Upstairs, Downstairs (1971–1975): Season 4, Episode 11 - Missing Believed Killed - full transcript

Despair has set in at 165 Eaton Place with the news that James is missing in action and believed killed. Richard remains optimistic and refuses to accept that he is dead until such time as his body is found, but Hazel is not so confident. James' batman, Trooper Norton, returns his personal effects and for Hazel it's a clear sign that even his Regiment believes he is dead. Imagine the pandemonium when they receive a telegram from Georgina that James is alive and a patient in her hospital in France. Richard's mother-in-law, Lady Southwold, immediately arranges for a private ambulance to return James to England and despite some misgivings on Richard's part, he and Hazel set off to retrieve him. Georgina is dead set against moving James in his condition and confronts Hazel who is forced to remind her that she is James' husband and has the final say.

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Acorn Media (re-sync by moviesbyrizzo)

Oh, good morning, madam.

Good morning, Rose.

Um, your breakfast.

Would you like your breakfast
in here or...

Oh, in here, thank you.

Has the post come?

No, not yet.

Well, it don't come so early
these days.

But his lordship has telephoned
the Red Cross,

and the major is not on
their lists, this morning.

Oh, let's draw the blinds,

let you see what you're eating.

Mrs. Bridges managed to get you
a nice bit of bacon.


Nice day.

Hard frost and a bit cold,
but sun's shining.

Here, I better get you something
to put round your shoulders.

Thank you, Rose.

Try and eat a bit of breakfast.


Have you seen Eddie, Ruby?


I wonder where he is.

Oh, Mrs. Bridges,
have you seen Eddie?


He's supposed to be bringing in
the coals for the fire.

No, I looked in the coal cellar.

Is Eddie upstairs, Rose?

Haven't seen him.



[ Gasps ]

Hasn't she eaten nothing?

Don't think she's slept neither.

She's in the major's
dressing room, just sitting.

She's not doing herself no good
neglecting herself like this.

That bacon's hard to get now.

You better have it, Rose.

No, I couldn't.
I haven't got any appetite.

Give it to Edward or someone.

Oh, Eddie, what have you been
doing in there,

in Mr. Hudson's pantry?

Oh, that's all right.
He knows.

He gave me permission while
he was off on his police course.

I'm his volunteer
second in command.

Volunteer, mind.

No, I've been working out
what the keys are for.

Do you know what that one's for,

The key to the wine cellar.

Well, I wish you'd told me.

I've been looking all over
for you.

Well, what's the matter, then?

You thought I'd gone missing
or something?

What did you say, Edward?

- What?
- How dare you?

What have I said?

The major's been missing
for over a week now.

Everybody's worried to death
and nobody eating anything.

All you can do
is to make nasty, horrid jokes.

But I didn't, Mrs. Bridges.

Just thank your lucky stars

Mr. Hudson didn't hear you,
that's all.

But I didn't mean
nothing disrespectful.

What have I said, Rose?

She shouldn't have gone on
at him like that, Rose.

He's still not well.

She shouldn't have shouted
at him.

He's on sick leave.

Oh, more of it.

From Georgina.

If James had been
brought in wounded,

she's pretty sure he'd
have been through her hospital.

It's in
the Passchendaele sector.

But no sign of him.

But that's good news of a kind,
isn't it?

Have you spoken
to the war Office this morning?


I don't want to pester them
too much.

I know what it's like.

Didn't you sleep, my dear?

I slept quite well
for some reason.

I just don't believe
it's all over.

There are so many possibilities.

Do you have to go
to your canteen?

Why don't you go for a walk
in the park?

It's such a beautiful day.

If I am alone, Richard,
I think of all the possibilities

and I can get no comfort
from any of them.

It's better for me to be
at the canteen.

I -..

I read through all his letters
in the night.

I wanted to feel him alive.

But they were all so formal,
so military.

It's always been the same with
James and his letter writing.

When he was at school,

I remember Marjorie and I
used to receive them

as formal and awkward accounts
of school, cricket matches.

I felt for the first time
last night

that we'd never see him again.

- Now, Hazel.
- HAZEL: It's no use, Richard.

I saw him over and over again
in my mind.

Not caring anymore
for his own safety,

just running blindly
towards the guns.

Now, that I won't have.

Officers commanding
machine-gun companies

do not run blindly
towards the guns.

[Telephone rings]

Yes, Edward?

Oh, put him through, will you?

It's the regimental adjutant.

Yes, Phillip, what news?

Yes, I see.

Yes, yes, I agree.

Just hold on.

Hazel, can you be here
at 4:00 this afternoon?

Yes, I can be.

Yes, Phillip,
that's a good time.

Yes, yes, thank you.

And thank you for telephoning.


James' servant
is back on leave.

Phillip thinks
he ought to come and see us.

Phillip thinks
he ought to come and see us.

Trooper Norton.

Oh, yeah, we're expecting you.
Come in.

I'll take that.

No, I can manage.

Some of Major Bellamy's kit.

All right.

Well, I'll show you the way up.

In here.

I'll take it.

I used to valet for the major,
before the war.

Country-house weekends
and all that.

Oh, it's been terrible here
this past week, not knowing.

Oh, of course I was able to tell
them what it was like,

you know,
going up over the top.

I was on the Somme.

Middlesex regiment,
12th battalion, 18th division,

Lance Corporal Barnes.

You must have been there
as well.

Yeah, I was.

Wasn't much of a picnic, was it?

Where does this go?

Oh, I'll take that.

Wounded, was you, Corporal?

Yeah, yeah.

Not by a bullet.

Shell shock.

Well, not when I was out there.
It was when I got back.

Well, it wasn't fun, I mean,
not like some of them.

Funny, I used to get
these giddy spells and...

Well, anyway,
I was all set to go out again

and they just chucked me
in hospital.

I'm on sick leave now.


Well, I was just explaining.

Oh, madam, this is Trooper
Norton, the major's servant.

- Good afternoon.
- Good afternoon, madam.

I took the liberty
of bringing back

some of the major's
personal belongings.

Yes, I see.

Some letters you wrote, madam.

Post corporal
asked me to bring them.

Thank you.

You seem to have
given him up, then?

We come up the line from Ypres
the day before

in the pouring rain.

It never stopped for days.

That morning, we'd attacked
across the river

towards Passchendaele Ridge.

I was going forward
with the major

to visit number-two section.

They was with the Scots Guards.

It was raining.

Terrible mud.

Yes, my lord.

We could hardly move
it was so deep.

They started shelling us like...

Very hard.

One of them fell very close,
between me and the major.

I was knocked silly for a while.

How near were you
to Major Bellamy at the time?

About 20 paces, my lord.

HAZEL: After the explosion,
could you see him?

No, madam.

There was a lot of smoke,
and it was raining harder.

Was this towards dusk?

No, after dinner, my lord.

HAZEL: Then you didn't
actually see the shell hit him.

Nobody saw him hit.

I looked everywhere for him.

Yes, I'm sure you did.

What do you think happened?

Well, Corporal Horsewillis
said afterwards

he thought he saw him.

The major, blown into
a shell-hole crater

and heard someone shout,
"The major's copped it."

Did Corporal Horsewillis say

if he'd tried to investigate?

Yes, my lord.

But just then,
the Jerries counterattacked

and there was a lot of trouble
and we had to go back.

I see.

Scots Guards sergeant major said
we'd have to wait till dark.

Was there no officer?

No, my lord.

Sergeant major
was all that was left,

and he'd caught it
in the shoulder.

What happened that night?

Nothing, madam.

The Irish Guards came up,

and next morning,
we went forward with them.

Did you find the place?

I think so, my lord.

There'd been
a lot more shelling.

Couldn't find any trace.

If you couldn't find his body,

then he might have been
taken prisoner.

Yes, madam, that's what
we was hoping, but...

But what?

Well, Trooper Apthorpe,
who was at the aid post,

said he heard a Scots guard
sergeant, who was wounded,

say they'd...

seen a German officer
going round with his pistol.

RICHARD: You mean the wounded,
going round the wounded?

NORTON: There was a grudge on,
and no prisoners was taken.

We don't have to believe
Trooper Apthorpes gossip.

No, my lord.

It's quite possible to survive
four or five days

in a shell hole,

in bad weather
and with very little food.

We're hearing stories of it
every day.

If he may have been wounded,
he could have been picked up

by Canadian forces,
Australian, French.

General Nesfield has checked
through all that, Richard,

and there's nothing.

I still refuse,
Without proper evidence,

to believe that James is dead.

But you believe it,
don't you, Norton?

And his regiment believes it.

Because they've sent back
his belongings.

Well, if you've nothing further
to tell us, Norton,

perhaps you'd better return
to your barracks.

Thank you for coming to see us.

Very good, my lord.

I would like to say
one more thing.

Major Bellamy was admired
and respected

by all who served under him.

He was certainly
the best officer

I've ever had the privilege
to serve under.

And there was
no shortage of volunteers

to go back and look for him
when he cop--

Thank you, Norton.

My lord.

[Explosions in distance]

[ Coughs ]


Rifleman winter E.,
penetrated right parietal,

hernia cerebra.

Corporal Robinson H.,
penetrated cerebellum.

Private Matthew R...

Well, how many of these
do we do tonight?

Can you manage the first three?

If I do,
it'd be an all-time record.

What is it?
11 in a day?

I've made you some tea anyway.

Not with condensed milk.

I'm afraid
there isn't any fresh.

Using tea as a stimulant
is not healthy.

Oh, good, Nurse,
you've brought the candles.

Yes, Sister.

I don't know who's the more
unfit for this next operation,

the surgeon or the patient.

- Hello, Georgina.
- Hello.

Oh, you won't need
those candles, Sister.

We can keep the lights on

There can be no air raids
in this weather.

It's coming down in torrents.

Nurse, don't bring that cloak
in here.

And quickly to your duties.
You're late.

I brought this for you.

Thank you.

How's it been?

I'm exhausted.

Private Nicholls is dead

and the young French officer
at the far end.

Go and get some sleep.

MAN: Are you going to
kiss me goodbye, miss?

[ Indistinct conversation]

Get that one ready first, Nurse,
and hurry.

Yes, Sister.


Nurse, what are you doing?

Get back on duty this minute.

Oh, Jumbo.

Hazel, I have just heard...

Richard, I know!

Georgina sent this.

Nesfield telephoned me
at the Admiralty.

I've had a few details.
What does Georgina say?

"James alive.

Seriously ill but in good hands.

Love, Georgina."

Did Nesfield know more?

Not the extent of his wounds,

simply that he was safe
in hospital.

Richard, it's a miracle.

I know!

I've told Rose.

Now, what do we do now?

Is there any way we can go out
and visit him?

It's very difficult.

It requires special permission,
all sorts of passes.

It's not encouraged.

Richard, he is seriously ill.
He might die.

Now, let's wait
for more solid information

before we make any plans, eh?

Are you going out,
or have you just come in?

I have an appointment
with Geoffrey Dillon.

He wanted to explain
some legal points

in the event of James' death.

Well, now I can tell him
the happy news.


EDWARD: Oh, look, there's
a picture of the major

in the paper.

Says he's reported safe
but wounded.

Oh, bit late telling us that.

Oh, it's a nice picture of him.

Does it say any more
about his wounds?

No, it doesn't.

Probably doesn't like to.

He's probably lost an arm
or a leg.

Oh, Ruby, be quiet about that.

Now, you come along with me.
There's work to be done.

Potatoes to be peeled.

Yes, Mrs. Bridges.

You've seen what happens
to them, haven't you?

The wounded, you mean, Rose?

Yes, I have.

I don't think I could bear it
if he's lost...

lost an arm or a leg.

Well, you'd just have to
get used to it, Rose.

You do, Rose.

Better to be killed outright.

Got to die sometime.

Better to have a memory
of somebody whole

than go on living
with only half a person.

Well, I'm not sure
I agree with you, Rose.

Surely, it's better to survive,
isn't it?

Thanks, Dame.

What on earth did you say
to Geoffrey Dillon?

What do you mean?

When you saw him the other day,

did you say anything about
wanting to visit James

and the possibility
of bringing him back?

- I may have mentioned it.
- Mentioned it.

Yes, well, Geoffrey mentioned it
to my dear mother-in-law,

who mentioned it to Lord Darby.

The result is we have a private
ambulance with our own driver

and a trained nurse ready
to take us across to France

next Thursday morning,

and there is nothing
we can do about it.

Oh, Richard,
that's wonderful news.

Isn't it?

Hazel, I don't think you
quite understand my position.

A member of the government,
a peer,

is seen to be pulling
every known string

to get his son back
from a field hospital in France

while the sons of thousands
of ordinary families

up and down the country

have to wait their turn
for hospital ships.

But he is your son, Richard,

and you owe it to him

to do everything you can
in your power.

He needs the best doctors
money can buy,

and the best treatment is here.

I don't think James
would want that sort of favour.

You were quite prepared
to pull strings for the staff.

When Edward needed help,

you stopped him from going
back to the front.

We are not sending a private
ambulance to a field hospital

to bring back Edward.

That is quite different.

Well, then.

Well, can't it be made plain

that Lady Southwold
requested it?

She has every right to do
the best thing for her grandson.

On a whim
of an aristocratic old lady?

Well, that's a very good try,
my dear,

but I don't think
my political opponents

would see it that way.

They'll see it for what it is --

a flagrant misuse of privilege.

Other people have done it
and survived public opinion.

That Lady Berkharnstead sent one
for her nephew.

I am not concerned
with Lady Berkhamstead.

She's not a member
of the government.

Then let me go alone.

I'll fetch him back.

I'll carry your burden of guilt
for you.

That's quite
out of the question.

I am not letting you go
to France by yourself.

If we go at all,
we shall go together.

How long have I been here?

A week.

What are you doing?

I'm looking after you.

You're in my hospital.

My leg.

You were wounded
just above your right knee.

They've removed
a piece of shell from it.

The pain will ease.

I'll be back in the morning.

Try and sleep.

[Explosions in distance]

Oh, excuse me.

Excuse me.

I'm Lord Bellamy,
Major Bellamy's father.

I'm pleased to meet you,
my lord.

We were expecting you.

I'm Sister Menzies.

Good afternoon, Mrs. Bellamy.

Good afternoon.

Would you mind stepping in here
for a minute, please?

Thank you.

Major Rice, the surgeon
who operated on your son,

would like a word with you.

He's just finishing
another operation.

Could we see my husband?

Well, you can,
but I think one at a time

and only for
a very few minutes.

I'll wait for Major Rice.

Follow me, please.

There he is.



It's me, Hazel.

Oh, James.

It's Hazel.



How is he?
He looks awful.

Is he conscious?

He's just sleeping.

He was in pain last night,

but we've given him
quite a lot of morphine.

I'd rather we didn't wake him
at the moment.

May I offer you a cup of tea,
with condensed milk?

No, thank you.

As you please.


Now, then, your son.

Major Bellamy.

Yes, Bellamy.

Here we are.

Major Bellamy, Life Guards.

Oh, yes, shell wound to
the right thigh, gangrenous.

But we've managed to stop
the infection spreading,

and the leg should be spared,
unless there's any late change.

Oh, and a piece of shell
grazed his forehead,

just above the left eye,

Clearing up all right.

No, our main concern
is shock, exposure.

He's been wandering about
all over the place, it seems.

No idea how long.

He's got
some temporary paralysis,

and he's had a high fever.

But I'd say,
I'd say he's over the worst

and just needs to lie still.

Hazel, this is Major Rice.

How do you do?

Georgina, my dear.

Hello, Uncle Richard.

Major Rice has been giving me
all the facts.

It sounds very encouraging.

Could I see him now?

He's sleeping.

I'll take you.

Can you come and dine with us?

Oh, I'd love to,
but I have to go back on duty.

Perhaps tomorrow night.

Things are fairly quiet
at the moment.

You consider things quiet?


There's been no attack
for a week now.

The day after an attack
is the terrible time.

They just come pouring in,

and we can't accommodate
them all.

All these men
lying on stretchers.

There's nothing we can do
for them,

except try and keep them
dry and warm.

But the chateau seems huge.

It's full to bursting.

One wing was bombed
in an air raid.

I thought hospitals were sacred.

And the chatelaine,
a very old aristocratic lady,

lives in another wing.

She visits all the men out here
every day and comforts them.

Do you think it possible

that James lay outside
in the cold and the rain?

I torture myself
thinking about it.

It is possible.

But he doesn't remember much.

I don't know
how you're managing at all.

I've got nothing but admiration
for you.

No, save your admiration
for the surgeons.

They're the ones who perform
the real miracles.

Yes, I'm sure.

We still don't know
what happened to him, do we?

I know a little.
He talked to me last night.

He remembers being in the
shell hole after he was hit

and then some story
about a German officer

and being taken prisoner
and then escaping.

Sounds amazing.

How amazed he must have been

to have found you
looking after him.

RICHARD: Probably thought
he was dreaming.


I ought to get back.

I do hope you'll be comfortable
in the village inn.

I've never stayed there, but the
patron, Mr. Bully we call him,

has become a friend.

James and I had dinner there
once a long time ago.

Mr. Bully thought we were having
a secret romance,

gave us the most
solicitous attention.

Will he think the same about us?

I've already told him.

He's very honoured to have
an Englishman Lord

staying in his house.

Well, goodbye, Georgina.


- Goodbye, my dear.
- Goodbye, Uncle Richard.

Will we see you
tomorrow morning?

I'm back on duty at 4:00.

I love this ambulance
you came in.

Did someone give you a ride
in it from Boulogne?

It's ours.

Or to be more accurate,
Granny Southvvolds.

She hired it
specially for James.

For James?
I don't understand.

To take him back to London.

Didn't you realize?
That's what we're here for.

Take him back?

As soon as possible.

Tomorrow, the next day.

Well, as soon as the doctors
allow it.

Have you asked them?

Not yet.

Well, I'm afraid there's
no chance of him leaving.

He's still very dangerously ill.

He must have complete rest

and not be moved
for several weeks at least.

Does she mean that?

She's a nurse.

She must know
what she's talking about.

What are we to do?

We can't stay here indefinitely.

His temperature is down today,

and his pulse is steadier,

but his general condition
is still very serious.

We do have a trained nurse
accompanying us.

And another one at home
Waiting for our return.

Well, the wound is clean.

No further treatment needed
apart from normal dressings.

But the body needs its own time
to mend,

and I can't predict
how long that will take

nor what effect
a journey would have.

- If he were my son...
- Yes?

Well, let me just say,

if you want to risk it,
that's up to you,

but don't blame me
if he doesn't make the journey.

I accept full responsibility.

Can we go now,
or should we wait another day?

One more day
won't make any difference.

Thank you.

I'll go and see
if the vehicle's ready.

Excuse me, Sister.

Nurse, Major Bellamy's leaving.
Get him ready, would you?

Yes, Sister.

Just who do they think they are

coming here with
their private ambulances?

Well, that's what money
and influence does.

If they want to kill him,
that's up to them.

Disgraceful, in my view.

One more empty bed, though.



It's all right.

We're going to take you home.

Hazel, you can't take him.

You'll kill him if you move him.


we've spoken to Major Rice.

Major Rice does not
have to nurse him.

Well, look at him.
Can't you see how ill he is?

We have our own nurse.

He will get the best care,
I promise you that.

And it leaves a bed free
for one of those poor men

who were lying outside
in the cold and the rain.

But the roads are treacherous.
They're mud heaps.

If he ever gets to Boulogne,

he will never survive
a sea journey.

He must be kept
absolutely still.

Nurse, what is the matter here?
ls the patient ready?

Sister, tell them, please.

They can't take him.
He'll die if they move him.

It's already been decided.

Now, pull yourself together,

Come on, get on with your work.

Uncle Richard, please.

Georgina, I know how you feel,

but we'll take good care of him,
I promise you.

We won't take any undue risks.

Is everything ready, Nurse?

I think so.


He'll need another pillow.

Has the dressing been changed?

Just an hour ago.

Hazel, we'll wait outside.

Oh, be careful.

[Doorbell rings]


Thank you.

Good evening, Edward.


The major's in the ambulance
on a stretcher.

Help the driver get him in.

Nurse wilkins,
how do you do?

How do you do, Mrs. Bellamy?
How was the journey?

Bit of an ordeal.

The room is all ready, madam.

Thank you very much.

Straight upstairs, my lord?

Straight upstairs and into bed.

I never saw anyone look
so terribly ill

in all my born days.

Neither have I.

Oh, what a colour.

Death's door.

The major's supper's ready.
Who's gonna take it up?

- Oh, I will.
- No, I will, Daisy.

All right, Rose.

Just a minute, Rose.

He won't want any of that,
I'm afraid.

Mrs. Bridges, may I have
some boiling water, please?

Oh, yes.

I'll get it for you at once.

Thank you.


He is gonna be all right,
innit he?

Yes, of course,
with a lot of rest and care.

Thank you, Mrs. Bridges.

Our mission achieved, then.


I must write to Lady Southwold.

And Georgina.


We proved her wrong, didn't we?

Now, Hazel.

I'm sorry, Richard,
but it wasn't very dignified,

fighting for my husband in
a ward full of wounded soldiers.

I don't think it was anything
more than a cousin infatuation,

if it was even that.

Don't forget the enormous strain
she's under in that place.

Now, put it out of your mind.

[Knock on door]


Excuse me, Lord Bellamy,
Mrs. Bellamy.

The major's awake,
and he seems a little better.

He's been asking for you,
Mrs. Bellamy.


Oh, James.


Yes, aren't they beautiful?

Rose told me that the florist...


Reminds me of the smell of gas.


Oh, how stupid of me.

No, no.

How could you have known?

Are you sleeping in there?


If you need anything,
you ring this.

[Bell rings]

Poor darling.

Nurse, not a wife.

Part of a wife's duty.

A happy part
to nurse you back to health.


She stayed at the hospital
in France.

They're all in love with her
in the ward.

They all wanted to marry her.

Oh, I love you.

Was he hungry?

Well, he ate a bit of it.

You know,
just looking at him up there

and thinking of all
the things he's been through,

leading his men on fearless

with bullets and shells
whizzing past him,

well, makes you sort of
hero-worship him.

Here, don't forget I've seen
it all as well, Daisy.

Oh, I know you have, Eddie.

It makes me
all the more admiring of you.

What, thinking of him
makes you admiring of me?

Admiring of all you soldiers.

I never really understood it

Oh, so, you're admiring us
all now, are you?

You want to hero-worship

I know what she means.

Yeah, so do I, Ruby.

But it's different for her.
She's a married woman.

Well, I'd only marry somebody
who's been at the front.

[Bell ringing]

James, what is it?

- What's the matter?
- What ever is the matter?

I'm hungry.

And this damn dressing's itching
like mad.

I'll change it for you.

And that jug thing's so ugly
I want to smash it.

I'll remove the jug,

and I'll get you
something to eat.

Oh, Oh.

Sorry, Mrs. Bridges.

I didn't mean to startle you.

It's quite all right, madam.

I just come down to make meself
a cup of cocoa.

I'm not sleeping so well
these nights.

I am sorry.

Major Bellamy's woken up.
He's feeling hungry.

Oh, lam glad he's getting
his appetite back.

Now, what do you think
he'd like?

Well, could he have

some of that delicious soup
we had for supper?


And I've saved
a nice bit of ham.

I can put it in a sandwich.

Thank you, Mrs. Bridges.

Oh, and here's the bread.

And I've found some cheese,
Mrs. Bridges.

Is that bread fresh, madam?

Well, it feels all right.

MRS. BRIDGES: Oh, there's
some jelly here, madam.

Do you think he'd like that?

I think he'd love it.
He always used to.

One thing you must feel
happy about, madam.

The war's over for him.


How funny,
I hadn't thought of it.

Oh, first thing I thought of

when I saw him going up
them stairs on that stretcher.

We're one of the lucky families,
I thought.

Our young gentleman's
out of the fighting.

Thank God he's been spared.

After all the weeks
of worrying and waiting.

I didn't think I could bear it,

trying to keep things normal
down here and no Hudson.

Hope I haven't let things slip,

Of course you haven't,
Mrs. Bridges.

Thank you.

One forgets.

Beg pardon, madam.

I've been so busy
thinking about myself.

You've all been marvellous,

and I've scarcely given you
a thought.

That's as it should be, madam.

No, it isn't, Mrs. Bridges.

You've got quite enough
to think about.

But it isn't as it should be
at all.

Look, as soon as possible, I'd
like you all to have an outing,

well, as a mark of my gratitude.

That's very kind of you, madam,
very much appreciated,

but an outing in this weather?

The theatre.

George Robey,
would you like that?

Oh, yes.

Then I'll arrange it.

It'll be my treat.

Thank you, madam.

That's very kind.

Could you pass me
the butter, please, madam?

Thank you.

"My dearest James and Hazel,

I was so happy to get
news of your safe arrival

and progress.

I thought I was indispensable,

but I am much relieved
to be proved wrong.

Things have got quieter here
in these last few weeks,

and I now have time to catch up

on some sleep
and writing letters.

Please give my love to
Uncle Richard and all the staff.

Love to you both, as always.

Rather subdued for Georgina.

She's grown up.

Perish the thought.

Where's that nurse?

It's her afternoon off.

James, what are you doing?

Getting up.
Where's Edward?

- I need to...
James, you can't get up!

Don't be ridiculous.

Hazel, I planned it all night.

I want to be downstairs in
the morning room with champagne

for when Father returns.


It's his birthday.

Right, steady.

That's it.

Thank you, Edward.

Thank you, Rose.

That's all right, Edward.

You go on and open
the champagne.


No, it's all right, Rose.
I can manage.


The room is smaller.

It seems smaller.


No, it is smaller.

Don't look so worried, darling.

This is a triumph
of your nursing.

And a tribute
to your indomitable spirit.

Well, Dr. Foley
will be surprised, but...

But, James, he said 10 weeks
in bed at least.

Oh, what does Dr. Foley know
of my condition?

What does he know of spending
three days in a shell hole?

There isn't any medicine
for that.

Thank you, Edward.

Isn't that right, Edward?

Yes, sir.

Thank you, Edward.

You're my medicine.

You, this, being at home,

surrounded by good care
and attention

and by love.

Will you do something?

When Father comes in, will you
leave us alone together?

Yes, of course.

It's so long
since I had a talk with him.

What's he like,
this George Robey?

- What's he like?
- Mm.

Well, he's like this.

"Archibald, certainly not.

About this game of cricket
I've read a lot,

but it seems last week at Dover,

you went and bowled
a maiden over.

So, Archibald, certainly not."

Very good.

Needn't bother going now.

Ooh, we're going all right.

This is Mrs. Bellamy's
special treat,

and we're all going to
enjoy ourselves.

So, come along.

Oh, won't you change your mind
and come with us, Rose?

No, I'm too tired.

the major might need something.

All right.
Well, come along you others.

Now, nobody lag behind.

- Have a good time.
Bye-bye, Rose.

You be a good girl.

Hello, Father.

Happy birthday.

My dear boy,
what a wonderful surprise.

I was going to ignore
my birthday,

but this is the best present
I could have had.

You really better?

Or are you playing truant
for the doctors?

I don't consider them anymore.

If I can survive that journey
in the ambulance,

I can survive anything.

Well, that was
your grandmother's wish.

I didn't want it, and I thought
you wouldn't either.

An embarrassment to both of us.

You mean for you, politically.

And for you,
in terms of your men.

Oh, I shouldn't worry
about that.

Mother would have insisted
on it.

Yes, she would, wouldn't she?

Anyway, why shouldn't I
be borne in splendour

while my men have to make
the best of it?

Damn nearly killed me anyway.

Georgina thought
it was going to.

Oh, yes.

Yes, there was a bit of a scrap
between them, wasn't there?

Oh, nothing serious.

They were both concerned for you
in their separate ways,

that's all.

Nice to know somebody was.

Oh, my dear boy, if you knew

how many people were asking
after you, daily.

Yes. Yes, of course, one forgets
the other side of it.

You must have had an awful time
of it here.

How long was I missing?

About 10 days.

Can you remember
what happened to you?

Bits of it I can remember
very clearly.

The rest is confusion.

The shell hole,
the mud waist deep,

the hours of waiting.

You were taken prisoner,
then you escaped.


Yes, a bosch patrol took me
to the dressing station.

There was a captain
of the Scottish rifles

in the bed next to me.

He had this theory
that all men were barbarians

only truly fulfilled by war.

Deprive them of it, he said,
and they take to drinking,

and general misbehaviour.

He was trying to put the idea
into Latin verse.

I couldn't contend with that,

so I just...l just got up
and hobbled out

into the smoke and chaos.

Nobody stopped me.
I just kept walking.

God knows where.

You walked, mercifully,

straight into the path
of a Canadian unit.

They took you to one of
their dressing stations

and then after
to Georgina's hospital.

There was a German officer,
when I was in the shell hole,

making his way through the woods
after the attack,

killing off our wounded
with his revolver.

He was coming towards me,
nearer and nearer.

I tried to get my revolver
out of its holster,

but I didn't have any strength
in my fingers.

He raised his arm.

I was done for.

We just stared at each other.

And then, inexplicably,

he lowered his pistol.

He just stood there
looking at me,

giving me time to get my finger
on the trigger and fire.

I blew the top of his head off.

Why didn't he kill me?

Perhaps he was humanely shooting
the worst of your wounded

to spare them
unnecessary suffering.

Is that why?

I felt we were brothers
or even the same person.

And it didn't matter
who killed who.

It wasn't important.

And what happens now
isn't important.

It has no meaning.


You mustn't say that.

How can it have, Father,
after that?

You've been spared.
You've so much to contribute.

When the peace comes.


Peace is for grandfathers
and grandsons.

And survivors.

I wouldn't count on them
to put the world to rights.

Between us, James,

between us, we can do it.

Grandfathers, grandsons,
and survivors.

You owe it to us to try.

Well, at least we're talking.

That's a start.

I'm afraid this champagne
is making me feel a bit...


I must go up to bed.


Can you help me?

James, why didn't you say?

I'll call Edward.


Afraid he's gone out.

It's just you and me,
I'm afraid.

Do you want a doctor?

No, no.

Father, what...
what I wanted to say was

that when I was
in that shell hole,

I could feel Mother's presence
more strongly than anything.

Whether she'd come to protect me
or she'd come to claim me,

I don't know.

It didn't matter.

She was there.

She was here, too.

I'll have that.

Put your weight on me.

That's it.

Away you come.



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