I remember brake vehicles commonly having the van adjacent to the rest of the train... it left a quiet haven of a few seats or compartments next to the loco on many otherwise-crowded services! (Recently mentioned elsewhere on this forum, I think.)Does it matter which way a half brake coach faces at the back of a train? And how we're such trains turned around at terminus stations?
I'm sure that at one time (at least) the rule book said "the guard shall travel in the rearmost brake van on the train" regardless of its actual position.The "brake at each end" rule went out sometime in the 1960s, and even before that two (I think) coaches could be attached between the brake and the end of the train.