As Mr. Chips is dying, he hears people around him commenting on his life. One person says, "Poor old chap—must have lived a lonely sort of life, all by himself." These commentators do not realize that Mr. Chips has led a life that has been full of connections to other people. In his last moments, Mr. Chips hears a kind of celestial chorus sung by many of the boys he taught in his lifetime. Hilton writes:
And then the chorus sang in his ears in final harmony, more grandly and sweetly than he had ever heard it before, and more comfortingly too . . . Pettifer, Pollett, Porson, Potts, Pullman, Purvis, Pym-Wilson, Radlett, Rapson, Reade, Reaper, Reddy Primus . . . come round me now, all of you, for a last word and a joke . . . Harper, Haslett, Hatfield, Hatherley . . . my last joke . . . did you hear it? Did it make you laugh? . . . Bone, Boston, Bovey, Bradford, Bradley, Bramhall-Anderson . . . wherever you are, whatever has happened, give me this moment with you . . . this last moment . . . my boys . . ."
These boys' spirits are with Mr. Chips in his last moments, and he imagines them as singers accompanying him to his final resting place. The music he hears is sweet and brings solace to him, and he remembers many of the boys he taught in an alliterative fashion (that is, the lists he comes up with use alliteration, as the names that appear together start with the same sounds). This litany of names reminds Mr. Chips that he has led a life full of purpose, friendship, meaning, and connection to his students, and his soul is at rest.