Series Two: Episode Five
It is now the middle of 1918. Matthew and William come back to the Abbey: William has been injured protecting Matthew from a shell blast in the Battle of Amiens. Matthew is thought to be permanently paralyzed from the waist down and so unable to have children. As a result of this, he calls off his engagement to Lavinia, telling her to forget about him, even though she insists that his injuries make no difference to her feelings for him. Mary takes on the task of nursing Matthew.
William is even more seriously injured and is dying. Violet is disgusted when the authorities say that William cannot be brought to the Abbey as it is only for officers and uses her influence to allow him to stay. Knowing he is dying William asks that Daisy marry him at once so that she will receive a widow’s pension. Daisy knows she does not really love William, but Mrs. Patmore urges her to go through with it so that William can die happy, and she agrees. They marry at William’s hospital bed, with the staff, Violet and Edith attending. William dies not long afterwards.
The father of Ethel’s child, Major Bryant, refuses to have anything to do with her, so Mrs. Hughes has set her up in a cottage on the estate and secretly helps her, bringing her food.
A new housemaid called Jane joins the staff. Carson and Mrs.Hughes decide to take her on even though she has been married and has a child, as her husband was killed in the war.
Vera threatens to expose the truth behind the night of Pamuk’s death, as she has spent all Bates’ money and plans to sell the story to the newspapers. When Mary learns about this from Anna, she asks Sir Richard to help her, telling him the full story. He agrees, assuming this means that she will now agree to marry him, and he puts an announcement of their engagement in his newspapers without informing her. He then manages to trick Vera into signing a contract that gives him exclusive rights to the story and so prevents her from telling anyone else. Vera is furious and says that whatever happens she will make sure Bates is ruined and that she will ruin the Crawley family as well.