp kitchen, thus taking, him farther from his goal.
(h) Corporal Turnbull was physically, mentally and emotionally a tough man. He was a young man who had come back from Dunkirk safe and sound. He was not a man to be fooled around with. He was a hero in the eyes of the privates and they considered him tough. He got irritated easily and took action on the cause of irritation quickly.
(i) During the Corporal’s lecture, firstly Private Quelch interrupted him by telling the correct number of fragments of a grenade. Later on, when the Corporal resumed his lecture, Private Quelch interrupted again and asked him to start off with the characteristics of grenades. The Corporal got angry on this and asked him to deliver the lecture.
(j) No, Private Quelch did not learn a lesson when he was chosen for cook house duties. There also he didn’t stop exhibiting his knowledge and intelligence. He lectured the cooks on the loss of vitamin values in peeling potatoes.