Mrs. Dowey is entertaining three other charwomen at tea; they are all proud of their sons in the army (1914-1918). The curate arrives with Kenneth Dowey of the Black Watch in tow. But Mrs. Dowey has no son; she only pretends after seeing Kenneth's name in a newspaper. Since he has no family, he agrees to spend his leave with her and Mrs. Dowey has the long wished for experience of mothering a boy. When Private Dowey does not return, the old lady puts away his effects and bravely sets out to work.